Michigan dairy farm numbers drop: Total herd size, production grows


Michigan farmers were not immune to the ill-effects of a prolonged depressed dairy economy over the last five years, based on figures obtained from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).

State Grade-A dairy permit totals, as of Jan. 6, 2020, show the state had 1,127 permits in force — 150 fewer permits compared to the 1,277 permits recorded as of Jan 2, 2019.

MDARD figures show a loss of an additional 18 Grade B or Manufacturing Grade permits, dropping from 145 to 127 for the same period.

The overall total reduction of 168 fewer permits represents a loss of 11.8% of Michigan dairy farms for 2019, matching up closely with losses, on a percentage basis, reported from Minnesota and Wisconsin at 11.9% and 10% respectively.

Despite the precipitous drop in the number of Michigan dairy farms, the state’s overall dairy herd as of November 2019 was estimated at 428,000 head, up 6,000 head from a year earlier, according to a USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office report.

That same report shows the number of milk cows on farms in the 24 Major States was 8.81 million head, 8,000 head more than November 2018, meaning that Michigan dairy producers accounted for 75% of the growth in the 24 Major States over the 12-month period.

The NASS report showed that Michigan produced 910 million pounds of milk during November, up 1.7% from a year ago, with a daily rate per cow of 70.8 pounds, up 0.1 pounds from November 2018.

Milk production in the 24 major states during November totaled 16.7 billion pounds, up 0.9% from November 2018, while daily production per cow averaged 63.1 pounds, up slightly from 62.5 pounds for November 2018.


An official publication of Michigan Farm Bureau

Tags: Michigan Farming