Agriculture-dependent Indiana saw 10-percent of its dairy farms close in 2018.
The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says there were 1,000 dairy farms in the state producing Grad A milk at the start of the year. By the end of 2018, there were 892 dairy farms still operating.
Going back to 2013, there were nearly 1,500 grade A dairy farms in Indiana.
What’s putting the squeeze on those farmers who are used to doing the squeezing? Indiana Dairy Producers executive director Doug Leman told The Columbus Republic people are drinking less milk than they used to. Leman adds that the United States as a whole is producing too much milk for the lower demand, and that the White House’s recent tariff spat hasn’t help things either.
Hoosier dairy farmers are also trying to maintain high sanitation standards, high costs, and low margins, the BOAH says.
Southeastern Indiana dairy farms have not been immune from losing dairy farms. So much so, that the BOAH is looking at a different way of servicing farms in the region.
“In Southeastern Indiana, as the number of dairy farms has dropped, the agency has had to adapt efficiently,” the BOAH stated in its January quarterly report. “Our most recent hire in the area is being cross-trained on dairy farm inspection as well as animal health specialist duties. This change will help reduce excessive travel times that would be necessary if that area was absorbed by another inspector.”