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New York reclaims status as third largest milk producer in U.S.

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New York state surpassed Idaho in 2013 to become the third largest producer of milk in the country, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced.

The state, previously ranked fourth, passed Idaho by 57 million pounds to reclaim the number three spot that it had held from 1972 to 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. California and Wisconsin are ranked first and second.

State milk production last year increased by 2.2 percent from 2012, exceeding the national growth rate of 0.4 percent. The state tallied an increase in milk production for the fourth straight year.

Increased milk production is being fueled in part by the state’s booming yogurt industry. In addition, the statewide yield per cow increased by 10.2 percent from 2009 to 2013.

The state is ranked as the number one producer of cream cheese and cottage cheese in the country.

The north country is home to Kraft Foods’ Philadelphia Cream Cheese facility in Lowville, the world’s largest cream cheese plant. Crowley Foods in LaFargeville produces cottage cheese and yogurt.

“New York state has recaptured its spot as one of the top three milk producers in the country, proving that our efforts to create new economic opportunities for the dairy industry are working,” Gov. Cuomo said in a release. “Milk production is fueling thousands of jobs across upstate New York, revitalizing communities and providing a variety of nutritious products for millions of consumers across the country.”

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