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Wisconsin Dairy Herds Slip Below 10,000
May 9, 2015

The number of Wisconsin dairy farms licensed to sell milk fell below 10,000 this spring, down about 33% from 2005.

As of April 1, 2015, there were 9,992 Grade A and Grade B dairies licensed in Wisconsin, down 415 from one year earlier. The numbers dipped further during April, with 9,929 dairies as of May 1.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection’s Division of Food Safety provides monthly data on dairies licensed to sell milk commercially in the state. The data does not differentiate whether a dairy left the business, or combined with another dairy to form a larger one.

In 1950 — the first year Wisconsin tracked dairy farm numbers – the state had 143,000 dairy farms out of 3.6 million in the U.S., about 4% of the total. With fewer than 50,000 dairy farms in the U.S. today, and Wisconsin at about 10,000, the state now has about 20% of the nation’s dairy herds.

By Dave Natzke
Source: Dairy Herd Management


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