5 faits rafraîchissants sur la production laitière

From your morning latte to late-night cookie dunks, cow milk is a source of joy and comfort to many Canadians. It’s easy to take this nourishing ingredient for granted without giving a second thought to all the hard work and dedication poured into every drop. Here are a few fun facts about dairy production that may help you savour your next glass just a tad more.

  1. Wisconsin is home to a record-breaking bovine.

The average Holstein cow produces 30 to 40 litres of milk daily, which is equivalent to roughly 24,575 lb per year. But a certain celebrity cow has hoofed its way well beyond these figures.

Meet the affectionately named Aftershock 3918, a prime bovine of the Selz-Pralle Dairy farm near Humbird, Wisconsin. In her fifth year of lactation in 2017, this overachiever set the world record for most milk produced in a year with a staggering 78,170 lb. This milk marvel consistently churned out between 95 and 127 litres daily.

In an interview with Dairy Herd, proud owners Scott Pralle and Pam Selz-Pralle shared some of the secrets to their farm’s success: being mindful of the smallest details, minimizing cow stress, focusing on disease prevention, maintaining consistency, keeping good daily habits, and motivating their team.

  • Chocolate milk was invented in Jamaica.

You may already be in on the trade secret that chocolate milk doesn’t come from brown cows. But did you know its origin can be traced back to the sunny shores of 15th-century Jamaica?

Historian James Delbougo claims that as far back as 1494, Jamaicans concocted “a hot beverage brewed from shavings of freshly harvested cacao, boiled with milk and cinnamon.”

Fast forward to the early 1700s, when the National History Museum in Britain reports that Irish botanist Sir Hans Sloane spent some time in Jamaica. Sloane had the opportunity to sample this local drink – and found it nauseating. He transformed the recipe into something more palatable and brought it back to England, where local apothecaries hawked it as a medicine for many years.

Only in the 19th century did the enterprising Cadbury Brothers pick up Sloane’s recipe and start producing chocolate milk on a grand scale for the world’s delight.  

  • India is (by far) the largest milk producer in the world.

When it comes to milk production, India stands in a league of its own. The 2023 Dairy Market Review by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expected milk production in India to hit a colossal 232 million tonnes. This leap is fuelled by increasing herd numbers and more efficient collection techniques by dairy cooperatives, nudging a 2.5% increase from the previous year.

To fully grasp India’s dairy dominance, consider this: with global milk production estimated at 950 million tonnes, nearly one in every four litres of milk comes from an Indian cow.

This staggering statistic completely dwarfs the production of its closest single-country rival, the United States, which ranks second with 103 million tonnes. (Production from all European Union countries is tallied collectively and adds up to 160 million tonnes).

Meanwhile, Canada’s estimated yield—shy of 10 million tonnes—places it 13th in this ranking.  

  • Canadian milk is considered one of the best worldwide.

Canadian milk may not top the charts for quantity, but it can certainly compete for quality. The Dairy Farmers of Canada proudly tout their product as “the highest quality milk in the world.” Skeptics may consider the organization a little biased, but there’s compelling evidence to back up this bold claim:

  • Canadian farmers collaborate with nutrition experts to ensure their cows receive a healthy, well-balanced diet, which is essential for crafting top-tier milk.
  • The only additives in local white milk are vitamins A and D, added as required by law to help boost Canadians’ intake of these essential nutrients. No preservatives are used from coast to coast.
  • Every dairy farm and processing plant in Canada implements stringent quality checks to ensure no trace of antibiotics lingers in the milk. Whenever antibiotics are needed, the milk from treated cows is discarded until it’s clear of residues and meets strict safety standards.
  • Using artificial growth hormones in dairy cows is prohibited in Canada. Despite increasing milk production, these products pose a risk to bovine health and stir concerns about their potential effects on human health.
  • There are more cows across Canada than people in Saskatchewan.

In 2023, AAFC tallied over 1.4 million dairy cows and heifers grazing across 9,443 commercial farms in Canada. To put this in perspective, these numbers surpass the human population of Saskatchewan, home to just over 1.2 million people. © Tous droits réservés | Plan du site | Politique de confidentialité | Cookies