for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
U.S. News

FACTBOX: U.S. dairy farms in crisis as milk prices dive

(Reuters) - U.S. dairy farmers are struggling with mounting losses as milk prices have plunged more than 50 percent since last summer while farm operating costs remain uncomfortably high.

On the more than 60,000 dairy farms in all 50 states, dairy farmers are adjusting feed rations and culling cows from their herds to cope with the losses. Some are losing more than $200 per cow every month and some are exiting the industry.

U.S. milk prices spiked in 2007 to record highs and reached the second highest ever levels in 2008 on rising exports and tight global supplies. But global economic turmoil from mid-2008 has dragged down demand while supplies have grown.

Following are dairy industry statistics compiled from U.S. Agriculture Department data and from industry sources. Annual average U.S. all-milk prices (per one hundred lbs)

2006: $12.88

2007: $19.13

2008: $18.34

2009: $11.80-$12.60 (projected) Top U.S. milk producing states in 2008 (in billion lbs)

1. California: 41.185

2. Wisconsin: 24.460

3. New York: 12.420

4. Idaho: 12.315

5. Pennsylvania: 10.575

Note: The top 5 states accounted for 53 pct of

total U.S. production. U.S. dairy cow herd on January 1 (in million head)

2004: 8.99

2005: 9.01

2006: 9.06

2007: 9.13

2008: 9.26

2009: 9.33 Annual U.S. milk production (in billion lbs)

2004: 170.934

2005: 176.929

2006: 181.796

2007: 185.602

2008: 189.699 Top global producers in 2008 (in million tonnes)

EU-27: 134.000

United States: 86.026

India: 44.100

China: 36.700

Russia: 32.500

Brazil: 28.890

New Zealand: 15.141

Reporting by Karl Plume, editing by Philip Barbara

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up