Youngstock population sees slight decline since October

Friday, 3 March 2023

The British Cattle Movement Service have released data up to January, showing a relatively small year-on-year decline of 0.8% (-13,000 head) in the GB milking herd, totalling 1.63 million head. This annual decline is the smallest since January 2018. The 2-4 year old category grew marginally by 1.7% (12,800 head), driven by a 3.8% increase in 3 year old cows. However this growth was offset by year-on-year declines in the older groupings.

Chart showing annual change in GB dairy herd age

The youngstock population showed a quarter-on-quarter decline for only the second time since January 2020, falling by 0.7% to total 943,000 head in January. But youngstock numbers were up 1.1% (10,000 head) on year earlier levels. With the 12-18 months sub-grouping seeing the largest year-on-year increase in 10 years (4.8%), this helped contribute to the overall youngstock growth, as the 5.1% increase in the 1-2 year grouping outweighed the decrease (-2.6%) in the 0-1 grouping.

  Graph showing GB female dairy population

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