USDA reported this morning
that November dairy cow culling through Federally-inspected packing plants was 209,000 head, up 1,000 head from a year ago but down 18,000 head from October.
Year-to-date, 2.584 million dairy cows have been slaughtered, 222,000 head more than the same period in 2008. The increase in slaughter numbers is a 9.3% jump from 2008, and almost identically mirrors the drop in milk cow numbers from January through November of 221,000 head. See November's milk production report
Much of the culling is likely the result of the Cooperatives Working Together program
, which has culled some 200,000 head of dairy cows this year.
Despite all this activity, milk production is projected to decline
by less than one half percent in 2009.