The number of U.S. dairy farms dropped again in 2013. Today, there are 2,321 fewer dairy farms than there were a year ago. The number of dairy cows has remained just above 9 million over last 12 years, which means dairy herds are growing in size. The average herd is now 196 milk cows, up from 123 milk cows/herd in 2002.
Almost 80% of the nation's dairy farms are located in these 10 states:
These 11 states produce 77% of the nation's milk:
Improvements in animal care, health, housing, feeding and genetics enable cows to be more productive today. Modern dairy farmers use fewer resources, land, and water to produce the same amount of milk. These efficiencies are a positive for cattle, the environment and people who enjoy dairy products!
U.S. dairy products are known for high quality. That's why people in other countries trust and purchase our products. In 2013, 15.5% of U.S. dairy products were exported. The top five countries buying U.S. dairy products are; 1) Mexico, 2) China, 3) Canada, 4) Philippines, and 5) Indonesia. The top three products leaving the U.S. are 1) milk powder - used as an ingredient in food products, 2) cheese, and 3) whey.
Click here for more 2013 U.S. dairy statistics.
Check out my posts summarizing annual dairy statistics in previous years:
Does Dairy Size Matter (2012 Stats)
Dairy Herd Size Increases while the Number of Farms Decreases (2011 Stats)