GB milking herd down 2.8%

Published 22 May 19

The GB milking herd continues its decline, with the head count as of April 2019 standing at 1.75 million, according to the latest data from BCMS. This is 49,700 head (2.8%) down on a year ago, and 13,900 head down on January 2019 alone.

The majority of the decline occurred in the 2-4 year old group, where numbers fell by 4.4%, although there was also a big drop in numbers of 6-8 year old cows. The drop in the size of the 2-4 year old group is likely due to the increased use of beef semen in 2015/16.

In line with the recent trends in dairy vs beef inseminations, the year-on-year decline in the number of youngstock has slowed. As of April 2019, the number of youngstock (0-2 years) was 4,600 head lower than in the previous year, compared with a drop of almost 44,000 head in the year ending December 2017.

Age Profile GB