The collective bargaining clout of the nation’s top 50 cooperatives continued to grow in 2017.

In the latest estimate gathered by Hoard’s Dairyman, the top 50 dairy cooperatives handled 173.3 billion pounds of milk during 2017. That total represented 81 percent of the 215 billion pounds of milk produced in the United States.

Since 1986, Hoard’s Dairyman has been gathering information for the top dairy cooperatives. Every cooperative is contacted and asked to provide farm numbers and milk flow based on the previous year’s production.

An upward trend

The marketing clout for cooperatives is near an all-time high. Over the past 30 years, the market share has climbed 13 percent. Here is a closer look at some major checkpoints:

2017 — Top 50 cooperatives handled 81 percent of the nation’s milk

2007 — Top 50 cooperatives handled 76.6 percent of the nation’s milk

1997 — Top 50 cooperatives handled 70.8 percent of the nation’s milk

1987 — Top 50 cooperatives handled 68 percent of the nation’s milk

To see the complete co-op list

The compressive list of America’s top 50 cooperatives was published in the October 10, 2018, issue of Hoard’s Dairyman on page 579. If you are not a subscriber, you may order a subscription and we will be sure to get you the October 10 issue.

To order, call 920-563-5551. Be sure to ask for the October 10 issue, too, when calling our subscription services.

People also can order online. After completing your online order, send an email to and we will send the October 10 issue.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
October 15, 2018
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