Cash receipts from milk marketed last year totaled $31.36 billion. That was a 24 percent rise over 2009's $24.34 billion. Milk sales totaled $34.85 billion 2008. These numbers come from USDA's annual publication Milk Production, Disposition, and Income.

Not surprisingly, California had the highest cash receipts from milk sales. The total was $5.93 billion. Next was Wisconsin at $4.15 billion. New York's sales were $2.21 billion, followed by Pennsylvania at $1.95 billion. Even though Idaho was third in milk production in 2010, it ranked fifth in cash receipts from milk at $1.90 billion.
Milk production for 2010 was 192.8 billion pounds. However, milk marketed for last year was 191.8 billion pounds. The difference was the amount of milk fed to calves and that used for household milk and for cream and butter. That on-farm use amounted to 991 million pounds. That was down from on-farm use numbers of 1.07 billion pounds in 2008 and 1.01 billion in 2009.
There are some real regional differences in how much milk is fed to calves on farm. Although California produced 39.5 billion pounds of milk last year, it fed only 25 million pounds on-farm to calves. By contrast, Wisconsin produced 25.2 billion pounds of milk but fed 256 million pounds to calves. Minnesota fed 95 million pounds of milk.

According to the report, 98 percent of the milk marketed in the U.S. qualifies for Grade A. Essentially, 100 percent of the milk is eligible for Grade A in 38 states. The states with the smallest proportion eligible are North Dakota (92 percent) and Wyoming (87 percent). Other states with notable proportions of "non-A" eligible milk include California (95 percent), Missouri (97), Ohio (96), and Wisconsin (98).

Much was said and written about low fat tests last year. It was a source of consternation to many dairy farmers, nutritionists, and plant managers. Actually, over the entire nation, the average fat test of all milk produced last year was 3.66 percent, down only slightly from 3.67 in 2009 and 3.68 in 2008.
However, some key milk states definitely had lower fat tests for the year. Wisconsin was down 0.05 (3.70 to 3.65). Pennsylvania was down 0.05 (3.71 to 3.67). Michigan was down 0.04 (3.63 to 3.59). A number of states had higher fat tests last year. Among them were South Carolina, up 0.12 (3.81 to 3.93) and Maine, up 0.07 (3.65 to 3.72). Both up 0.06 were Nebraska (3.62 to 3.68) and New Hampshire (3.78 to 3.84).