Cows at bunk.
August 23, 2018

July Dairy Cow Slaughter Up a Tick

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The raw numbers suggest dairy farmers were culling cows more rapidly in July than a year ago. But looks can be deceiving since there was one more kill day in July this year than last.

 

As a result, July cow slaughter was up 1% over a year ago, and up just 0.8% over June, reports the United States Department of Agriculture in is Livestock Slaughter Report issued today. Just under 240,000 dairy cattle were processed in USDA-licensed slaughter facilities in July compared to 226,000 a year ago, and 237,500 in June.

 

The odd thing is that 14,000 more cows were slaughtered in July compared to a year ago, though USDA is reporting dairy cow numbers were down just 8,000 in its July milk production report. The difference: A large volume of heifers were likely able to fill in 6,000 of those empty stalls.

 

Year-to-date, 1.8 million cows have been slaughtered, or 87,200 more than last year through the first seven months of the year. That’s a percentage increase of 5%.

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