A baker’s dozen of counties produced one-fourth of the nation’s federal order milk that was marketed last year. Those are the same 13 counties that led this list in 2021 as well.

According to data shared by the staff at Central Order No. 32 of the Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) system, California is home to seven of those counties that combine to make 25% of the nation’s milk. The counties included on that list are Fresno, Kern, Kings, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.

Two of the 13 counties are in Arizona: Maricopa and Pinal. Also located in the western half of the country are Yakima County in Washington, Hartley County in Texas, and Weld County in Colorado.

There was just one county east of the Mississippi that made this short list, and that is Lancaster County in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Keystone State ranks second in the nation in number of dairy farms, and about one-fourth of the state’s dairies are in Lancaster County.

Taking a step back, there were 53 counties that produced 50% of the nation’s milk marketed through federal orders in 2022. That number is down just one county from the 54 that produced half the milk in 2021. The counties that made half the milk last year were located in the following states:

Wisconsin: 12 counties
California: Nine counties
Texas: Seven counties
New Mexico: Four counties
Michigan: Four counties
New York: Four counties
Arizona: Two counties
Colorado: Two counties
Minnesota: Two counties
Pennsylvania: Two counties
Indiana: One county
Iowa: One county
Kansas: One county
Oregon: One county
Washington: One county

While Federal Milk Marketing Orders cover most of the major dairy producing areas, there are some high-producing counties missing from this list. That would include counties in Idaho, that certainly would make the cut based on production but are not included because Idaho does not have a federal order. In all, milk marketed through federal orders accounted for 67% of all milk sold in the U.S. in 2022. A total of 1,365 counties produced milk in a federal order last year.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2023
August 10, 2023

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