USDA released its August dairy cow slaughter numbers this morning, showing 14,000 more cows went through Federally-inspected plants this year compared to year-earlier. That's a 6.6% jump, but keep in mind the numbers also reflect culls from the fifth round of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program.
This year's CWT program took out nearly 25,000 cows, with some going to slaughter in July and the balance shipped in August. The 2007 CWT program culled nearly 53,000 cows.
Year-to-date, dairy cow culling is running 64,000 head above 2007, a 3.9% boost. If you eliminate CWT from the equation, U.S. dairy producers have culled 95,000 more cows this year compared to last.