Dairy-cow slaughter pulled back substantially in April.

According to today’s “Livestock Slaughter” report from the USDA, 215,000 dairy cows went to slaughter in April. That is down 4,000 head, or 1.8 percent, versus a year ago.

In comparison, year-over-year slaughter activity was up 23,000 head in March, 29,000 head in February and 45,000 head n January.

On a month-to-month basis, April slaughter was down 23,000 head versus March.

This slowdown could reverse shortly as nearly 103,000 cows are poised to move out through the latest Cooperatives Working Together herd-retirement initiative.

Source: USDA