After 36 consecutive months of year-to-year increases, Wisconsin dairy cows failed to produce more milk during the month of May than they did a year earlier. According to the USDA's monthly milk production report, state output totaled 2.62 billion pounds last month, down 0.7 percent from May 2016, but more than April's 2.53 billion pounds (which had fewer days on the calendar).

Nationally, a record 17.8 billion pounds of milk was produced in the 23 major dairy states for the month, which was 1.8 percent more than in 2016, and greater than the previous month's 17.2 billion.

California continues to have the highest total production with about 3.5 billion pounds but was one of just six states that had lower production compared to last year. Texas had the greatest increase in year-to-year output as that state produced 1.06 billion pounds of milk in May, up 14.7 percent from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.72 million head, 81,000 head more than May 2016, and 2,000 head more than April 2017. The average number of milk cows on Wisconsin farms for the month was 1.28 million head, unchanged from last month and last year. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,050 pounds, down 15 pounds from last year's figures.

This article was originally published by the Wisconsin Ag Connection.