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Best of NAMA 2020

By Karen Bohnert,

The following six states account for 62% of national milk production. (Artwork: Lindsey Pound Source: USDA)

Texas milk production growth has steadily rose over the last two decades. The latest USDA March 2022 Milk Production report shows the Lone Star State climbed 6.7%, which helped them push past Idaho, to now rank No. 3 for milk production.

According to Juan Piņeiro, Assistant Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist with Texas A&M, Texas's milk production has increased an impressive 190%, going from 5.1 billion lb. to 14.8 billion lb. from 2001 to 2020.

The expansion of milk processing capacity and new plant construction in the Panhandle has spurred the increase in both cow numbers and production that Texas has seen.

A privately-owned maker of Mexican-style cheese, Cacique LLC, is scheduled to begin operation of a processing facility in Amarillo this fall. Just 50 miles north, in Dumas, another plant is also under construction. A new Leprino mozzarella cheese and dairy ingredients plant is scheduled to break ground in Lubbock this summer, with anticipated completion in two phases by early 2026.

Additionally, northeast of the Panhandle, Hilmar Cheese Company is building a cheese and whey protein processing plant that is expected to be fully operational in 2024 in Dodge City, Kan.

"Some of the milk from the Texas panhandle will be diverted towards that plant," Piņeiro says.

To view the complete report, click here.

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