Chart: Wisconsin’s ever-more-efficient milk industry

August 1930: The Ingenues, an all-girls band and vaudeville act, serenading the cows in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dairy Barn in a scientific test of whether the cows would give more milk to the soothing strains of music. Wisconsin Historical Society, WHi Image ID 2115.

Found the following data while poking around at the National Agricultural Statistics Service for numbers to accompany our Dairyland Diversity project. The number of cows in Wisconsin peaked during World War II and has more or less fallen ever since.

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2 Responses to “Chart: Wisconsin’s ever-more-efficient milk industry”

  1. Kate, that’s a really interesting and amusing graph. Mark Perry’s blog post [1] with the price data added makes it even more interesting. Some of the comments on that post suggest that there may be negative health effects due to the means used for increasing the cows’ productivity. What are your thoughts on that?

    [1] http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/05/fewer-cows-more-milk-powered-by-tableau.html

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  1. [...] there was a blog post showing some interesting data about the milk production powers of Wisconsin’s super-efficient cows. So, let’s pick up that data and plot the total milk production for the last few [...]


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