Reduction in dairy females exiting the dairy herd

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

By Chris Gooderham

As part of our milk production forecast, we predict the number of cows being retained in the industry every six months. This also allows us to forecast the number of female dairy cows exiting the industry.

On average, over the last five years, 249k head female dairy cows have left the industry every six months. This peaked in December 2018 and December 2019 at just over 262k head.

We have seen a slightly higher exit rate in the second half of the year compared with the first half. Over the last five years, around 5% more animals have exited in H2 compared with H1, equivalent to an extra 11k head.

chart, bar chart

Expectations between now and the end of 2022 is for an average of 243k head dairy females to exit the industry per six months. That is 2.5% down on the previous five year average. Although the overall dairy herd continues to shrink, pressure of high feed costs, the attraction of high deadweight cull cow prices and an increase in youngstock numbers are all impacting on the forecast.  

Image of staff member Chris Gooderham

Chris Gooderham

Head of Market Specialists - Dairy & Livestock

See full bio


Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Dairy market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form and select the information you wish to receive.

Visit the Keep in touch page

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 info@ahdb.org.uk  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved. 

×