DAIRY CONSOLIDATION: While the number of dairy cows in the U.S. hasn't changed much, the number of dairy farms has been dropping as small farms either go out of business or consolidate to become more competitive and cost effective.
THE FIGURES: The number of dairy farms nationally has dropped from nearly 92,000 in 2002 to less than 70,000 in 2007, according to the last agricultural census, which is being updated this year.
STATES HIT: The shift has affected states like Vermont and Wisconsin, which have strong dairying histories, but tend to have smaller farms than other major milk-producing states like California and Texas.
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