Dairy cow slaughter in the first quarter of 2020 has been tracking slightly above the five-year average, but below the same quarter in 2019.
The first quarter of 2019 saw weekly slaughter levels that had not occurred since the first quarter of 2013. Recently, dairy cow slaughter was 67,748 head for the week of April 18, 2020, which is the third-highest weekly slaughter for 2020. The prior two weekly highs both occurred in January this year. Typically, dairy cow slaughter starts off the year at peak levels and declines through the second quarter with a bottom usually occurring at the start of the third quarter then rising in the fourth quarter.