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California's role in the dairy industry has been declining recently, says Mary Ledman.

Rabobank's US-based Global Dairy Strategist, spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about the downturn of what was once the biggest dairy state in the US.

Record high prices in 2014 had a meagre follow up as California dairy producers continued to face environmental scrutiny, said Ledman.


Farmers are "under pressure," after the state agreed to reduce 40 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, said Ledman.

"So we've actually seen the number of dairy cows in California reduce."

Listen below:

"California currently produces about 18 and a half per cent of US milk production which tops 90 million metric tonnes, and Wisconsin is number two at close to 14 per cent."

Ledman grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and hopes that state will overtake California as the leading milk producer in the US, "a title that we relinquished in the 1990s".

Also in today's interview, Ledman talks about how slowing US and European dairy production will positively affect New Zealand farmers.