USDA Reports on Consolidation in Dairy Farming
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) published an Economic Research Report titled Consolidation in U.S. Dairy Farming. According to the report, the number of licensed U.S. dairy herds fell by more than half between 2002 and 2019, with an accelerating rate of decline in 2018 and 2019. These declines took place even as milk production continued to grow, because production has been shifting to much larger but fewer farms, and that shift shows no sign of slowing. The report credits the decline to larger operations’ persistently lower costs of production. The 61-page report and a summary are available online.