This, the fourth herd-retirement round since 2003, comes at a time when producers face high feed and energy costs, cutting into profit margins. CWT officials hope that by removing a portion of the nation’s cow herd, they can reduce milk production and boost prices in order to help alleviate that situation.  

Last year was a “lackluster” year for milk prices, says Chris Galen, spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation. “We’re hoping CWT can make this a better year for prices going forward.”

At a press conference Tuesday morning, Galen said the current round does not have any specific targets for the number of cows or pounds of milk removed. Final tallies will depend on the quality of bids received from interested producers.

The previous three rounds have removed a total of 147,000 dairy cows, representing the milk equivalent of 2.8 billion pounds.

None of the herds that had a bid accepted in the previous three rounds will be eligible for the latest round.

Bids will be open until March 3. Further information may be obtained at www.cwt.coop