This July, U.S. dairy farmers collectively sent 256,800 dairy cows to packing plants. That was 17,000 more head when compared to last July and represented a 7.1 percent acceleration in culling activity across all U.S. dairy herds.
When looking at the first seven months of the year, April was the only month that had higher culling levels on a percentage basis when year-over-year culling grew by 7.9 percent. On a per head basis, both April (plus 19,600 head) and February (plus 18,300 head) were higher than July.
Culling 4.7 percent ahead of pace
When looking at January-to-July culling, 1,894,300 head were culled in 2019 compared to 1,808,500 dairy cows in 2018. That was 4.7 percent ahead of last year’s pace, according to USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report.