Dairy Cow Culling Jumps—Again

February 21, 2013 12:59 PM

The United States Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon that 297,000 dairy cows were processed through federally inspected slaughter plants in January, up 38,000 head from December and up 33,000 head over a year ago.

On a percentage basis, the January 2013 numbers are 14.7% higher than December and 12.5% higher than a year ago.

Arizona and California lead the nation in the number of cows culled, up 11,600 over a year ago—a jump of 16.5%. But on a percentage basis, Washington and Oregon culling was up 32% or 4.3 million head.

USDA did not report the number of cows slaughtered in the Midwest, citing privacy concerns.

The strong culling in January continues the trend of last year, when 187,000 more dairy cows were slaughtered than in 2011, a jump of 6%.

You can read the full report here

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