MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Wisconsin is still the big cheese.

The state's cheesemakers produced 2.09 billion pounds of cheese in 1995, besting the record the state set in 1992 by 40 million pounds, according to new figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin, dubbed the Dairy State, produced more than twice as much cheese as its nearest competitor, California, and accounted for 30 percent of the 6.9 billion pounds made in the United States in 1995.

California produced 921 million pounds. The other top runners-up included Minnesota with 678 million pounds, New York with 557 million and Idaho with 390 million, statistician Kevin Hintzman said Friday.

California remains No. 1 in milk _ a title it captured from Wisconsin in 1993 _ as well as butter and ice cream production. Wisconsin is second in milk and butter, while Pennsylvania is No. 2 in ice cream.

California produced 25.3 million pounds of milk last year, compared with 22.9 million pounds in Wisconsin.