U.S. '08 milk production up 2.2% from year ago

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — U.S. milk production in 2008 totaled 189,699 million lbs, up 2.2% from 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest Milk Production report.

But the rate of increase in production slowed with each quarter, the U.S.D.A. data showed. Total U.S. production in the first quarter of 2008 was 47,541 million lbs, up 3.2% from the same period a year earlier, while the second quarter was 48,683 million lbs, up 2.7%, the third quarter was 46,835 million lbs, up 1.6%, and the fourth quarter totaled 46,640 million lbs, up 1.4%.

Total U.S. milk production in December preliminarily was estimated at 15,854 million lbs, up 1.4% from December 2007.

Annual production in the 23 largest milk producing states was 174,996 million lbs in 2008, up 2.5% from a year earlier.

Milk outturn in December preliminarily was estimated at 14,633 million lbs in the 23 states, up 1.5% from the same month in 2007, the U.S.D.A. said. November production in the 23 states was revised to 14,021 million lbs, down 11 million lbs from the preliminary estimate but still 1.3% above November 2007.

Milk production per cow in the 23 states averaged 1,726 lbs in December, up 8 lbs from December 2007. The number of milk cows on farms totaled 8,479,000 head, up 90,000 from December 2007 and up 7,000 from November 2008.

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