Dairy farms in Wisconsin are on the brink of vanishing as they struggle to survive falling prices, overproduction and trade wars, the New York Times reports.
Nearly 1,200 Wisconsin dairy farms have stopped milking cows since 2016, with 212 folding this year. Wisconsin herds are below 8,000—or half—compared to 15 years ago. The American Farm Bureau Federation said that 49 Wisconsin farms filed for bankruptcy in 2018—the most of any state.
Milk prices have declined within the last five years from $26 to $17 per 100 pounds, according to the USDA. Increased efficiencies in milking and corporate farming have also led to overproduction, especially as U.S. consumer tastes shift away from dairy. The circumstances contribute to a perfect storm for dairy.