U.S. Dairy Cow Inventory Blog – Jan ’16
According to USDA’s semiannual cattle inventory report, dairy producers expanded their herds throughout 2015 for the second consecutive year. The report showed that as of January 1st, 2016, the dairy cow herd was 0.1% above a year ago while the number of dairy replacement heifers was 2.4% higher than the 2015 figure. The total dairy cow herd finished the year at 9.32 million head, up 8,500 head from the prior year while dairy replacement heifers finished the year at 4.82 million head, up 113,600 head from the prior year despite the 2015 dairy replacement heifer figure being revised 95,000 head higher than originally stated. The number of dairy replacement heifers finished at a 54 year high while the Jan ’16 heifer replacements per milk cow of 0.518 finished at the highest level on record. Dairy replacement heifer growth was most significant in Kansas (+30,000 head), followed by California (+20,000 head), Pennsylvania (+20,000 head) and Minnesota (+20,000 head).