Summer heat and humidity failed to dampen July milk output. Instead, production in the top 23 dairy states soared to 13.7 billion pounds — a 4.2-percent increase versus a year ago, according to the July “Milk Production” report, released today.

The robust gain in milk production is the result of a 59-pound gain in milk per cow and a 48,000-head increase in cow numbers versus July 2004.

If you weren’t floored last month when the USDA released June production figures, the upward revision for June noted in this month’s report will certainly come as a shock. In it, the USDA increased total milk output for June so that it now stands 5.6 percent higher than a year ago, instead of the 5.4 percent estimate reported during July.

Meanwhile, milk output per cow in the top 23 states averaged 1,682 pounds for the month of July — up 59 pounds versus a year ago. That also is about 54 pounds per cow per day.

Milk-cow numbers in the top 23 states advanced to 8.14 million head — topping July 2004 by 48,000 head. That also is 12,000 head more than June.

Only four of the top 23 dairy states posted declines in total milk output during July. Total production fell 5.3 percent in Missouri, 2.5 percent in Kentucky, 0.6 percent in Iowa and 0.5 percent in Oregon. Meanwhile, the states posting the largest increases in total output included: Colorado — up 13.8 percent, Idaho — up 13.4 percent, and Texas — up 11 percent. Production gains in these three states are largely the result of strong gains in milk per cow. Both Colorado and Texas posted 11-percent gains in milk per cow. Idaho posted a 5.4-percent gain, plus a 32,000-head increase in cow numbers.

Despite triple-digit temperatures during much of July, total milk output in California was up 1.5 percent versus a year ago. Wisconsin was up 4.9 percent.

The chart at right shows total milk production in each of the top 23 states during July.