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April 11, 2019

Wisconsin Loses Another 212 Dairy Farms in First Quarter, 2019

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection reports that Wisconsin has lost another 212 dairy farms in the first quarter of 2019.

On April 1, the number of licensed dairy farms in Wisconsin stood at 7,898.

If the current rate of farm exits continues, the state is on pace to lose 850 dairy farms this year, which would represent a loss of more than 10%. In all of 2018, Wisconsin lost 691 dairy farms, or 7.9%.

Since 2015, when the current milk price crisis started, Wisconsin has lost nearly 2,200 farms, a decline of 22%.

Note, however, that even in the record milk price year of 2014, 461 Wisconsin dairy farmers (4.4%) called it quits. These exits were likely due to farmers simply aging out and retiring, or taking advantage of high cow prices brought on by the record milk prices.