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May 7, 2018

Which State Milked The Most Cows In 2017?

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

USDA released their annual milk cows and production report on Wednesday. Despite all the news of farm exits and cows leaving the system in California, it remains the state with the most milk cows at 1,749,000 cows. However, cow numbers did decline by 13,000 cows in 2017 compared to 2016. Wisconsin followed closely behind the Golden State with 1,278,000 down just 1,000 cows from 2016.

California and Wisconsin have battled for the title of the most milk cows for generations.

In 1970, Wisconsin farmers milked the most cows, with 1,814,000 cows. In 1985 the number of milk cows in Wisconsin peaked at 1,876,000 cows, the most ever recorded by USDA as being milked in a single state.

It wasn’t until 1998 that California secured the top spot in terms of milk cows, with 1,420,000 cows. That year, Wisconsin farmers were milking 1,369,000 cows. The most cows ever milked in the Golden State was 1,844,000 cows in 2008. In 2009, numbers fell sharply to 1,796,000.