More than 4% of Wisconsin Dairy Farms Call It Quits in 2018—So Far

Wisconsin has lost 382 dairy farms through the first seven months of 2018. ( Farm Journal, Inc. )

Another 382 dairy farms have left the business in Wisconsin this year through the first seven months of the year. That’s an attrition rate of 4.3%, and there are still five months to go.

If there is any good news, just 44 farms called it quits in July which was 10 fewer farms than had left the business in June. There are currently 8,419 dairy farms licensed in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

At this time last year, 283 Wisconsin farms had exited the business, an attrition rate of 3% year-to-date. Last year, a total of 465 dairy farms left the business by year end.

In June (the latest numbers available), Wisconsin cow numbers were unchanged from May at 1.274 million head, according to USDA. But cow numbers are down 4,000 head from a year ago.  

Submitted by Guedo on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 08:37

Starting to take it serious yet Jim? You know it is all down hill from here, race to the bottom. All we need is more foreign labor! That will fix everything, right Jim?

Submitted by John V on Tue, 08/07/2018 - 13:00

It's been a race to the bottom from the days of cream cans. True for any and every industry. The most profitable grow and squeeze out the least profitable. I agree foriegn labor isn't needed but pay rates will need to up to attack local labor and there's nothing wrong with that.

Submitted by Triple dutch dairy on Wed, 08/08/2018 - 10:48

Adc The American dairy communist. Lead by Jimmy o of milk source, are pushing for a free for all come here and live the American dream for Hispanics, at the expense of everybody else. Milk source investors should have known dairy is labor intensive, you would think they would some own family members that could fill. Lol.

Submitted by Goh Whey on Sat, 08/11/2018 - 22:05

If the Koch Brothers want you to have dairies you’ll have them. If they don’t, you’ll have to make some adjustments to your life’s trajectory. They’re the guys with all the chips at the table. Blaming brown folks may be fun but it won’t bring one dairy back... not even one cow.

Submitted by Craig A. Moore on Wed, 08/29/2018 - 15:13

If George Soros doesn't want you to have milk on the table he will surely make it happen. Which makes about as much sense as what Goh Whey said. Maybe there are other things in action here. For example, when my grandfather was my age there was milk and coffee at every meal. So far this year I have bought about 2 gallons of milk, for cooking, and I don't drink coffee. Some time things change because they have to.

Submitted by Modern Dairy Machines on Wed, 12/12/2018 - 00:56

This survey gives a shocking news that most of the Dairy farmers in Wisconsin had withdrawn the practices and they are out of farming. Good read about the current status, expecting further blogs regarding the reason the behind it!

Submitted by mark on Wed, 12/26/2018 - 12:53

The attrition rate for the restaurant business is way higher than 4% a year. Also, why do you not mention folks that have started dairy farms?