GB milking herd declines, whilst youngstock numbers show signs of growth

Thursday, 10 June 2021

By Charlie Reeve

The GB milking herd has continued to decrease in number, according to the latest data from BCMS.

As at 1 April, the GB milking herd totalled 1.67 million head of cattle, 32,000 head (2%) lower than at the same time last year. The milking herd has been on steady downwards trajectory for several years now.

By contrast, youngstock (under 2 years old) numbers have been increasing. As at 1 April, youngstock numbers totalled 902,000, an increase of 32,000 head (4%) on the same time last year. This suggests that as more youngstock come through into the milking herd, the total GB milking herd may begin to stabilise and potentially even increase in size if these cattle are retained.

Splitting the female dairy herd by age group, there were year on year drops in most age groups.  The largest decline in numbers occurred with the 4-6year group, with a reduction of 22,000 head (4%) on the previous year.

Sign up to receive the latest information from AHDB.

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.