Cows feeding at bunk.
September 20, 2018

Dairy Cow Culling Really Picks Up Steam

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Dairy farmers culled nearly 280,000 cows in August, the United States Department of Agriculture  reported this afternoon in its monthly Livestock Slaughter report.


That’s a 40,000 cow jump from July, and 14,000 more cows than a year ago. Because August 2018 had two more “kill” days than July 2018, the increase was up 6.5% on a daily percentage. The daily kill percentage from a year ago was up 5.3%.


These increases come with a twist. USDA estimates dairy cow numbers were down 4,000 head from a year ago, but up 5,000 head from July. The differences in slaughter rate and cows-in-milk are likely being made up from a large supply of fresh, first-calf heifers coming into milking strings.  Yesterday’s milk production report showed milk up 1.4% from a year ago, largely on the strength of more milk per cow.


Year-to-date, the dairy cow kill is 101,400 head higher than 2017. That’s a percentage increase of 5.1%.


Read the full Livestock Slaughter report here.

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.