The number of milk cows in the United States generally fell in the 1980s and 1990s and has been relatively flat over past 15 years. However, milk output has risen more than 50 percent since 1980 and now exceeds 200 billion pounds per year. Genetic developments and technological improvements underlie a pronounced upward trend in milk output per cow. Consolidation in the dairy sector also has facilitated efficiency gains in milk production.
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