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Minnesota's milk cow numbers rank sixth in nation

"Dairy farmers are part of the backbone of our country, and with June being dairy month, it gives everyone a great opportunity to show dairy farmers some much-deserved appreciation," said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) president.

MFU thanks all the dairy farmers for the healthy and fresh milk they produce, and applauds them for all their hard work, Peterson said.

MFU is working to improve the bottom line for dairy farmers, according to Peterson.

"Already this year, we helped pass the Livestock Investment Grant Program on the state level, which provides $1 million in funding for qualified infrastructure improvements," said Peterson. "And on the federal level, the restoration of the 45 percent payment rate of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program."

According to the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service for Minnesota in 2007, which means the statistical data is taken from 2006, Minnesota is 6th in milk cows, and milk production; 5th in total cheese and ice cream; and 4th in American cheese.

As far as the county rankings go for milk cows, they are as follows: Stearns, Morrison, Winona, Otter Tail, Goodhue, Wabasha, Todd, Stevens, Fillmore, and Benton. Milk production is: Stearns, Winona, Morrison, Otter Tail, Goodhue, Wabasha, Todd, Fillmore, Benton and Stevens.

Minnesota's milk production totaled 8.36 billion pounds in 2006, up 2 percent from 2005. The state's share of national production in 2006 was 5 percent. The 12-month average number of milk cows was 450,000 versus 453,000 in 2005. The pounds of milk per milk cow averaged a record high of 18,587, up from 18,091 pounds in 2005. The number of dairy farms licensed to sell milk to plants in January 2007 totaled 5,187 compared to 5,384 for January 2006, and 5,638 for January 2005.

For milk production by size of farm Minnesota had: 2.5 percent with 1-29 cows (2.5 percent in 2005); 13 percent with 30-49 cows (15 percent in 2005); 32 percent with 50-99 cows (34 percent in 2005); 17 percent with 100-199 cows (17 percent in 2005); 18 percent with 200-499 cows (17 percent in 2005); and 17.5 percent with 500-plus cows (14.5 percent in 2005).

The total million pounds of milk produced in Minnesota is 8,364 (8,195 in 2005), of which 100 million pounds were fed to calves (95 in 2005); 5 million consumed by the farm household (5 in 2005); and 8,259 million sold to plants and dealers (8,095 in 2005). Cash receipts were 1,073,670 in 1,000 dollars (1,246,630 in 2005), and producer gross income was 1,074,320 in 1,000 dollars (1,247,400 in 2005).