The Associated Press February 23, 2010, 11:40AM ET

Wis. narrows milk-production gap with Calif.

California still leads the nation in milk production, but second-place Wisconsin is slowly closing the gap.

Milk production in Wisconsin rose 5 percent last month compared to the previous January. That was the highest rate of increase in the nation.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin produced 2.2 billion pounds of milk last month. That's 97 million pounds more than in January 2009.

California, meanwhile, had a 2 percent drop over the same period. But it's still comfortably in the lead, having produced 3.4 billion pounds last month.

The other states with large increases were Washington, which was also up 5 percent, and Minnesota, which was up 4 percent.

Nationwide, production dipped one percent to 14.8 billion pounds.


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