Despite the higher-than-normal temperatures experienced in many areas, U.S. milk production in August shot up 2.7 percent over a year ago. During August, there was a 2.9 percent rise in milk per cow over last year. That more than offset a 24,000-head (0.26 percent) drop in cow numbers. There was a 9,000-head drop in cow numbers from July. That was the first month-to-month drop in cow numbers since last December when the national herd size stood at 9.082 million, down 9,000 from November. The nation's herd size last month was 9.135 million cows.

California's milk output is roaring back, being up 4.9 percent in August. Milk per cow there was up 7.1 percent. There are 37,000 fewer cows in California than there were a year ago, a drop of 2 percent.

After posting some notable gains in milk output during the past couple of years, Wisconsin's August output was up just 0.5 percent. Milk per cow was unchanged from a year ago, but there were 6,000 more cows in Wisconsin last month than there were in August 2009.

Last month, Idaho produced 52 million pounds more milk than New York to rank third again . Idaho was up 7.8 percent in milk output compared to last August. There were 25,000 (4.5 percent) more cows in Idaho this August.

New York was up 4.8 percent over a year ago. That state's 5.9 percent jump in milk per cow offset a 7,000-head drop in cow numbers.

Pennsylvania was up 3 percent in milk output. That was largely due to a 3.7 percent gain in milk per cow.

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