Oct. 20 2011 06:00 AM

Florida and Texas post double-digit milk growth.

Nearly all the growth in September milk production once again came from the Western dairy states which all posted positive gains as they did in August. Leading the pack was Texas reporting a 10.1 percent growth when compared to last year. Next in line was Colorado, up 6.3 percent and Washington, up 5.5 percent. They were closely followed by Arizona, 4.7 percent; New Mexico, 4.4 percent; and Kansas, 3.9 percent. Meanwhile, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah all posted positive gains ranging from 0.6 to 2.9 percent.

In the entire nation, a major outlier in the group was Florida. It grew milk output by 11.3 percent. In fact, it was the leader among the top 23 dairy states. The only other state posting a substantial gain was Indiana at 3.3 percent. The nation's second leading dairy state, Wisconsin, was up 1. 8 percent. Meanwhile, fourth-ranked New York rose just 0.1 percent. The other top dairy states posting gains included: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Vermont with gains ranging from 0.5 to 1.9 percent.

Four states showed declines. Once again, Missouri lost the most production at 4.5 percent. It was followed by Pennsylvania, 1.5 percent; Ohio, 1.4 percent; and Minnesota, 0.7 percent.

While the entire country experienced a 1.7 percent growth, the top 23 states grew at a faster rate - 1.9 percent.

Herd numbers continue to mount. Cow numbers which stand at 9.209 million are at their highest level since June 2009's 9.231 million cows.