Wisconsin continues losing dairy farms but not milk production

Mark Stephenson speaks to Wisconsin’s Ag Secretary Sheila Harsdorf and the state’s Ag Board

Wisconsin has lost six-hundred dairy farms in the past twelve months, including 584 since January first.

University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability Director Mark Stephenson says we continue to see more efficient larger dairy farms.  “Our attrition rate has been higher than in modern times for sure.  You know, it’s up north of seven percent right now and that’s big.  Usually, it’s between four to maybe five percent, but we aren’t producing any less milk.  We’re losing farms but there’s still a lot of milk production.”

A University of Wisconsin study estimates that more than 40% of the state’s milk production came from farms with more than 500 cows in 2016.  Stephenson says he expects that percentage will change when the 2017 data is released by the USDA in February.

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