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Record cold February hurts Wisconsin milk production

Cows eating hay on a Midwest dairy farm. (Reuters)
Cows eating hay on a Midwest dairy farm. (Reuters)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's coldest winter in two decades kept taking a toll on the state's dairy cows last month.

New federal figures show that Wisconsin's milk production dropped by another two percent from a year ago, to around 2.1 billion pounds.

February was the fourth month in a row that Wisconsin has had year-to-year drops in its milk output. The average production per cow fell another 35 pounds -- something that's been blamed directly on the much larger number of sub-zero days this winter.  

Wisconsin's dairy herd has remained steady at just over 1.25 million cows.

Meanwhile, top producing California has extended its lead over second place Wisconsin. The Golden State boosted its output by 5.3 percent from a year ago, to 3.4 billion pounds. California added a thousand cows, and its production per cow jumped by 95 pounds.

Nationally, the USDA said milk production totaled almost 16 billion pounds last month, up by 1.1 percent from a year ago.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)