U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Feb ‘14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate through the first quarter of the ’13-’14 year. December ’13 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 256,700 head was 0.8% behind the ’12-’13 slaughter rate and 2.0% lower than the three year average December slaughter rate. ’13-’14 YTD dairy cow slaughter was 3.8% lower than last year with weekly dairy cow slaughter data showing a continued decline in January ’14. For the four week period ending January 25th, dairy cow slaughter decreased 6.7% from the previous year. U.S. dairy cow numbers are key to fundamentally analyzing the milk market for expected supply and price direction. With record milk prices and attractive margins, producers will look to continue the trend of decreased dairy cow culling in future months.