Compared to heftier growth percentages earlier this year, November’s is downright modest.

Milk production up only slightly in NovemberAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, milk production in November was up 0.3 percent in the top 23 dairy states compared to November 2012. Across the entire U.S., milk production was up a scant 0.1 percent.

Market analysts had predicted a higher growth figure for November, so the fact that it came in below expectations may be interpreted as “bullish” for market prices.

An underlying factor: Milk per cow increased by just one pound in November compared to the same month a year earlier.

The number of milk cows in the top 23 states increased by 22,000 head, according to the Dec. 19 “Milk Production” report from USDA.

Kansas had the highest increase in November at 7.5 percent. California, the No. 1 milk-producing state, was up 0.6 percent and Wisconsin, the No. 2 state, was down 0.6 percent.

Milk production up only slightly in November