With the US dairy industry now it in its fifth year of low prices and third year of trade wounds, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation in the US, Jim Mulhern looks at what could come next.
There are over nine million dairy cows in the US, and the vast majority of them are Holsteins, large bovines with distinctive black-and-white (sometimes red-and-white) markings.
The amount of milk they produce is astonishing. So is their lineage. Media reports says when researchers at the Pennsylvania State University looked closely at the male lines a few years ago, they discovered more than 99% of them can be traced back to one of two bulls, both born in the 1960s.
That means among all the male Holsteins in the country, there are just two Y chromosomes.