U.S. Dairy Cow Slaughter Update – May ’18
U.S. dairy cow slaughter figures provided by USDA were recently updated with values spanning through Apr ’18. Highlights from the updated report include:
- U.S. dairy cow slaughter increased on a YOY basis for the 15th consecutive month during Apr ’18, finishing up 6.7% when normalized for slaughter days. Slaughter rates reached a five year seasonal high for the month of April.
- YOY increases in dairy cow slaughter continue to be led by the Northwestern United States. Dairy cow slaughter within Standard Federal Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) finished most significantly higher, up 14,900 head from last year.
- Dairy cow slaughter within Standard Federal Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada) increased on a YOY basis for the first time in the past three months, finishing up 800 head.
Additional Report Details
According to USDA, Apr ’18 U.S. dairy cow slaughter declined 7.6% MOM but remained up 6.7% YOY when normalized for slaughter days, finishing at a five year seasonal high for the month of April. The YOY increase in U.S. dairy cow slaughter rates was the 15th experienced in a row and the third largest experienced over the period. The MOM decline in slaughter rates of 7.6% was slightly greater than the ten year average March – April seasonal decline of 6.2%.
’16-’17 annual dairy cow slaughter rates increased by 2.5% YOY, finishing at a four year high, while ’17-’18 YTD slaughter rates are up an additional 5.0% throughout the first seven months of the production season. Recent increases in slaughter rates have contributed to the U.S. milk cow herd declining 8,000 head from the 22 year high levels experienced during Feb ’18. As of Apr ’18, the total U.S. milk cow herd stands at 9.400 million head, which is 8,000 head more than April of last year.
The most significant MOM declines in dairy cow slaughter were led by Standard Federal Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas), followed closely by Standard Federal Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada). Seasonal figures for Standard Federal Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) were released for the first time since 2015, finishing 4,500 head above Apr ’15 figures. Slaughter figures for Standard Federal Region 5 were not available from Apr ’16 until Dec ’17 to avoid disclosing data for individual operators.
The largest YOY increases in dairy cow slaughter continue to be exhibited within Standard Federal Region 10 (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington), followed by Standard Federal Region 3 (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia). Dairy cow slaughter rates finished higher on a YOY basis within Standard Federal Region 9 (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada) for the first time in the past three months, increasing by 800 head.