Air Emissions and Animal Agriculture

Dairy Cows

There is a concentration of dairy farms in the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and the Northeastern states of Pennsylvania and New York. The dairy farms in this region tend to be smaller than in other areas of the United States. In those six states, only 5% of the dairy farms have milking cow inventories greater than 500 head. In Pennsylvania, less than 1% of milk cow herds exceed 500 head. In Wisconsin, 2% of the dairy farms have more than 500 head. With 14,000 dairy farms, Wisconsin leads the nation in number of dairy farms, but with 1.2 million milking cows it is second to California which, with 1.8 million milk cows, leads the United States in milking cow inventory.

Dairies in California and Idaho tend to be much larger than the Northeastern and Great Lakes states’ dairies. In California, 51% of the dairies have more than 500 head in the herd. In Idaho, only 28% of the herds exceed 500 milk cows. The size of dairy farms in Colorado, Texas and Washington tend to be similar to Idaho with 13%, 15% and 17%, respectively, having greater than 500-head inventories.

The top five locations for dairies in the United States are California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania and Idaho. Based on the value of products sold, 54% of the dairy products produced in the United States originate in one of these five states.

In the table and map below, you can see the concentration of dairy farms in the United States through the Great Lakes region and in California.



USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, Maps

USDA-NASS, 2007, 2007 Census of Agriculture, State Level Data by State


Last Updated 09/07/2011