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Abstract

Large dairy farms (with 100 or more milk cows) housed nearly half of the U.S. dairy herd in 1993. These large dairies represented just 13.6 percent of all U.S. farms with milk cows, but they were responsible for about 50 percent of total milk production. Farms with fewer than 30 milk cows have declined in both number and share of all farms with milk cows continuously since 1977. Farms with 30-49 milk cows also have declined in number, but their share of all farms with milk cows gradually increased until 1990, and then began a slow decline. Farms with 50 or more milk cows have increased in recent years, with farms having 100 or more milk cows increasing most in both number and share of all farms with milk cows. The largest farms are also increasing most in the West and Southwest. The traditional milk-producing States of the Northeast and Lake States have seen their share of milk production become stable and then decline in recent years.

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