Archive: English dairy herd returns to growth

Published 19 September 14

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Latest figures published by Defra show the first year-on-year growth in the English dairy breeding herd for 15 years. The total dairy breeding herd on 1 June 2014 had increased by 2.6% on a year earlier, to 1,143 thousand head. The AHDB/DairyCo Farmer Intentions Survey 2014 identified increased confidence in the future of the industry, with around a quarter of GB dairy farmers planning to take on more cows over the two year period from 2014 to 2016.

Cow numbers had been steadily decreasing over recent years, but these latest figures suggest a further boost to GB milk production, with dairy cattle in England accounting for just under 75% of the total GB population. The number of dairy heifers aged between 1 and 2 years fell slightly between the two years, but a rise in the number of youngstock suggests the potential for further growth in cow numbers longer-term. 

Dairy female cattle
  (thousand head)

2013

2014

% change

Aged 2 years or more

 

 

 

Breeding herd

1,113

1,143

2.6

Other female cattle

235

238

1.5

Aged between 1 and 2 years

327

325

-0.7

Less than 1 years

336

341

1.4

Source: Defra