Milk production in Wis., Minn. essentially steady

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Milk production declined across most of the nation in February, but Wisconsin and Minnesota weathered the decrease better than most other states.

Wisconsin dairy farmers harvested 2.2 billion pounds in February, essentially unchanged from February of last year. And Minnesota produced 728 million pounds, a 1 percent dip.

The production decreases were more pronounced in the other dairy-producing states, ranging from a 2 percent decrease in New York and Pennsylvania to an 8 percent drop in California. Michigan's production rose 1 percent.

Nationwide, milk production fell 3 percent to 14.6 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA isn't speculating on the cause for the decrease, but it points out that February 2012 was a leap year so it includes data from an extra day.

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