Latest CWT round retiring 87,000 dairy cows


ARLINGTON, Va. — Cooperatives Working Together organizers have tentatively accepted 294 bids in the third herd retirement it has conducted in the last nine months. The 86,710 cows and 1.8 billion pounds of milk accepted in this round, combined with CWT’s previous two herd retirements, equal a total production capacity of 4.8 billion pounds of milk being removed since December 2008.

This is the second-largest herd retirement since the farmer-funded self-help program started in 2003.

The previous retirement round completed in July removed a record 101,000 cows and 1.96 billion pounds of milk.

Farmers in 38 states submitted a total of 312 herd retirement bids last month to CWT.

This eighth CWT herd retirement in the past six years was also the first to feature a maximum acceptable bid threshold of $5.25 per hundredweight.

This round is removing 3,104 bred heifers.

August inspections

In August, CWT field auditors will begin visiting the 294 farms whose bids were accepted, checking their milk production records, inspecting their herds, and tagging each cow for processing. All farmers will be notified no later than Aug. 31, as to whether their bid was among those accepted.

Once CWT field auditors inspect and accept the herds offered as part of the bidding process, farmers have 15 days in which to send their animals to a processing plant.


Producers whose bids are accepted in this herd retirement will be paid in two installments: 90 percent of the amount bid times the producer’s 12 months of milk production when it is verified that that all cows have gone to slaughter, and the remaining 10 percent plus interest at the end of 12 months following the farm audit, if both the producer and his dairy facility — whether owned or leased — do not become involved in the commercial production and marketing of milk during that period.

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