A survey of 3,000 Wisconsin dairy producers predicts that cow numbers and milk production will rise over the next five years. That’s good news for the state’s dairy industry that has been losing producers, cows and milk the past few years.

The survey which was conducted by the Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service was sent to dairy producers in May and June of 2002. Using the assumption that milk prices would be similar to the past five years, producers were asked their intentions for the next five years.

Based on the survey, 60 percent plan to stay the same size, and 20 percent plan to expand. If producers follow through with their intentions, the Wisconsin dairy herd could hit 1.4 million cows by 2007. This would be the highest level since 1997.

The survey predicts that average herd size will climb from 73 cows to 101 cows by 2007. And with that growth in cow numbers comes growth in milk production. The survey estimates that milk production in the state could increase from the current 22 billion pounds per year to 26 billion pounds per year by 2007.

Some of that milk production increase will be from an increase in cow numbers, but some of it will also be from the adoption of new technology and improvements in cow genetics. Two things that many producers are already utilizing to increase their milk per cow.

For more details from the survey, click here. (James, link to http://aae.wisc.edu/future/news/dyopinion.pdf

Minneapolis Star Tribune, Associated Press