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Dairy herd contractions continue with milk efficiencies

Dairy cow numbers are expected to be limited in the year ahead as milk per cow continues to increase.

USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam says the number of milk cows that have calved is down slightly as well as milk cow replacements in the latest Cattle Inventory report.

“Producers are holding about 4.6 million head of heifers which is about one and a half percent below a year ago.”

He says increases in milk per cow have offset declines in the cowherd with milk production in 2020 still expected to increase by nearly two percent.

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