that licensed dairy farm numbers dropped from an average of 57,127 in 2008 to 54,942 in 2009, a 3.8% decline.
Wisconsin showed the largest numeric decline, with 560 herds (4.1%) leaving the Badger state. California lost 85 herds, for a 4.5% drop in herd numbers.
The top 10 dairy states, which produce nearly 74% of the nation's milk, lost 1,375 herds. That represents about 63% of the total herds exiting.
Keep in mind that the Cooperatives Working Together program was extremely active in 2009 through three rounds of herd retirements. While there was some calendar year overlap on actual herd retirements, 795 herds were accepted into CWT in 2009. That represents 35% of the total number of herd exits.