Despite favorable weather in the Upper Midwest, which could have easily pushed the average up, milk production in the top dairy states fell by 0.2 percent in August.

The USDA reported Friday that milk production in the top 23 dairy states totaled 14.594 billion pounds, down slightly from the 14.626 billion pounds produced in August 2008.

Milk production rose in some of the Upper Midwest states. Wisconsin and Minnesota were up 3.7 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, milk production in California, the nation’s largest milk-producing state, was down 4.5 percent. Arizona showed a 7.4 percent drop.

The number of milk cows in the entire U.S. (not just the top 23 states) dropped from 9.331 million in August 2008 to 9.160 million in August 2009. Culling activity has been heavy in recent months, with many producers cutting back their herds in response to low milk prices.

Source: USDA