Johne's disease ('paratuberculosis') is a chronic, infectious, wasting disease that affects dairy cattle. Estimation of its impact on herd productivity and corresponding economic loss on US dairy operations was part of the USDA National Animal Health Monitoring System's (NAHMS) 1996 national dairy study. Johne's-positive herds experience an economic loss of almost US$ 100 per cow when compared to Johne's-negative herds due to reduced milk production and increased cow-replacement costs. For Johne's-positive herds that reported at least 10% of their cull cows as having clinical signs consistent with Johne's disease, economic losses were over US$ 200 per cow. These high-prevalence herds experienced reduced milk production of over 700 kg per cow, culled more cows but had lower cull-cow revenues, and had greater cow mortality than Johne's-negative herds. Averaged across all herds, Johne's disease costs the US dairy industry, in reduced productivity, US$ 22 to US$ 27 per cow or US$ 200 to US$ 250 million annually.