There are half as many dairy farms as there were in 2003

According to an Investigate Midwest analysis of USDA data, we’ve lost a large number of U.S. dairy farms in the last two decades.

This article is republished from The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. Read the original article here.

There are less than half of the licensed dairy farms in the United States than nearly two decades ago, according to an analysis of USDA data. 

In 2019, the number of dairy farms licensed to sell milk has declined 50 percent to 34,000 from just over 70,000 in 2003. 

A wave of farm closures hit many traditional dairy states in the Northeast and Midwest, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. In 2019, the latest year with USDA data available, more than 3,200 dairy farms shut down. 

As Americans are drinking less and less cow milk every year and the production is at a surplus, it has created a supply-demand imbalance, which has resulted in the dairy farms shutdowns.

According to the National Farmers Union, over 94,000 family dairy farms closed from 1992 to 2018.

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Pramod Acharya is an investigative journalist, data reporter, and multimedia content producer. As a Research Assistant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he produced data-driven and investigative news reports for Journalism Department newsroom CU-CitizenAccess. He previously worked as the Assistant Editor at the Center for Investigative Journalism Nepal, and was a Dart fellow at Columbia University and Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN).