North American dairy cows produce 6% more milk, consume 4% less feed and use 13% less land than they did in 2007, according to a new study from three lobbying groups.
The study — released Tuesday by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, the National Milk Producers Federation and Dairy Farmers of America — also said modern dairy cattle produce 8% less emissions and consume 6% less water than they did 14 years ago.
The groups equate the GHG emission reductions to taking four million cars off the road and say water savings are enough to supply New York City for two years.
North America is home to only 4% of the world's cows but produces 15% of its milk, according to the study. The continent's milk yield increased 3.5 times between 1960 and 2020, in contrast to 1.5 times in the rest of the world.
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The study also found the average herd size was twice as large in 2020 as it was in 2003.
“These improvements are the result of genetics, technology, farm management practices and other innovations that benefit cow, dairy farmer, environment and society,” Chad Huyser, the president of Lely North America, said in a release.
The study was released at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., Tuesday.
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