Released this afternoon, July milk from the 23 major dairy states was up 3 percent from July 2009 totaling 15.2 billion pounds from 8.37 million head. That gain is 2.9 percent higher than June totals. The national herd from these states was 8.37 million head, 26,000 fewer than July 2009 but 19,000 more milk cows than last month.

This 3 percent jump is the largest percentage increase for July on a year-over-year comparison since 2007. Milk per cow in these states averaged 1,830 pounds for July; that's 59 pounds more than last July's mark - an impressive gain considering last summer's unseasonably cool weather in many states.

On the state level, only four states had lower production compared to a year ago. Missouri was down 7.9 percent; Illinois was down 1.2 percent; Virginia down .7 percent, and Vermont was down .5. States making large gains in production over a year ago included Arizona at 8.8 percent, Oregon gained 8.3 percent, Idaho 5.2 percent, and Washington was up 6.2 percent. California gained 4.7 percent over last year, accounting for 153 million more pounds of milk, yet coming from 41,000 fewer cows.