GB milking herd shrinks again

Published 12 February 19

The GB milking herd continues to dwindle, with the head count as of January 2019 standing at 1.77 million, according to the latest data from BCMS. This is 45,000 head (2.5%) down on a year ago, and 25,000 head down on October 2018 alone. The majority of the decline in numbers was seen in early lactation cows (2-4yrs), of which numbers fell by 22,000 year-on-year to 804,000 head. Numbers of youngstock (0-2yrs) entering herds also fell by a similar amount, setting the January headcount at 867,000 head.

GB Dairy Herd Profile Jan 19

Year-on-year declines in dairy inseminations are continuing to strain the amount of replacement heifers entering the herd. According to BCMS, numbers of 0-6 month old calves in January 2019 are nearly 9,000 head (4%) below the same month in 2018, confirming the lack of replacements entering the national herd.