Dairy and Farms

  • New York State is the third largest producer of dairy in the country, after Wisconsin and California.
  • Dairy farming is the largest sector of New York’s agricultural industry.
  • 10 States nationwide rank dairy as their #1 commodity.
  • The majority of dairy farmers sell their milk to large distributors who pasteurize and package the milk or process it into other dairy products.
  • The federal government sets a base price for dairy each year. All distributors must purchase milk at a price no lower than the base price set by the government.
  • The federal price of milk has been fluctuating more and more each year, a reality that is difficult to adjust to especially for small dairy farms.
  • In 2009 the government set the price of milk at $14 per hundredweight (unit) of milk. That same year, the average dairy farmer in New York State spent $19 per hundredweight (unit) to produce the milk.

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