Milk production in the 23 major dairy states totaled 15.2 billion pounds in October — up 2.5 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Across all 50 states, milk production was up 2.1 percent, according to USDA’s “Milk Production” report released Friday afternoon.

States that showed the highest production increase in October were Texas, Florida and Arizona at 9.8 percent, 7.9 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively. California, the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing state, was up 2.4 percent. Missouri was down 1.8 percent.

"In our opinion, today’s milk production report was slightly bearish,” said Dave Kurzawski, dairy analyst at FC Stone/Downes-O’Neill in Chicago. “Total milk production was slightly stronger than anticipated due to both a slight increase in cow numbers and milk per cow.”

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,787 pounds for the month, 20 pounds above October 2010.

The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.48 million head, 111,000 head more than October 2010 and 10,000 head more than September 2011, according to the USDA report.

October’s increase was the 21st month in a row that milk production has grown on a year-over-year basis.