The aim of this study was to determine the influence of the somatic cell content (SCC) of milk on Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese yield, produced in commercial cheese factories under field conditions. The study was carried out following the production of 56 batches of Parmigiano-Reggiano in 13 commercial cheese factories by processing milk collected from Italian Friesian cattle herds. The vat-milk (V-milk) used for making each cheese batch was obtained by mixing evening milk (partially skimmed following spontaneous separation of fat overnight, natural creaming) and morning milk. The batches of cheese produced were divided into 5 classes according to the SCC value of the evening milk determined prior to natural creaming (class 1, from 0 to 200 000; 2, 201 000–300 000; 3, 301 000–400 000; 4, 401 000–500 000; 5, over 501 000 cells/ml). The cheese yield was calculated as the amount of 24-h cheese, expressed in kilograms, obtained from 100 kg of V-milk (24 h ACY). The values of fat, crude protein, true protein, casein and 24 h ACY of V-milk were negatively correlated with the somatic cell score (SCS) of the evening milk. Conversely, a positive correlation was observed between chloride and SCS. Fat, protein fractions (crude protein, casein and whey proteins), P and titratable acidity of V-milk were positively correlated with its 24 h ACY, while chloride, pH and SCS showed a negative correlation. A significant drop in 24 h ACY was observed in classes 3, 4 and 5, therefore when the SCC of the evening milk exceeded 300 000 cells/ml. Finally a lower recovery of milk fat in cheese was observed as SCC of evening milk increase.