The United States Department of Agriculture reported this morning that April dairy cow slaughter through federally inspected plants totaled 240,000 head. That’s up 2,000 head from a year ago, or 0.8%.
Recall that March 2012 slaughter numbers came in at 278,000 head. Year-to-date, cow slaughter is up 2.4%.
USDA also reported that veal production is at a record low. Veal productiontotaled 9.9 million pounds, 3% below April a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 56,500 head, down 4% from April 2011.
One of two things might be happening. Use of sexed semen, and the preference for heifer calves, might have shrunk the supply of bull calves going into beef. Or, more likely, these bull calves are moving into feedlots and being fed out to beef market weights.