front of freestall barns

The dairy industry is quickly evolving around the nation. That also includes the Northeast.

In May 2006, farms that sold over 1.5 million pounds per month represented a mere 13.5 percent of the region's production. That number swelled to nearly 30 percent just eight years later.

How many cows might be found on a farm that ships 1.5 million pounds of milk per month?

More than 833 bovines is the short answer.

Taking last year's average national milk production of 21,822 pounds of milk per cow yields roughly 60 pounds of milk per cow over 365 days. Take that 1.5 million pounds, divide by 30 days in a month, and divide 60 pounds per day, that yields an 833-cow dairy. Of course, this number doesn't include dry cows. It also doesn't consider the fact that some of the farms in the Northeast order are shipping well over 1.5 million pounds.

In all, 233 of the region's 11,553 farms were shipping over 1.5 million pounds this May, reported the Northeast Federal Order administrator. This group produced 45 percent of New York's milk; 38 percent in Vermont, but just shy of 11 percent of Pennsylvania's pooled milk.

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