There are less than half of the licensed dairy farms in the United States than nearly two decades ago, according to an analysis of USDA data.
In 2019, the number of dairy farms licensed to sell milk has declined 50 percent to 34,000 from just over 70,000 in 2003.
A wave of farm closures hit many traditional dairy states in the Northeast and Midwest, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. In 2019, the latest year with USDA data available, more than 3,200 dairy farms shut down.
As Americans are drinking less and less cow milk every year and the production is at a surplus, it has created a supply-demand imbalance, which has resulted in the dairy farms shutdowns.
According to the National Farmers Union, over 94,000 family dairy farms closed from 1992 to 2018.