Wednesday, 26 February 2020
By Hannah Clarke
The GB milking herd has shrunk again, according to the latest data from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS). At 1 Jan 2020, the herd stood at 1.72 million head, down 3% (-49,600 head) from the same point last year.
The largest contributor to the decline was the lower number of cows aged 2-4yrs (-42,500 head). This follows the current trend, as the lower number of calves on the ground 2-4 years ago works its way up through the age brackets.
There was also a decline in the number of cows aged 6-8yrs (-15,800 head). Offsetting this slightly was the number of cows aged 4-6yrs, which was up by 10,500 head compared to January 2019. Again, these figures follow herd trends of previous years.
While the number of youngstock (0-2yrs) dropped by 5,700 head on the year, an increase in numbers aged 0-6mths (+1,800 head), helped to slow the overall decline in youngstock numbers.
The slowing rate of decline in youngstock numbers suggests some future stabilisation of the GB milking herd size.
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