Adair ranks second in milk production


Adair County has always been known as a “dairy county.”
While the industry has witnessed tremendous change in recent years, local milk producers have been able to keep Adair County as a state leader in milk production.
Adair is now ranked the number two top milk producing county in Kentucky. As some producers have retired or left the industry, others have increased their herds, leading cow numbers in the county to remain stable.
Nick Roy, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said producers have not only increased their herds, but they have also invested in ways to increase their average production per cow.
“It used to be it was good to get 60 pounds, but we are seeing 80 pounds and higher now and some at 90 pounds,” Roy said.
There are currently 19 dairies in Adair County producing more than $22 million worth of milk per year.
On a state level, according to 2023 USDA and NASS Data, Kentucky has 349 dairy farms with a typical herd of about 125 milking cows. Each of these approximately 45,000 dairy cows produce an average of 7.8 gallons of milk per day. The average value of a day’s milk per cow was about $14 in 2023. In 2023, a dairy cow in Kentucky cost about $1,800. The total amount of milk produced in 2023 in Kentucky equaled 110 million gallons, or 946 million pounds.   
The top three milk-producing counties in Kentucky are Logan, Adair, and Barren.      
Kentucky dairy farmers made $243 million from selling dairy products, including milk, in 2022. 

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