The genetic revolution that has taken place over the last thirty years has resulted in the possibility of achieving average herd milk output per lactation of greater than 12,000 litres. In fact, the current world record for 365 day milk production stands at 32,000 litres from a third lactation Holstein cow in Wisconsin.
The global demand for dairy products is rising, particularly in Asia. However, global milk prices in dairy exporting countries has and will continue to be subject to increasing volatility, leading to uncertainty surrounding the future viability of the industry. The sustainability of the dairy industry is dependent on increased productivity and improved efficiency. In all regions productivity is becoming a function of scale. Efficiency is a function of output per unit of production – the cow – and cost per litre of milk.