Dairy cow culling is at near-record levels and scorching August heat has docked milk production throughout most of the country. USDA estimates indicate about 21,000 head of dairy cows were culled from May to June 2023, and that pace has continued through much of the summer.
Except for data generated during the dairy buyout program in 1986, dairy slaughter rates hit record highs in four separate weeks during June and July. But the news isn’t all grim. Healthy beef slaughter prices have made those cull cows quite valuable, and feed costs have tempered a bit through the summer. Milk prices also are gaining ground since the abysmal lows of July, and springer values were stronger in most reported markets over the past month, climbing an especially impressive $200-400/head in California.
September 7, 2023