Wisconsin Dairy Producer Survey released

More than 28-hundred Wisconsin dairy farmers told state officials their concerns and gave the state a clear picture of how their businesses operate. 

In the 2020 Wisconsin Dairy Producer Survey, almost 90% of the respondents were conventional farms with two-thirds of them sole proprietors.  Many of the farmers expressed concern about the next five years, which shaped their opinions on building improvements and even if they will be farming in five years.  Of the farmers that said they will continue operating in five years, two-thirds say they plan to have the same number of cows.

Nearly half of the primary decision makers are between 50 and 64 years old, and only 42% have identified a successor for their farms.  Thirty percent of the farmers did not know who would take over when they leave the business.

Future labor needs are a concern for about one-fourth of the farmers.  Most say they are willing to hire a veteran, and just less than half would consider hiring someone who had been incarcerated.

Farmers indicated larger herds were more likely to have heifers custom raised.  Over half of the producers say they are using beef semen, but only in about a quarter of their cows and one-third of the heifers.   Nearly 10% say they have felt the need to access mental health services in the past year.  About 25% say their milk purchaser has adopted some form of supply management. 

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