U.S. Licensed Dairy Herds Update – Feb ’20
According to the USDA, the number of U.S. licensed dairy herds continued to decline throughout 2019, reaching the lowest annual figure on record. Licensed dairy herd figures have declined linearly since the data series began in 2003. The total number of licensed dairy herds declined by nearly 3,300, or 8.8%, throughout 2019. The 2019 decline in licensed dairy herds was the largest experienced throughout the past 15 years on an absolute basis and the largest on record on a percentage basis. Wisconsin had the largest number of licensed dairy herds throughout 2019, followed by Pennsylvania and New York. The aforementioned states combined to account for over half of the total U.S. licensed dairy herds throughout the year. YOY declines in licensed dairy herds were most significant throughout Wisconsin, followed by Pennsylvania and New York. Wisconsin accounted for nearly a quarter of the total YOY decline in licensed dairy herds experienced throughout 2019. Of the states with the ten largest number of licensed dairy herds, YOY declines on a percentage basis were most significant throughout Missouri (-13.0%), followed by Michigan (-12.5%) and Ohio (-11.8%).