Cow numbers continued to grow in November, but slow growth in milk per cow kept a tight rein on the milk supply.

In November, milk production in the 23 major dairy states topped year-ago levels by 1.4 percent, according to the USDA’s Dec. 18 “Milk Production” report. That rate of growth is down from October, which saw a 1.6-percent gain in milk production versus a year ago. Milk production has increased every month (when that month is compared to the same month in 2007) so far this year.

In November, the 23-state cow herd totaled 8.47 million head. That is a gain of 99,000 head, or 1.2 percent, versus a year ago. That also is 6,000 head more than October.

Meanwhile, milk per cow in the 23 select states grew just 0.2 percent, or 3 pounds more than a year ago. Monthly production per cow averaged 1,657 pounds in November.

More than half of the top 23 states saw gains in milk production in November. Kansas led the way with a year-over-year gain of 14.7 percent. Texas followed with a gain of 11.3 percent. Pennsylvania saw the greatest year-over-year decline at -4.8 percent. Indiana, down 3.6 percent, saw the next largest year-over-year decline.

For more from the report, click here.