U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – Mar ‘14
According to USDA, U.S. dairy cow slaughter continues to lag behind last year’s slaughter rate through the first five months of the ’13-’14 season. February ’14 U.S. dairy cow slaughter of 236,600 head was 8.8% behind the ’12-’13 slaughter rate and 6.7% lower than the three year average February slaughter rate. ’13-’14 YTD dairy cow slaughter is 5.9% lower than last year with the YTD slaughter rate continuing to decrease through the past two months. The Jan ’14 – Feb ’14 two month slaughter rate declined the most in four years on a YOY percentage basis. 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.