While all farms strive to produce quality milk, it appears that midsized to larger farms do a better job achieving that goal. That’s according to the paper, Analysis of Component Levels and Somatic Cell Count in Individual Herd Milk at the Farm Level.

While Table 5A of that paper looks at farm size based on pounds of milk shipped in a given month, we standardized it based on milk cows. If the national herd averaged 22,774 pounds of milk per cow, each cow would produce 62.4 pounds per day. Given that assessment, here are the cell counts for the various herd sizes in the Upper Midwest Federal Milk Marketing Order during 2016:

• Under 25 cows, 311,000 somatic cell count (SCC)

• 26 to 50 cows, 276,000 SCC

• 51 to 125 cows, 233,000 SCC

• 126 to 200 cows, 209,000 SCC

• 201 to 300 cows, 204,000 SCC

• 301 to 500 cows, 197,000 SCC

• 501 to 775 cows, 192,000 SCC

• 776 to 1,300 cows, 190,000 SCC

• 1,301 to 2,500 cows, 204,000 SCC

• Over 2,500 cows, 195,000 SCC

States that ship milk in the Upper Midwest Federal Milk Marketing Order include: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, Illinois, North Dakota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
January 8, 2018
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