Scotland has lost another 13 dairy herds in the six months to July 1, 2022 compared to the 11 complete dispersals witnessed throughout 2021.

Figures from the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association, which maintains the data base of Scottish dairy herds, also revealed the country is home to 819 milking herds with an average herd size of 218 – up two from January 2022.

In the past six months, the number of milking cows decreased by 897, with the total in Scotland now standing at 178,464 head.

Lanarkshire was the most affected county, losing four herds, with Dumfriesshire and Wigtownshire down by three herds each.

The percentage of cows being officially milk recorded has remained static but the average herd size has also increased by two to 231. There is a continued increase in individual cows being regularly monitored for somatic cell count, pregnancy diagnosis and health testing, especially Johne’s, IBR and BVD, through milk samples. This gives more accurate information to assist better nutrition, fertility, and health management.