By Olivia McClure LSU AgCenter
FRANKLINTON, La. – The dairy herd at the LSU AgCenter Southeast Research Station in Franklinton has broken a record for milk production, reaching the highest rolling herd average ever documented in Louisiana.
The station’s rolling herd average, which indicates the average amount of milk a cow produced in the previous 12 months, hit 25,097 pounds at the December 2016 measurement, said AgCenter dairy specialist Charlie Hutchison. A gallon of milk equals 8.6 pounds.
This marks the first time a rolling herd average has surpassed 25,000 pounds in Louisiana.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean every cow in the herd is going to milk 25,000 pounds because it’s based on milk production and numerous other factors, such as calving interval, percentage of cows in the herd in milk each month and days dry,” Hutchison said.
He attributes the herd’s increased production to good nutrition and a strong breeding program.
Rolling herd averages are among several types of data tracked by the Dairy Herd Improvement Association, a national dairy producer cooperative.
The Southeast Research Station is located in Washington Parish, which is one of the top dairy-producing parishes in Louisiana. The station has 80 head of cattle.
The previous state record of 24,876 pounds was set in November 2007 at the AgCenter Dairy Science Research Farm in Baton Rouge.