The latest USDA Milk Production Report revealed a continuing decline in the number of dairy farms and total dairy herd numbers. Two decades ago, there were more than 70,000 dairy herds in the U.S. As of March 20, 2023, that number has dropped to 27,932 herds. That means, on average, the U.S. has lost about 2,300 dairy herds annually.

Cow numbers have also fallen, dropping to 9.4 million head in 2022, a 0.5% decline or 100,000 fewer than in 2021. Despite the declines, milk production has consistently grown yearly by 138 pounds to an average of 24,067 pounds per head. 2022 boasted record milk production at 169 million pounds to 226.4 billion pounds.

Read more on dairy numbers and production here.