For the 23rd month in a row, milk production in the United States has grown on a year-over-year basis.

In December, milk production in the 23 major dairy states totaled 15.4 billion pounds, up 2.7 percent from December 2010.

Milk production continues to growAcross all 50 states, milk production was up 2.5 percent, according to the “Milk Production” report released Jan 23 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

States that showed the higher production increase in December were: Indiana, 6.3 percent; Colorado, 4.9 percent, and Washington, 4.7 percent. California, the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state, was up 3.8 percent. Missouri declined by 1.7 percent.

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,818 pounds for December — 27 pounds higher than December 2010.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.486 million head, 99,000 more than December 2010 and 12,000 more than November 2011.

Milk production continues to grow