The British milking herd continues to decline, with the latest head count standing at 1.75 million.
Statistics from April 2019 show that the milking herd is 49,700 head (2.8%) down on a year ago, and 13,900 head down on January 2019 alone.
According to the latest data from British Cattle Movement Service, the majority of the decline occurred in the 2-4 year old group.
Numbers in this group fell by 4.4%, although there was also a big drop in numbers of 6-8 year old cows.
The drop in the size of the 2-4 year old group is likely due to the increased use of beef semen in 2015/16.
In line with the recent trends in dairy vs beef inseminations, the year-on-year decline in the number of youngstock has slowed.
As of April 2019, the number of youngstock (0-2 years) was 4,600 head lower than in the previous year, compared with a drop of almost 44,000 head in the year ending December 2017.