Fewer Cows But More Milk Through 2020

May 17, 2011 08:44 PM

Trend reflects transition from smaller, diversified farms to larger, specialized dairies.

After a 4-year increase during 2005-08, milk cow numbers fell in 2009 and 2010 and are projected to continue year-to-year declines in 2012-20, reports USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
Milk production is projected to continue rising in 2012-20, as continued technological and biological developments increase milk output per cow, ERS says.
Cow numbers are projected to decERS milk cows chart 5 11line at lower rates toward the end of the 2012-20 projection period as the transition in most regions from smaller, diversified farms to larger, specialized dairy operations matures.  
This chart appears in the June 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

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