Top U.S. states based on milk production 2016-2018

This statistic shows the ten U.S. states with the highest amount of milk production from 2016 to 2018. California, was the leading producer, where 40.4 billion pounds of milk were produced in 2018.

Milk production

Dairy farming is an agricultural business which is engaged in the long-term milk production within the dairy industry. It is a large contributor to the overall economy in many states. California, Wisconsin, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania had the highest milk supply in 2016. The Badger State Wisconsin is also known as ‘Americas Dairyland’. The slogan is even engraved on its license plate.

The number of U.S. dairy farms has sharply decreased in the last decades, while dairy operations have ever-larger numbers of cows concentrated on a single farm. These extensive dairy farming conditions with a large herd size and a high milk output are seen as a profitable way for the milk industry in order to provide milk at relatively low cost for the consumer. Due to its high milk volume, the main cow used for milk production is the Holstein-Friesian. However, with this intensification of milking cows there comes a corresponding concentration of manure production which causes problems and challenges for the environment such as the risk of elevated nitrogen levels or contaminated ground water.

Due to these environmental impacts, many dairy operations in Wisconsin are now facing opposition regarding plans to expand their dairy herds.

Top 10 milk producing U.S. states from 2016 to 2018

201620172018
California40,46939,79840,413
Wisconsin30,12330,32030,579
Idaho14,66514,62715,149
New York14,76514,91214,882
Texas10,77312,05412,852
Michigan10,87611,23111,168
Pennsylvania10,82010,93810,665
Minnesota9,6669,8649,868
New Mexico7,7118,2128,285
Washington6,6506,5266,736
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Sources

Release date

March 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2016 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Excludes milk sucked by calves.

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Statistics on "Milk market in the U.S."

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