California’s cows may be the happiest, but Wisconsin’s were the most productive in the United States earlier this summer, according to early estimates from the National Agriculture Statistics Service. The Chippewa Herald reports that for the first time since 1958, Wisconsin’s milk production outpaced California in June and July.
However, ag economists don’t see this trend lasting. Wisconsin’s surge in milk production can be explained by the higher quality feed that farmers feed their herds. In California, where drought conditions persist and the cost of feed rises, farmers are resorting to purchasing less expensive and less nutritious feed. California has been able to maintain a consistent per-cow production rate up through last year, and it isn’t out of the question for Wisconsin to top California this year.
In 2014, California’s dairy industry produced a record 42.3 billion pounds of milk, compared to Wisconsin’s 27.8 billion pounds.
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