Wisconsin dairy industry facing economic challenges


Long-held nationally as ‘The Dairy State,’ Wisconsin has been a decline in dairy farms in the last year. According a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin lost 400 dairy farms from last year to this year.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Wisconsin lost almost 400 dairy farms in the last year, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USDA reported just over 9,400 dairy herds were active in the state as of Oct. 1, that’s 4 percent less than in 2015.
But Gordon Speirs, Wisconsin Dairy Business Association president, said this year’s loss is a positive compared to declines in previous years.
“It’s one of the lowest (declines) in my memory, and I think that that’s a real victory for our industry considering the economic challenges we’ve had in the last year-and-a-half with low milk prices,” said Speirs, who owns and operates Shiloh Dairy in Brillion.
“It’s not too many years ago we were losing 600, 800, even 1,000 a year.”
The number of dairy herds has been declining for the last 40 years, as more producers retire without someone to take over their operation, Speirs said.
For more on the USDA latest report, visit Wisconsin Public Radio