Latest data shows smaller GB milking herd

Thursday, 18 June 2020

By Jennie Tanner

According to the latest data from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) the GB milking herd has shrunk again. At 1 April 2020, the milking herd stood at 1.70 million head, down 2.9% (-50,700 head) from the same point last year.

The number of cows in the 2-4yrs age category was the largest contributor to the decline, down -37,300 head from the same time last year. This follows the trend seen recently as the lower number of calves born 2-4 years ago come through the herd.

There was also a decline in the number of cows aged 6-8yrs (-17,900 head). Offsetting this slightly was the number of cows aged 4-6yrs, which was up by 6,000 head compared to April 2019. Again, these figures follow herd trends of previous years.

While the number of youngstock (0-2yrs) dropped by 700 head on the year, an increase in numbers aged 0-6mths (+5,200 head), helped to slow the overall decline in youngstock numbers.

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