When you walk through the grocery store dairy aisle, you might wonder how much dairy cows work to produce those dozens of full gallons on the store shelves. 

The latest numbers, from February 2021 through February 2023, record 631.25 million pounds of milk were produced in February 2023. The data was published in April 2023. In 2021, a single dairy cow produced 23,950 pounds. 

While dairy cows are in each of the 50 states, the five top milk producing states in 2021 were California, Wisconsin, Idaho, Texas, and New York, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. These states produced 50% of the country’s milk, the USDA website reports. 

In case you wonder, the dairy industry measures milk by pounds — not gallons — for accuracy.

Type of work:

News Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

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Suzanne BehnkeDigital EditorDigital Editor

In addition to her work at Investigate Midwest, Behnke is an adjunct faculty member at Simpson College and the student newspaper faculty adviser at Wartburg College, both in Iowa. Previously, she has been...