The milk pipeline continues to swell.

During October, production across the top 23 dairy states hit 13.4 billion pounds — up 4.1 percent versus a year ago, according to the October “Milk Production” report, released Nov. 16.

Milk output per cow continued to surge — up 3.3 percent versus a year ago. In the top 23 dairy states, milk per cow came in at about 53 pounds per cow per day, or about 1,636 pounds per cow for the month. That’s 53 pounds above October 2004. The chart at right shows milk output per cow in each of the top 23 dairy states during October versus a year ago.

Milk-cow numbers grew 0.7 percent during October versus a year ago. Cow numbers in the top 23 states totaled 8.16 million head — 58,000 head more than October 2004 and 4,000 head more than September.

Only five of the top 23 dairy states posted losses in total milk output during October. Missouri and Kentucky took the largest hits — down 7.4 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. Iowa was a distant third with a 1.9-percent production loss versus a year ago.

Meanwhile, Idaho, Texas, Indiana and New Mexico led in production gains. Idaho was up 13.2 percent; Texas, up 9.4 percent; Indiana, up 8.3 percent; and New Mexico, up 8.1 percent.

The USDA also revised September milk production. Milk production in the top 23 dairy states totaled 13 billion pounds — a decrease of 27 million pounds versus the agency’s preliminary estimate issued in October. As a result, September milk production now stands 4.7 percent above a year ago, instead of the 4.9 percent reported in October.