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.
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.