January milk production in the 23 major milk producing States in the US rose by 2.7% when compared with January 2016, latest figures show.

Figures released by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) also show the number of cows being milked in these 23 major states also increased in January of this year.

Milk production in the 23 major states during January totalled 17 billion pounds, an increase of 2.7% from the corresponding month last year.

The USDA also published revised production figures for December milk production, at 16.8 billion pounds, meaning production was up 2.6% on December 2015.

The December revision represented a decrease of 2m pounds, or less than 0.1% from last month's preliminary production estimate, according to the USDA.

Production Per Cow for January Reaches Record Highs

Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,957 pounds for January, which was 37 pounds above January 2016, figures show.

This represented the highest production per cow for the month of January since the 23-state series began in 2003.

Meanwhile, the number of dairy cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.69m head last month, 67,000 head more than January 2016 and 5,000 head more than December 2016, the latest figures show.

The USDA also announced revised production figures for both 2015 and 2016, meaning annual milk production last year was up 1.8% in the US when compared with 2015 figures.

The annual production of milk for the US during 2016 was 212 billion pounds, with annual total milk production in the US increasing by 14.4% since 2007.

The USDA believe the increased milk production in 2016 can be attributed in part to relatively low feed prices in the latter part of 2015 and throughout 2016.

In 2016 the production per cow in the US averaged 22,774 pounds, putting it slightly above 2015 levels.

The average annual rate of milk production per cow has increased by 12.7% over the last decade in the US.

Figures from the USDA also revealed that the average number of dairy cows on farms in the US during 2016 was 9.33m head, an increase of 0.2% from 2015 or an increase of 1.5% in the last 10 years.

This also represented the highest annual average number of dairy cows in the US since 1996, according to USDA figures.