Milk production in the top 23 milk producing states totaled 15.2 billion pounds in January, up 2.7 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Across all 50 states, milk production was up 2.3 percent, according to the “Milk Production” report  issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Feb. 18th.

It is another bearish sign, considering that milk production has risen — on a year-over-year basis — for 12 straight months now. The number of milk cows in the 23 states was 8.4 million, up  82,000 head from January 2010 and 14,000 head more than December 2010. Production per cow was up 29 pounds in January compared to the same month a year earlier.

Among the top 23 states, Florida showed the highest percentage increase in milk production at  8.8 percent. California, the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state, was up 0.7 percent. Missouri declined by 4.8 percent.