Milk production in the US in February increased by 2.3% compared to the same month in 2016, latest figures show.

Production statistics had to be adjusted to account for 2016 being a leap year, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Otherwise, if the adjustments are not taken into account, milk production in the US during the month of February would have fallen.

Milk production in the US during February totalled 16.7 billion pounds, down 1.2% from February 2016 (without the adjustment).

Production per cow in the US averaged 1,782 pounds last February; 33 pounds below the levels witnessed 12 months previously, USDA figures show.

Last February, the number of dairy cows on farms in the US also increased to 9.37m head.

This represented an increase of 56,000 head on February 2016 figures and 4,000 head more than January 2017.

Meanwhile, milk production in the 23 major states during February totalled 15.7 billion pounds, a drop of 1% from February 2016.

However, production was 2.5% above last year after adjusting for the leap year, according to the USDA.

The USDA also revised production figures for the month of January, to 17 billion pounds. This meant that production now stood 2.6% higher than the same month in 2016.

The January revision represented a decrease of 4m pounds, or less than 0.1%, from last month's preliminary production estimate, the USDA added.

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,801 pounds for February, 32 pounds below February 2016, figures show.

The population of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major states stood at 8.69m head last month. This was a jump of 66,000 compared to February 2016 and 3,000 head more than January of this year.

Prices rise by 1.7% at latest Global Dairy Trade event

Meanwhile, yesterday's Global Dairy Trade (GDT) event in New Zealand concluded with the price index increasing by 1.7%.

Despite the price index increase, skimmed milk powder (SMP) prices dropped by 10.1% at the auction.

IFA Dairy Committee Chairman Sean O’Leary welcomed the bounce back in prices paid at the auction.

“But we can’t read too much into one event. One disappointing aspect of the GDT result is the continuing decline in SMP prices," he said.

“Of more specific interest to Irish dairy farmers is the monthly Purchase Price Index from Ornua. It is currently pointing towards a farm-gate milk price in Ireland of around 33c/L," he said.