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  • ZISK

Why is Milk Production Shrinking?

The prior post covered the shrinking demand for producer milk. Demand for producer milk is not growing. This post will examine the details causing the lower demand for milk.

The possible reasons cited for no growth in the previous post were lower domestic consumption of dairy products like fluid milk, cheese, and butter and/or lower exports of key dairy products. This post will examine the growth trends of these dairy products that can change demand for producer milk.


Fluid milk consumption has been shrinking for decades. Charts I and II below show the changing demand for fluid milk in pounds of milk sold and percent changes from the prior year. Fluid milk sales were decreasing by about 2% annually prior to the disruptions from COVID policies. The COVID mandates changed the norms as people working from home consumed more milk, probably for cereal. However, as the "lock downs" were lifted, sales plunged. The current decline in pounds fluctuates around 500 million pounds annually and the percent decline is now reappearing around 2% annually.

September 10, 2023


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