California recorded a net loss of 109 dairies for 2009, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) reports.
"The weakened state of the economy combined with higher-than-average feed costs, consistently low prices paid to producers, and the numerous herd buyout programs all contributed to the loss of dairies operating in California,” says CDFA in its February 2010 California Dairy Review.
The net number reflects changes such as dairies that have gone out of business, relocated, or merged, and also includes new dairies.
The net loss leaves an estimated 1,743 dairies in the state.
Merced County recorded the largest net decrease of 29 dairies, followed by Glenn County, showing a net decline of 14 dairies from 2008.
The state's valley region showed the largest change in the number of dairies, recording a net loss of 56 dairies, compared to 2008's net loss of 36 dairies.
The state's northern region showed a net loss of 41 dairies compared to the previous year's net loss of 49 dairies.
The state's southern region showed a net loss of 12 dairies, compared to 2008's net loss of 14 dairies.