U.S dairy cow numbers highest since 2009

It’s no surprise that 2014ís strong milk prices and moderating feed prices resulted in dairy herd expansion. USDA released its semi-annual Cattle report on Jan. 30, including survey-based estimates of U.S. dairy cows, replacement heifers and heifers expected to calve within the next year. As of Jan. 1, 2015, milk cows during the previous year were estimated at 9.307 million head, up 99,300 head (1%) from Jan. 1, 2014, and the highest Jan. 1 total since 2009. Dairy replacement heifers (>500 lbs.), at 4.615 million head, were up 66,700 head from a year ago, and about equal to the total on Jan. 1, 2012.  Based on those estimates, there were 49.6 heifers >500 lbs. per 100 cows as of Jan. 1, 2015, up about 0.2 heifer/100 cows from 2014ís revised estimate. <more>

Feb. 2, 2015 Dairy Herd Management