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Dairy decline in 2014 was smallest ever

Fri, 02/27/2015

Only 1,631 farms left, but it was still the 22nd yearly decline in a row.

by Dennis Halladay, Hoard’s Dairyman Western Editor

dairy farm

“Get out while the getting is good” saw 1,631 U.S. dairies leave the industry in 2014.

According to data released earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), that was the fewest farms to exit the industry since licensed dairy numbers began being tracked in 1992. Even so, it was still the 22nd yearly decline in a row.

It is a trend that shows no sign of ending nor, frankly, does it have any reason to.

While the numeric drop was the smallest ever, the 3.5 percentage dip was in line with figures seen since 2008. In fact, 3.5 percent was the average loss from 2008 to 2011, when milk producers struggled to recover from the industry’s historic financial collapse in 2008-09. Read more

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