August 6, 2019

Wisconsin Dairy Farm Losses Continue Unabated

Top Story  |   |  By: Jim Dickrell

Wisconsin lost another 42 dairy farms in July, and since January 1, has lost 491 farms, reports the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

At this rate, the Dairy State could lose 735 dairy farms this year, which would be a decline of 9%. In 2018, the state lost 691 farms, a rate of decline of 7.9%.

Over the last decade the state has lost more than 5,000 farms, or 40% of its licensed dairy farms. To state the obvious, the current rate of exits is more than double that of the last decade.

Cow numbers are not declining as rapidly, however. Since January, Wisconsin cow numbers have declined just 2,000 head to 1.268 million. The average  cows per farm, as a result has ticked up from 157 cows per herd in January to 166 in August.