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Midwest Dairy Farm Exits Slow

Jim Dickrell

September 3, 2020

Despite the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting roller coaster of milk prices this year, dairy farm exits in Wisconsin appears to have slowed markedly.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reports that just 266 dairy farms have exited the business this year as of September 1, a decline of 3.8%.

In 2019, 551 dairy farms exited between January 1 and September 1, a drop of 6.8%. In all of 2019, 818 Wisconsin dairy farms exited, a decline of 10%.

In Minnesota, the total number of dairy farms declined by just 46 farms in the first 9 months of 2020 with 2,402 farms operating on September 1, reports the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. That number includes cow, goat, sheep and other milk producing farms. On January 1, 2020, Minnesota had 2,448 total dairy farms. In 2019, Minnesota lost 325 farms, a drop of nearly 12%.



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