GB dairy herd shows signs of contracting

Published 27 April 16

Data from BCMS for the first quarter of 2016 shows deaths of dairy females aged 2 years or older was up almost 9k head (up 8%) compared to the same period last year. Even considering the seasonal nature of the industry, recorded dairy female deaths have been on an upward trend in the past 2 years, especially among younger animals.

Looking at deaths relative to the dairy female population by age bracket supports this finding. With the most recent data for Q4 2015 showing a small but steady increase in the percentage of deaths relative to the population. This suggests that culling rates exceed replacement rates, as there was about 7.5k fewer dairy females aged 2 years or older in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the previous year.

GB dairy herd shows signs of contracting