America’s Dairyland stayed true to its name last year as the state set another record for total milk production. The latest government figures from the USDA confirmed that Wisconsin produced 30.5 billion pounds of milk in 2018, about one percent more than the previous record of 30.3 billion harvested in 2017. Milk per cow also rose to an all-time high of 24,002 pounds, up 277 pounds from the year earlier.
As of January 1, there were 8,110 licensed milk cow operations in the state. That was down 691 from a year ago, and the fourth consecutive year that the herd count was below the 10,000 mark in generations.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s overall livestock inventory decreased slightly last year. As of January 1, about 3.5 million head of cattle were counted in the state.
The total number of milk cows at year’s end was around 1.27 million head, about 5,000 less than the previous year–keeping Wisconsin second behind California for number of milk cows.