The Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program has completed its fifth round of herd retirements, sending 24,860 cow and 275 bred heifers to slaughter. The program will remove an estimated 436 million lb. of milk from the market in the coming year.
The average accepted bid was $6.10/cwt of milk, slightly higher than the bids accepted in 2007, but lower than 2005, says Jim Tillison, CWT CEO. So if a herd averages 20,000 lb. of milk per cow sold, it would receive a payment on that amount based on the accepted bid.
So the average bid of $6.10/cwt would result in a payment of $1,220 per animal. The owner also retains the slaughter value of the animal. "As always, we pay an average price that reflects current market conditions,” he says.
Most of the cows removed, 8,793, came from the West and Southwet, and represent 247 million lb. of production. But these cows came from 63 herds. Seventy six herds were accepted from the Midwest, with 70 million lb. of production.
CWT auditors visit each farm whose bids were accepted. Cows are tagged with a special CWT identifier, and the owners are given a brief amount of time to sell the animals for slaughter. Once tags are collected by the CWT program, payments are issued and the names of the owners are posted on the CWT website. Go to: www.cwt.coop. Some names have yet to be posted, but will be in coming weeks, says Tillison.