Milk production in the US in June is up 0.7% to 16.4 billion pounds (7.2m litres) year-on-year however it is down on May 2015, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data shows.

June milk production is down 800m pounds (351m litres) from May 2015, and this drop is the second biggest drop in production in 2015, the data shows.

May milk production was 17.2 billion pounds (7.5m litres) and was up 1.5% from the same month in 2014.

The milk produced per cow in the 23 major states averaged, the USDA says, 1,895 pounds (832L) for June; no change from the record high of June 2014.

The number of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.63m head, 56,000 head more than June 2014, it says.

This latest number was down 2,000 head that May 2015.

US milk production in the period of April to June 2015 totalled 53.6 billion pounds (24.7m litres), which the USDA says is up 1,4% from the corresponding period in 2014.

The average number of dairy cows in the US during the quarter was 9.32m head, 14,000 head more than the January to March quarter, and 66,000 head more than the same period last year, it says.

The USDA in May forecast that milk production growth in the US is set to be lower than expected this year, but is set to return to strong growth in 2016.

It says milk production for 2016 is forecast to be 2.4% higher as improved forage availability and moderate feed costs are expected to support gains in milk per cow.

The USDA also forecast that cow numbers will also be slightly higher in 2016. This growth will take annual production to 94.1 billion litres.