Dairy culling surges in June

July 23, 2009 07:00 PM
USDA reported that more than a quarter of a million dairy cows were slaughtered in Federally-inspected facilities in June—256,000, to be exact.
That's likely a reflection of the 101,000 cows tagged for slaughter in the 7th round of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) program that was just recently completed www.cwt.coop . June's slaughter numbers were up 44,000 head over May, a 21% jump. The June numbers were up 75,000 head from last year, a 41% increase. Year-to-date, culling is up 185,000 cows, or roughly 15%.
The June milk production report www.agweb.com/DairyToday/Article.aspxdoesn't paint quite as a rosy a picture, however. Dairy cows on U.S. farms still numbered as estimated 9.235 million in June, down 34,000 head from May but still 14,000 more cows than a year ago. The difference: Plenty of fresh young heifers moving in to fill those stalls left empty by culling.
The sign-up deadline for the 8th Round of CWT herd retirements is today. Those cows, however many are accepted, will likely start heading to slaughter sometime in August. 

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