WASHINGTON — March production of nonfat dry milk was up slightly while production of skim milk powders was down sharply from a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its latest

Dairy Products report.

Nonfat dry milk production in March was 135,576,000 lbs, up slightly from March 2008 and up 10% from February 2009. Output of skim milk powders was 24,432,000 lbs, down 29% from the previous year but up 8% from the previous month.

Manufacturers’ stocks of edible nonfat dry milk on March 31 were 185,579,000 lbs, up 22% from the previous year but down 2% from the previous month.

Total dry whey production was 92,303,000 lbs, down 6% from March 2008. Production of lactose was 59,224,000 lbs, down 8%, and total whey protein concentrate production was 33,840,000 lbs, down 6% from March 2008, the U.S.D.A. said. Dry buttermilk outturn was 5,771,000 lbs, down 5% from a year ago.

Total manufacturers’ stocks of dry whey on March 31 were 53,320,000 lbs, down 23% from the previous year, including 51,299,000 lbs for human use, down 22%, and 2,021,000 lbs for animal use, down 42%. Whey protein concentrate stocks totaled 36,559,000 lbs, down 10% from the previous year. Total lactose stocks were 86,757,000 lbs, up 6% from the previous year. Dry buttermilk stocks were 5,209,000 lbs, down 51% from last year.

Butter production in March was 145,252,000 lbs, down 4% from March 2008 and down slightly from February 2009.

Cheese production in March totaled 870,692,000 lbs, up 4% from the previous year and up 13% from February 2009.

Production of regular hard ice cream in March was 75,355,000 gallons, down 1% from the previous year. Low-fat ice cream production was 35,534,000 gallons, up 6% from the previous year.