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February 22, 2018

Dairy Cow Slaughter Jumps in January

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The United States Department of Agriculture reported this week that dairy cow slaughter jumped by nearly 21,000 head in January over last year, for a 7.7% increase.

January 2018 culling was also up 21,700 head over December, but that’s a bit deceiving because there were two more business days in January compared to December. On a per day basis, culling between January and December were nearly identical.

All this suggests that dairy farmers were tapping into their heifer pool. In USDA’s January milk production report released Thursday, cow numbers were up 46,000 head over a year ago and up 5,000 head from December.

You can read the full livestock slaughter report here.