Lindsay Mitchell

Jun 06, 2013  |  Today's News

It’s the sixth day of June, and I doubt you’ve made it this far without reading that June is Dairy Month. It’s a time to celebrate dairy farmers, appreciate the nutritional benefits of milk and milk products, and learn more about the U.S. dairy industry.So without further ado …

Here are a few things you might not know about the Illinois dairy industry, its impact on the state, and how your corn plays a part in the final product.

· It takes 1.8 pounds of corn to produce one gallon of milk.

· That’s 19.3 cents of corn in every gallon of milk you purchase (based on $6 per bushel corn.)

· Dairy farming in Illinois generates a total economic impact of $529 million and more than 20,000 Illinois jobs.

· Feed makes up more than 60% of the cost of producing milk.But because Illinois leads the nation in corn production and can eliminate the transportation costs of moving feed to the herds, Illinois is a great place to consider raising dairy cattle.

· Dairy cattle numbers in Illinois have seen their third straight year of growth with 100,000 head in 2012.

· Only six percent of Illinois corn is used to feed livestock. That’s all sectors – dairy, beef, and pork. This is because of Illinois’ strong river system and the ease and availability of the export market.

· Nationally, 38 percent of the corn crop is used to feed livestock.

· Illinois is a milk deficient state. Due to our high population center (Chicago) we consume significantly more milk than we produce.

· We have been celebrating June as Dairy Month since 1937 when we established June as a month to promote dairy to help stabilize dairy demand during periods of peak production.