Dairy producers sent 9,000 fewer cows to federally inspected slaughter plants in November compared to a year ago, a 4% decline, according to USDA's Livestock Slaughter Report released this morning. November culling also ran 28,000 head fewer than in October, perhaps an attempt to get as much milk as possible while milk prices remain solid.
For the year, culling is still running 70,000 head, or 3%, higher than 2007. Expect that number to grow even higher as the second round of the Cooperatives Working Together program takes effect. This second round as accepted some 62,000 cows into the program—though not all will likely be culled in 2008.