Milk production up 2 percent in May

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Milk production grew again last month, but the rate of growth slowed in comparison to the previous four months of the year.

Across the entire United States, milk production grew 2.0 percent in May compared to the same month a year ago, according to the "Milk Production" report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday afternoon. The 2 percent growth rate for May compares to 4.2 percent in March and 3.2 percent  in April.

It is the 28th month in a row that milk production has grown on a year-over-year basis.

The states showing the largest increases in May were: 8.3 percent in Utah, 8.2 percent in Colorado and 7.3 percent in Florida. Pennsylvania had a 2.1 percent decrease.

In the top 23 dairy states, the number of milk cows grew by 77,000 head from May 2011 to May 2012.  However, the number of cows was down 3,000 head from the previous month.

Meanwhile, milk per cow increased 22 pounds ― 1,902 to 1,924 ―over the same time period.

Dave Kurzawski, dairy analyst with FC Stone/Downes-O'Neill in Chicago, called it a "bullish report," since milk production came out below analysts' expectations and cow numbers declined month-over-month for the first time in 2012.

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