With growth becoming more modest, Friday’s “Milk Production” report from the USDA is seen as bullish.

“Slightly bullish” was the initial reaction of Dave Kurzawski, dairy analyst for FCStone in Chicago.

Milk production in the top 23 dairy states was up 1.1 percent in September compared to the same month a year earlier. Across the entire U.S., it was up 1.0 percent.

“Total U.S. milk production came in at 15.837 billion pounds, an increase of 1.0 percent versus a year ago," Kurzawski says. "This was well below our expectation for a 2.9 percent increase."

That is a lower rate of growth than seen in June (1.5 percent), July (1.1 percent) and August (2.6 percent) for the U.S. as a whole. 

Production per cow in the top 23 states averaged 1,741 pounds for September – 12 pounds above September 2012.

Florida had the highest year-over-year increase at 7.1 percent, followed by Kansas (5.9 percent) and Iowa (5.5 percent). Idaho showed a 1.5 percent decrease. 

Friday's "Milk Production" report was delayed a few weeks because of the government shutdown that affected federal agencies through much of October.