Milk collection is a key moment. Cows never stop producing milk. On average, a cow produces 6,800 litres of milk, at a rate of 2 milkings a day. To produce quality milk, a cow needs to eat between 60 and 80 kg of grass, hay or silage a day.
Milk must be processed no later than 72 hours after milking, and dairies need a continuous supply to ensure that it is processed.
Milk collection varies according to the season. In France, milk collection peaks in May. This is because more milk is produced at this time of year.
Cows are calved and put out to grass in spring (March), when the grass grows best.
This seasonal pattern varies from country to country. For example, it is more marked in France than in Germany, and less so than in Ireland or New Zealand.