The number of licensed dairy operations in the United States during 2003 decreased by 5 percent from a year ago.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, total operations — both Grade A and Grade B producers — averaged 70,410 in 2003. That’s a decrease of 3700 operations since 2002. Grade A dairies accounted for 63,385 of the total, down 2,835 from last year, and Grade B dairies accounted for 7,025 of the total, down 865 from the previous year.

California and New Mexico were the only states to gain in total number of licensed dairies. States with the largest decreased included: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, New York and Kentucky, respectively.

This is the first time NASS is publishing the number of licensed dairy herds in the United States which more closely equates to the total number of commercial dairy operations. NASS will continue to publish this data each year as part of the February Milk Production report.

For a complete list of the licensed dairy operations by state, click here. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the file.