What Will Dairy Cows and Farms Look Like in 50 Years?

dairy cows and farms are growing.

Milk per cow will continue to grow over the next 50 years. The question is, will it be a linear or exponential trend?

The linear curve projects about 37,000 pounds of milk per cow in 2066, while the curved line reaches 78,000 pounds per cow. Our forecasters from a wide array of dairy disciplines believed that production would be about midpoint of this range — 57,500 pounds per cow. This 57,000-pound figure represents a tremendous amount of milk per cow.

Projections, along with those from other dairy specialists, indicate the number of cows and herds in the U.S. will decline sharply by 2066. If milk consumption is similar to today’s per capita or per person consumption, we will need around 5 million cows to produce the milk, depending on actual yield per cow. At 3,500 cows per herd, that means that we could produce the country’s milk with 1,300 to 1,900 herds, depending on the actual production level per cow.

To read the full article and see the figures in a table, click here.


Article is from Hoard's Dairyman, APR. 2017

Tags: Farm Management