USDA officials say January milk production is up 1.8% from a year ago. The report issued Wednesday says the 23 major milk producing states marketed 17.3 billion pounds of milk last month, and production per-cow is up 24 pounds over last January. Cow numbers were up 46,000 head over a year ago, and up 5,000 from December. The total number of cows now on U.S. farms is 9.405 million.
The top producing states continue to be California and Wisconsin, each with more than a million head of dairy cows. The national average production per cow was 1,979 pounds of milk., production per-cow was 2,005 pounds in California and 1,995 pounds in Wisconsin. For the first time in months, California reported a bump in milk production, up 2.2%. This came on the strength of more milk per cow, up 2.4 lb/cow per day in January. Cow numbers in California continue to decline, however, down 16,000 head from a year ago. Colorado had the highest per-cow production average at 2,230 pounds. Michigan was close behind at 2,200 pounds per cow.
The biggest percentage jump in milk production came in Colorado, with milk up 10.4% and cow numbers up 12,000 head (7.7%). The next biggest jumps came in Utah, up 8%; in Texas, up 5.8%, and New Mexico, up 5%.
The January report provides a summary of all of 2017. For example, it shows cow number at a 10-year high, averaging 9.392 million head. Milk per cow set another record at 22,941 lb, up 12.5% over the past decade. Total milk production reached 215.5 billion lb, up 1.4% from last year, and up 13.4% over the last decade.