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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Review: Perspective on high-performing dairy cows and herds

Britt, J. H.; Cushman, R. A.; Dechow, C. D.; Dobson, H.; Humblot, P.; Hutjens, M. F.; Jones, G. A.; Mitloehner, F. M.; Ruegg, P. L.; Sheldon, I. M.; Stevenson, J. S.


Milk and dairy products provide highly sustainable concentrations of essential amino acids and other required nutrients for humans; however, amount of milk currently produced per dairy cow globally is inadequate to meet future needs. Higher performing dairy cows and herds produce more milk with less environmental impact per kg than lower performing cows and herds. In 2018, 15.4% of the world's dairy cows produced 45.4% of the world's dairy cow milk, reflecting the global contribution of high-performing cows and herds. In high-performing herds, genomic evaluations are utilized for multiple trait selection, welfare is monitored by remote sensing, rations are formulated at micronutrient levels, health care is focused on prevention and reproduction is managed with precision. Higher performing herds require more inputs and generate more waste products per cow, thus innovations in environmental management on such farms are essential for lowering environmental impacts. Our focus is to provide perspectives on technologies and practices that contribute most to sustainable production of milk from high-performing dairy cows and herds. (C) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Animal Consortium.


Environment; Genetics; Health; Management; Reproduction

Published in

2021, volume: 15, article number: 100298
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Britt, J. H.
North Carolina State University (NC State)
Cushman, R. A.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Dechow, C. D.
Pennsylvania State University
Dobson, H.
University of Liverpool
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Hutjens, M. F.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Jones, G.A.
Central Sands Dairy
Mitloehner, F. M.
University of California Davis
Ruegg, P. L.
Michigan State University
Sheldon, I. M.
Swansea University
Stevenson, J. S.
Kansas State University

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Environmental Management

Publication Identifiers


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