Milk production in the US continues to remain ahead of 2014 levels with September production up 0.4% on the same month last year, data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows.

According to the data, milk production in the 23 major milk producing states in September 2015 totalled 15.6 billion pounds (7.1 billion litres).

August revised milk production at 16.3 billion pounds (7.4 billion litres), was up 0.9% from August 2014.

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,805 pounds (820L) for September, 1 pound below September 2014, the USDA data shows.

According to the USDA, this is the second highest milk production per cow for the month of September since the 23 state series began in 2003.

The number of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.63m head, 41,000 head more than September 2014, but unchanged from August 2015.

Milk production in the US during the July – September quarter totaled 51.6 billion pounds (23.4 billion litres), up 0.9% from the July – September quarter last year, the USDA found.

The average number of dairy cows in the US during the quarter was 9.31m head, 7,000 head fewer than the April – June quarter, but 43,000 head more than the same period last year, according to the data.

Image: USDA

Image: USDA

EU milk production forecast to be 1% higher this year

In 2015, milk deliveries in the EU are expected around 1% above last year and a further increase might be expected in 2016, the European Commissions Short-Term Outlook predicts.

Clear differences can be noticed between Member States with expected strong increases in volumes in the Netherlands, Ireland, Poland, the UK, Spain and Denmark, according to the outlook.

It found, however, that 2015 production should be lower than last year in France and Germany.

This overall increase might seem surprising given the strong reduction in the price of dairy commodities and of raw milk observed in the last months, however the time-lag from reduced milk prices to change in production levels is usually several months, it said.