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Top 50 dairy cooperatives

Hoard’s Dairyman has published its annual list of the top 50 dairy cooperatives in the country. In 2010 just under 79 percent of the nation’s 192.8 billion pounds of milk was marketed through those 50 cooperatives, down from 79.6 percent in 2009 and the lowest market share those co-ops have had since 2007.

Dairy Farmers of America continues to be the biggest dairy co-op in the country with 37.8 billion pounds of milk, more than double any other co-op and 19.6 percent of the total milk produced in the country last year. California Dairies is second with 16.9 billion pounds of milk; Land O’Lakes is third with 12.87 billion pounds; Northwest Dairy Association of Seattle is the fourth largest handling 7.3 billion pounds of milk followed by New York’s Dairylea Co-op with 6.25 billion. Those top five cooperatives handled 42 percent of total U.S. production in 2010, down from 45 percent in 2009.

AMPI, Family Dairies USA, Foremost Farms USA, Manitowoc Milk Producers and Select Milk Producers of New Mexico round-out the top 10. The nation’s largest organic cooperative, Organic Valley/CROPP is number 26 with 1.15 billion pounds of milk.

DFA has more than three-times the number of members than any other dairy co-op with 9,168 while Select Milk Producers had the most milk per producer; the New Mexico co-op gets 4.4 billion pounds of milk from just 67 members for an average of 65.9 million pounds per farm.

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