Dairy Production Grows as Dairy Prices Stabilize in 2017
Oregon Workforce and Economic Information
Oregon dairy products are recognized worldwide for their high quality and employment is growing as a result. Dairy farms in Oregon were historically small, often employing a family and a few other individuals, but recent trends show dairy farms are getting bigger. Their primary product is milk, the official beverage of the state of Oregon. The milk is sold to dairy manufacturers who then sell the milk and use it to make cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, and other dairy products.
Rising milk prices lifted Oregon’s sales to a record $650 million in 2014. Milk production held steady in 2015 then rose by 1.6 percent in 2016 to a new high of 2,593 million pounds. Despite record production, the value of sales fell to $465 million in 2016, a loss of 1.6 percent over 2015 and its lowest total since $412 million in 2010.
Looking back to 2002, Oregon’s milk production rose tremendously, climbing nearly 22 percent or 376 million pounds to reach 2,093 million pounds. Production gains continued over the next two years, reaching 2,270 million pounds in 2004, an increase of 8.5 percent over 2002. Production steadied at that level for several years before Oregon milk producers expanded production again in 2010, leading to an increase of 151 million pounds or 6.7 percent followed by a gain of 80 million pounds or 3.3 percent in 2011.
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