Milk production in the U.S. in December totaled 15.75 billion pounds, down 0.9 percent from December of last year. The National Ag Statistics Service reports production per cow in the country increased 32 pounds to average 1,735 but the number of milk cows in the nation’s dairy herd declined 252,000 head to 9.082 million.
California milk production continued to slide in December, 3.28 billion pounds down 4.6 percent compared to December of last year. The Golden State’s dairy herd lost 76,000 cows to 1.76 million head and production per cow slipped 10 pounds to average 1,860.
Wisconsin milk production in December totaled 2.14 billion pounds, up 4.3 percent from a year ago. The Badger State added 4,000 cows to make the herd 1.259 million head and production per cow increased 65 pounds to 1,700.
Rounding out the top-five, New York moved back into the Number-3 spot with 1.022 billion pounds, down 0.3 percent from a year ago. Idaho production slipped 0.4 percent to 1.012 billion pounds and Pennsylvania increased 0.7 percent to 872 million pounds. Ten of the top 23 dairy states saw a decline in production with Arizona down 10.9 percent and Colorado 11.1 percent lower. Wisconsin had the biggest increase for the month.
Milk production in the U.S. for the final quarter of 2009 was 46.2 billion pounds, down 1 percent from the final quarter of 2008. The U.S. dairy herd is 243,000 head smaller than a year ago.
For the year, U.S. milk production totaled 189.26 billion pounds a 0.4 percent decline from 2008. Production per cow for the year increased 176 pounds to average 20,572. This is the first time since 2001 that milk production has fallen year-over-year.