US milk production increased to its highest ever level last year of just under 98bn litres thanks to bumper supply growth in key states such as California, Texas, New York, Idaho, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.

According to new figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), US dairy farmers pumped out a record 97.7bn litres of milk for all of last year.

This was up 2.1%, or an extra 2bn litres, on US milk supply levels in 2019. For context, US dairy farmers produce over 12 times more milk than Irish farmers.

Strong finish

The bumper year for US milk production was driven by a really strong finish to the year, with milk supply from September to December up between 2% and 3.5% each month. These are really strong growth figures from the world’s largest dairy producing country and will undoubtedly influence global sentiment.

A handful of key producing states in the midwest and southwest drove this late year surge, with California, the largest dairy producing state by far in the US, seeing production increase strongly in 2020 after some difficult years.

In the final three months of 2020, Californian milk production was up by more than 2% to hit 4.5bn litres.

In the midwest, Wisconsin is the largest dairy state and milk production in the final months of 2020 was up almost 3% year-on-year.

Likewise, there was a strong increase in milk supply in the final months of 2020 in New York (+2%), Texas (+9%), Idaho (+2%), Michigan (+4%) and Minnesota (+5%).