5. Dairy

Dairy is the largest agricultural industry in Pennsylvania as determined by value of sales and ranks fifth in the U.S. with sales nearing $2 billion.  There are 530,000 dairy cows in the state on 6,720 farms, with average dairy farm herd size at 72 cows.  Milk production per cow averages just over 20,000 pounds.  

Whether you have plans to produce fluid milk for sale to a cooperative or to process and direct market your own fluid milk and/or dairy products, producing high quality milk from healthy cows is essential.

In addition to the information and resources you find here, eXtension provides a variety of articles and resources related to dairy business and production.

Milk cows are the income generator for dairy farms. However, without proper nutrition and herd management, along with keen business, human resource, nutrient, and feed management, a dairy farm will be a difficult business to operate.

Calves and heifers are the next generation on the dairy farm and their health and management will strongly influence the future of the business.