Dairy | How is Milk Used After the Farm

Last year, dairy farmers in the U.S. marketed nearly 152 billion pounds of milk. This milk was used to produce hundreds of different dairy products ranging from fluid milk to dry whey protein concentrate. However, nearly all of U.S. production is absorbed by just a few categories of dairy products. The following table gives a breakdown of the percentage of total-solids milk equivalent used to produce each major product category.


As you can see, fluid milk products absorb the greatest percentage of U.S. production - a whopping 34%. The next largest use of milk -32.7% - is for cheese and whey. Together these categories account for nearly 67% of all milk produced in the U.S.

What would happen if you were to process 100 pounds of your own milk into the major dairy products in the same proportion as the national milk supply?

Here's what you would get:

4.3 gallons of fluid milk
4.4 pounds of cheese
2.0 pounds American
1.7 pounds Italian
0.7 pounds of other cheese
1.1 gallons of ice cream
1.3 pounds of whey products
0.9 pounds of butter
2.6 pounds of soft dairy products
0.6 pounds of nonfat dry milk

That's a lot of good food from 100 pounds of milk!