U.S. milk production at 16.7 billion pounds was up 1.1 percent in March over March 2013 in the 23 major milk-producing states, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Production in those states increased 1.8 billion pounds from February with an additional 1,000 cows and 209 pounds more milk per cow.

Cow numbers and milk per cow data for March 2013 were not collected due to sequestration.

Fifteen of the 23 major states posted year-over-year increases in milk production in March, including a 3.7 percent increase in California, the top milk-production state at 3.8 billion pounds, and a 1.7 percent increase in Idaho, the fourth highest producer at 1.15 billion pounds.

Wisconsin, the second top producer, was down 1.6 percent year over year at 2.4 billion pounds. New York, the third highest producer, posted no change at 1.16 billion pounds.

Washington’s milk production in March, at 560 million pounds, was up 3.5 percent year over year. Oregon’s production in March, at 225 million, was up 4.2 percent.

Milk production in the first quarter in the 23 states, at 51 billion pounds, was up 1.0 percent year over year, but a harsh winter and forage-quality issues in the Midwest took their toll.

Preliminary year-over-year production for January through March was down 2.1 percent in Wisconsin, 3.2 percent in Minnesota, 3.3 percent in Ohio, 2.9 percent in Iowa, and 3.2 percent in Illinois.

Year-over year production in the first three months of 2014 was also down 0.8 percent in New Mexico.

California milk production was up 4.4 percent year-over-year in the first quarter, and Idaho was up 2.3 percent. Washington production was up 3.5 percent, and Oregon was up 4.1 percent.

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