U.S. Dairy Cow Inventory Update – Jan ’20
According to USDA’s semiannual cattle inventory report, the U.S. dairy cow herd continued to decline throughout 2019, finishing at a four year low level. The report showed that as of January 1st, 2020, the total U.S. dairy cow herd stood at 9.34 million head, down 19,000 head, or 0.2%, from the previous year. The YOY decline in the dairy cow herd was the second experienced in a row. California had the largest dairy cow herd as of January 1st, 2020, followed by Wisconsin, Idaho, New York and Texas. The aforementioned states accounted for over half of the total national dairy cow herd. YOY declines in dairy cow herd figures were led by Pennsylvania (-25,000 head), followed by Arizona (-12,000 head) and Wisconsin (-10,000 head). Texas (+35,000 head) and Idaho (+21,000 head) experienced the largest increases in their dairy cow herds throughout the year. Dairy heifer replacements also declined, reaching a six year seasonal low level as of Jan ’20. Total dairy heifer replacements of 4.64 million head declined 65,000 head, of 1.4%, from the previous year. On a heifer replacement per dairy cow basis, the Jan ’20 figure of 0.497 also finished at a six year low level. California had the largest number of dairy heifer replacements as of January 1st, 2020, followed by Wisconsin, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania. The aforementioned states accounted for over half of the total national dairy heifer replacements. YOY declines in dairy heifer replacements were most significant within Minnesota (-30,000 head) and Kansas (-30,000 head), followed by Pennsylvania (-15,000 head). New Mexico (+15,000 head) and Nebraska (+15,000 head) experienced the largest increases in dairy heifer replacements throughout the year.