Dairy Facts

  • New Mexico is seventh in the nation in milk production and produces about 600 million pounds of milk per month (about 4% of US total), which can be visualized as 150,000 tanker loads.
  • Milk production has increased over 30% since 2001. About half the milk is processed locally into cheese.
  • In 2007, 360,000 dairy cows; sixth in nation; record production of 7.64 billion pounds of milk.
  • With value-chain additions for labor, transport, processing and products, the dairy industry produced close to $2.7 billion in cash receipts. Dairy industry generates about 2,900 direct full-time jobs; 5,700 indirect jobs and 8,600 part-time related jobs. Total: 17,200 jobs.
  • CAFO cows produce 21,000 pounds of milk per year (about 2,600 gallons). Despite CAFO living conditions, cows remain seasonal. They produce 20% more in May; lowest in January.
  • New Mexico has the largest dairy herds in the nation (about 2,000 per herd). 98% of the herds exceeded 100 head; 0.2% had fewer than 100 (2004). In the upper Rio Grande (Bernalillo and Valencia), the herds average fewer than 500 head.
  • New Mexico has one organic dairy and no more than ten goat dairies.

Cattle Facts

  • About 10,000 families (farmers, ranchers and dairymen) raise one or more cattle that will become beef.
  • Cattle are New Mexico’s most locale-appropriate agriculture (see agro-ecoregion box) with a history of animal husbandry spanning 400 years. Most New Mexico consumers purchase beef imported from out of state from unknown origin.
  • New Mexico supports 1.58 million cattle and calves (2007). The beef industry is completely domestic-export oriented. More than 91% ship out to Texas, Colorado, Kansas and a few other states for finishing, slaughter and packing. Gross income of $909,000 (2006). In-State commercial slaughter: 11,000.
  • Grazing fees (2007); private ($15.10 per AUM), federal ($1.35), State ($3.86).
  • Organic: No slaughter facilities. 18 organic and grass-fed livestock operations. 64,634 acres are certified or rangeland (35,170 in 2005).
  • New Mexico spends $620 million dollars/year on meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, the most of any food group.
  • Major livestock feeds (tons) commercially sold: corn products, dairy and cattle feeds, distillers’ by- products, soybean products, cotton- seed and grain sorghum products, mineral feeds, molasses.
  • 85 to 102 feedlots (mostly small) for beef cattle (both finishing and complete feeding); 32 in the High Plains and 19 in the Arid Lowlands.
  • Cash receipts (2007): cattle/calves 9.5 million; feed crops $282 million. Some suppressed data.

Small Livestock

  • Certified organic operations: 5 beef, 2 lamb, one egg farm and one turkey operation.
  • NM estimates: 1,150 poultry and egg farms; 351 hog farms; 2,577 sheep/lamb and 1,500 goat operations. Bison farms (40), ducks (270), geese (180), llamas and alpacas (160). See Biocultural for goats, sheep, elk, deer, and bison.
  • Livestock, poultry and products: $1.6 billion (2007). Poultry and eggs (suppressed but around $24 million); hogs ($375,000); small ruminants (suppressed, probably over $5 million).