UK dairy herd appears to be stable for now
The year-on-year fall is very similar to the level seen in July (down 37k). As last quarter, the year-on-year decline is coming from early lactation cows (2-4 year old) and older cows (8 years +) that recorded declines of 2% and 7% respectively.
Cows that are currently between 4 and 8 years of age continue to remain in the herd. There is also a continual increase in the youngstock population (less than 2 years old), meaning there are still sufficient numbers for potential herd replacement in the future.
It is worth noting that the overall dairy herd has increased slightly compared with July, although this is normal for the time of year.
The rise is typically driven by autumn calving herds bringing more animals into the system. Despite the increase, overall dairy herd population continues to be on a similar downward trend to that seen last quarter. ■