US Dairy- Ag Trends Focus



This page has been created as a resource for Migrant Education Programs interested in in keeping up with current trends of the US Dairy industry. It is a collaborative project between the IRRC Consortium and the GOSOSY Consortium. Dairy farming is one of the most capital-intensive of all agribusinesses. It is an industry that has historically low and volatile profit margins



When world markets are very interconnected it is important to see what specific trends affect production, imports, exports, farmers and workers.



A recent report commissioned by the National Milk Producers Federation shows that half of the workers on US dairy farms are immigrants.




Worker turnover and the lack of workers continues to be a challenge facing the industry.




US Milk consumption continues to decrease.



The following are web resources that are helpful to visit often to keep up with trends affecting farmers and workers in the US Dairy industry.


USDA Dairy Reports Page This page lists current prices for dairy across the country, includes outlook and export reports, market news, regional reports, dairy weekly reports, price fluctuations, challenges facing the industry, and more.


The NASS Quick Stats page is a great place to start to look for specific information on the dairy and other agriculture work in your state, region or county. Use this tool to drill down on specific information such as the number of operations in your area and their amount of sales, acreage, etc.


Progressive Dairyman has some excellent sheets that show how counties across the county shape up in terms of dairy production, worker statistics, challenges facing the industry, state statistics and more.


View US Dairy Stats 2015 per state


Average Milk Per Herd by Region Stats


State Value of Milk by Operation- Highest Ranking Counties


Statistica has dairy herd size statistics by state for the last three years. See how your state ranks.


What is on the horizon for dairy farmers? Progressive Dairyman has some specific trends they are expecting to face US Dairy farmers in 2016 and beyond. Read about those here.



USDA Economic Research Service Dairy Data

The Dairy Data found at this site includes 11 data files covering domestic supply and demand and trade of various dairy products. Data on the U.S. dairy situation and commercial disappearance are updated monthly, and U.S. milk production and related data are updated quarterly.


Six Factors Sure to Influence U.S Dairy Exports in 2016

Not sure how the global milk markets work, how price is affected, and what other countries are importing? This is a good article to catch you up to speed by the US Dairy Export Council.


Global Dairy Markets may not rebound until 2017 Additional explanations about factors affecting the world markets explained by the US Dairy Export Council.


Texas A&M Agrilife Research recently compiled a report on the Economic Impacts of Immigrant Labor on US Dairy Farms. The report reviews the following: 1) assesses the role and importance of hired immigrant labor to U.S. dairy farms; 2) estimates the effects of immigrant labor losses on U.S. milk production, farms and herd size; and 3) estimates the economic impacts of immigrant labor losses on economic output. The report suggests that a loss of immigrant labor would double the cost of milk.


Challenges Dairies face when trying to find workers. This is part of a 4 part series by the Times Herald (Michigan) covering the challenges dairies farmers are facing. This section specfically focuses on workers.


As farms get larger there is more work for management. This article outlines factors owners have to think of in order to keep worker turnover down, have more reliable workers, and keep their farms profitable.


Turnover costs statistics for dairies as workers often come and go This Progressive Dairyman article addresses turnover from a supervisors perspective. It eludes to the high turnover rate dairies often face with their workforce.


Employee Turnover in Dairy- This extension article prompted from discussions at the World Dairy Expo, explains to dairy farmers the importance of looking at their worker turnover rates.