U.S. Loses 100,000 Dairy Cows in Last Year as More Dairy Farms Close

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The number of dairy cows in the United States dropped by roughly 100,000 animals in the last year, as low milk prices continue to drive American dairy farms out of business.

Between July 2018 and July 2019, the U.S. dairy herd shrank to 9.3 million animals from 9.4 million, according to the latest count by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2018, some 2,500 dairies went out of business, according to the agency.

“A lot of my friends and neighbors have exited the business,” said Jim Burdett, the owner of a small, family-owned dairy farm near Mercersburg, Pa. “We’re a dying breed, the small, family run operation.”

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