USDA reported this morning that 212,000 dairy cows were slaughtered through Federally-inspected plants in May. That's up 17,000 head from a year ago, but 3,000 head fewer than April 2009.
For the year to date, dairy cow slaughter is running 110,000 head stronger than last year. That's about a 10% increase over last year.
None of these numbers likely reflect the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) herd retirement program. Those cows, some 103,000 head, started heading to market in June.