Dairy cow slaughter plummets

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Slaughter of cull dairy cows continued to drop in May.

According to the “Livestock Slaughter” report by the USDA on Thursday, 248,000 dairy cows were slaughtered under federal inspection in May. This is down 20,000 head from April and 3,000 head from May 2012. Read the full report here.

This figure is also 49,000 head lower than in January, when the number of slaughtered dairy cows reached 297,000 -- the highest monthly slaughter figure since 1986. The high cull rate in January came as no surprise, since many farms had to deal with high feed cost and low profitability.  

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