US milk production is showing no signs of slowing down, with July production up 1.4% on last year, the latest figures from the US Department of Agriculture show.

Milk production in the 23 major States during July totalled 16.8 billion pounds. Production per cow in the 23 major States averaged 1,946lbs for July, 24lbs above July 2015.

The figures also show that the number of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major States was 8.65m head, 19,000 head more than July 2015, and 2,000 head more than June 2016.

June revised production, at 16.7 billion pounds, was up 1.6%  from June 2015, with the June revision representing an increase of 9m pounds or 0.1% from last month's preliminary production estimate.

US milk production for 2017 is forecast to rise to 215.8 billion pounds, according to the latest US Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

This is up on the 215.6 billion pounds forecast in the last WASDE report in July.

Higher forecast milk prices and lower feed costs in late 2016 and 2017 are expected to lead to a modest expansion in the cow inventory and more rapid growth in milk per cow, it found.

The latest USDA forecast for dairy cow numbers in the US for the second and third quarter of 2016 has been lowered by 10,000 head.

For 2017, the USDA has forecast for dairy cow numbers to increase by 15,000 cows for 2017 to 9.335m.

The milk production forecast for the rest of 2016 is lowered from last month to 212.1 billion pounds as growth in milk per cow is reduced.