While the number of cows in U.S. dairy herds is growing, Canadian dairy cow and heifer numbers declined slightly in the past year, according to a semi-annual report from USDA and Statistics Canada.
As of July 1, 2014, Canadian producers had an estimated 949,000 cows on their farms, a decline of about 3,000 head from a year earlier.
Dairy replacement heifers (1 year old or older) totaled 452,000 head, down 4,000 from July 1, 2013. Canadian replacement heifers per 100 cows totaled 47.6.
USDA previously released its semi-annual U.S. Cattle report on July 25, including survey-based estimates of U.S. dairy cows and replacement heifers. As of July 1, 2014, milk cows were estimated at 9.267 million head, up 67,000 head (1%) from July 1, 2012, and the highest July 1 total since 2008. (There was no survey in July 2013 due to budget sequestration.) The estimate is up about 58,400 head from Jan. 1, 2014.
Meanwhile, U.S. dairy replacement heifers (>500 lbs.) were estimated at 3.900 million head on July 1, 2014, down 200,000 head from two years earlier, and equal to July 1 totals in 2007 and 2008. Based on those estimates, there were 42.1 heifers >500 lbs. per 100 cows on July 1.
To see the full Canadian and U.S./Canada combined report, click here.