Heifer prices may ease further in the coming months, according to the USDA’s Feb. 18 "Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook."

"The worst of the recent replacement heifer shortage appears to be over," states the report. The USDA cites two reasons why it anticipates lower heifer prices:

  • A large number of older, but still productive, cows could join the growing heifer supply to create an abundance of replacement animals, especially if more dairy farms go out of business.
  • The number of new dairies coming online is expected to slow.

However, heifer prices are not likely to fall to levels seen during most of the 1990s, the report adds.