Milk production in the 23 major milk-producing states totaled 15.4 billion pounds during June, up 1.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the USDA’s Milk Production report released on Tuesday afternoon.

Across all 50 states, production was up 1.1 percent.

It was the17th month in a row that milk production increased on a year-over-year basis. January 2010 was the last time milk production went down compared to the same month a year earlier.

However, the 1.4 percent increase among the top 23 states was the smallest increase since March 2010, points out Greg Scheer, dairy analyst with Doane Advisory Services in St. Louis.

Scheer says the increase was near what trade analysts had anticipated and, coupled with the smaller rate of increase, Tuesday's report is neutral to slightly bullish in terms of its market impact.

Texas and Colorado had the biggest increases in milk production at 10.3 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. The nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state, California, was up 3.4 percent.

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,819 pounds in June, up 2 pounds from June 2010.

The national cow herd continues to grow. According to the report, the number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states is 8.46 million head, 11,000 head more than May and 106,000 head more than June 2010.