(redirected from seasonal dairying)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


business of producing, processing, and distributing milk and milk products. Ninety percent of the world's milk is obtained from cows; the remainder comes from goats, buffaloes, sheep, reindeer, yaks, and other ruminants. In the United States, dairy products account for nearly 16% of the food consumed annually. California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota are the top five dairy states. About 17% of the milk produced is made into butterbutter,
dairy product obtained by churning the fat from milk until it solidifies. In most areas the milk of cows is the basis, but elsewhere that of goats, sheep, and mares has been used. Butter was known by 2000 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 35%–40% is sold as beverage milkmilk,
liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals as food for their young. The milk of the cow is most widely used by humans, but the milk of the mare, goat, ewe, buffalo, camel, ass, zebra, reindeer, llama, and yak is also used.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and the remainder is devoted to farm uses and the making of cheesecheese,
food known from ancient times and consisting of the curd of milk separated from the whey. The Production of Cheese

The milk of various animals has been used in the making of cheese: the milk of mares and goats by the ancient Greeks, camel's milk by the
..... Click the link for more information.
, concentrated milks, ice cream, dried milk solids (e.g., lactoselactose
or milk sugar,
white crystalline disaccharide (see carbohydrate). It has the same empirical formula (C12H22O11) as sucrose (cane sugar) and maltose but differs from both in structure (see isomer).
..... Click the link for more information.
 and caseincasein
, well-defined group of proteins found in milk, constituting about 80% of the proteins in cow's milk, but only 40% in human milk. Casein is a remarkably efficient nutrient, supplying not only essential amino acids, but also some carbohydrates and the inorganic elements
..... Click the link for more information.
), yogurt and sour cream, and other processed products. About 60% of total beverage milk sold is low-fat or skim milk, which surpassed whole milk in sales in 1987.

The development of modern dairying, which began around 1850, has been driven by the growth of urban markets and by scientific, technological, and economic factors: the invention of specialized machines, notably the cream separator (see separator, creamseparator, cream,
dairy machine used to separate fresh whole milk into cream and skim milk. Formerly the separation was made by the gravity method, allowing the cream to rise to the top of a pan and then skimming it off. C. G.
..... Click the link for more information.
) and mechanized milking machines (and more recently automatic, or robotic, milking machines); research in chemistry, physics, and bacteriology; the discovery of pasteurizationpasteurization
, partial sterilization of liquids such as milk, orange juice, wine, and beer, as well as cheese, to destroy disease-causing and other undesirable organisms.
..... Click the link for more information.
; the introduction of the test devised by American agricultural chemist S. M. Babcock for determining the fat content of milk; improved refrigeration and transportation; the discovery of new uses for the byproducts of milk processing; and increased milk productivity resulting from scientific feeding of cattlecattle,
name for the ruminant mammals of the genus Bos, and particularly those of the domesticated species, Bos taurus and B. indica. The term oxen, broadly used, refers also to closely related animals, such as the buffalo and the bison.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and the application of advanced biotechnology to breeding. Traditional small-scale dairy farms have increasingly been replaced by larger operations with herds of 1,000 cows or more.


See G. Schmidt and L. D. Van Vleck, Principles of Dairy Science (1988); K. Russell and K. Slater, The Principles of Dairy Farming (11th ed. 1991).

Full browser ?