Another California exodus: Dairy cows leave for greener pastures in Texas, Arizona as farms squeezed by the economy take a hit
California has lost the most milk cows to New Mexico, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, with the largest loss coming from the dairy states of California and Washington.
New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Wash, DC are now the states with the most milk cows. A year ago, Washington was third.
Cattle futures were down in the cow milk sector as the losses in California and Washington were less of a surprise despite falling food prices.
The number of dairy cows in New Mexico fell by 12.7 percent from 8,100 to 6,400 while Nevada lost 4,700 cows, also losing more than a percent of its milk cows to Oregon, with 1,600 fewer cows.
“Wash DC has the fourth highest milk per capita in the U.S., but its dairy industry is ailing. If that trend continues, it could lead to major issues for the farm supply and the nation’s reputation as an agricultural powerhouse,” said Mike DeMoney, Agri-Pulse market analyst.
Washington’s market share of cow milk is about 0.3 percent or $1.1 billion.
Agri-Pulse reports on market trends across the agricultural sector.
Dairy: New Mexico, Washington and Oregon had the biggest losses in the dairy cow sector, down more than a percent from their previous year.
New Mexico had 4,700 fewer cows than the previous year, while Washington had 1,600 more.
“The dairy industry in Washington, in general, is struggling and it has been for a few years. This doesn’t surprise us,” DeMoney said.
Nevada’s milk cow decline of 1,600 was slightly less than expected at the beginning of September. But the figure is still high.
“The big problem is the economy, which is bad. The biggest problem is the economy,” DeMoney said. “We’ve seen that in every sector. The economy is the biggest problem for dairy. It affects everything. But I think that it’s too bad that