The dairy industry’s self-help program, Cooperatives Working Together, announced today that it has tentatively accepted 388 bids representing 102,898 cows and 2 billion pounds of milk production capacity. CWT officials will now begin the task of culling or “retiring” that many cows from the nation’s dairy herd.

It is the first in a series of herd-retirements planned over the next 12 months. The number of cows and pounds of milk represent the largest single herd-retirement carried out in the six-year history of CWT.

Dairy farmers in 41 states submitted a total of 538 herd-retirement bids by the May 1 deadline. The 388 bids tentatively accepted represent 72 percent of the total bids received by CWT. The number of cows now scheduled to be removed account for 64 percent of the total number of cows offered and the 2 billion pounds of milk account for 67 percent of the milk production offered.

Starting next week, CWT field auditors will begin visiting the 388 farms whose bids were accepted, checking their milk-production records, inspecting their herds, and tagging each cow for processing. All farms should be audited by early July and cows should begin moving off dairies by late May.

For more, click here.