There’s just no stopping growth in milk production.

During September, production across the top 23 dairy states hit 13 billion pounds — up 4.9 percent versus a year ago, according to the September “Milk Production” report, released Oct. 17.

Milk output per cow continued to make robust gains during September. In the top 23 dairy states, milk per cow averaged 1,597 pounds for the month — up 64 pounds or 4.2 percent versus a year ago. That’s about 53 pounds per cow per day. The chart below shows milk output per cow in each of the top 23 dairy states during September versus a year ago.

Milk-cow numbers also pushed higher. Cow numbers in the top 23 states totaled 8.16 million head — 54,000 head more than September 2004 and 1,000 head more than August. That also is about 0.7 percent higher than a year ago.

Only four of the top 23 dairy states posted declines in total milk output during September. Those states included Missouri — down 7.2 percent, Kentucky — down 2.8 percent, Illinois — down 1.9 percent, and Iowa — down 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Idaho, Colorado and Indiana led in production gains. Idaho was up 14 percent, Colorado — up 9.4 percent and Indiana — up 9.1 percent.

Milk output also is higher on a quarterly basis. Third-quarter milk production across all 50 states was up 4.2 percent versus the same period a year ago, according to the report. The average number of milk cows in the U.S. was 27,000 head higher than the same period last year.

The USDA also revised its production estimates for August. Milk production in the top 23 dairy states totaled 13.6 billion pounds — a 22-million-pound gain versus the agency’s preliminary estimate issued in September. As a result, August milk production now stands 4.8 percent above a year ago, instead of the 4.6 percent reported in September.

September milk production per cow

(Top 23 dairy states)

 

2004

2005

% change

 

(pounds)

(pounds)

 

Wash.

1,870

1,915

2.4

Idaho

1,780

1,860

4.5

Colo.

1,750

1,855

6.0

Calif.

1,715

1,745

   1.7

Ariz.

1,660

1,740

4.8

Mich.

1,670

1,735

3.9

N.M.

1,670

1,710

2.4

Kan.

1,550

1,650

6.5

Ind.

1,540

1,615

4.9

Iowa

1,580

1,610

1.9

Ore.

1,565

1,550

-1.0

Wis.

1,440

1,520

5.6

N.Y.

1,420

1,515

6.7

Texas

1,405

1,515

7.8

Pa.

1,415

1,500

6.0

Vt.

1,430

1,480

3.5

Ill.

1,440

1,450

0.7

Minn.

1,365

1,435

5.1

Ohio

1,370

1,410

2.9

Va.

1,290

1,300

0.8

Fla.

1,025

1,130

10.2

Mo.

1,150

1,125

-2.2

Ky.

990

1,000

1.0

USDA