(click to enlarge)
During the 1970s, a different type of dairy farm began appearing in Western States such as California. These operations were much larger, often with herds of 1,000-2,000 milk cows. Whereas the smaller dairy farms tended to graze their cows on pasture, the new larger ones often housed their cows in large barns or drylot feedyards. While still family owned and operated, the large farms relied extensively on hired labor and on feed purchased off the farm. As the larger dairy farms prospered, milk production began to shift to Western States and smaller dairies started to go out of business.
If processors think they can get more milk for nothing, they may be in for a big surprise. The real estate ATM is gone from California. Bankers have become shy.