Cow numbers in Ukraine have continued to fall, as predicted, over the past year down by 6.6% to 1.56 million head as correlated in January 2022.
Ukrainian dairy farms are split into either large industrialised businesses or small traditional family units. According to the Ukraine Association of Milk Producers, the total number of cows on the large industrial farms was 422,100 cows, which is down 0.4% or 1,800 cows compared to the corresponding date last year. Family farms house 1.14 million cows which is 8.6% or 107,900 cows less than last year.
With increased access to technology, the Ukrainian dairy industry continues to improve and in the future a higher percentage of cows are to be gradually housed on the industrial farms.
That was the hope prior to the Russian invasion but now the future bears a degree of uncertainty as farmers and their families have fled a number of regions, leaving many animals to fend for themselves.
The latest statistics showed the regions in Ukraine with the largest numbers of dairy cows on industrial farms were Poltava (54,200) cows, Cherkasy (42,600) cows and Chernihiv (39,600) cows. Regions that increased cow numbers included Kherson (up 11.9% to 6,600 cows), Mykolaiv (up 6.6% to 6,500 cows) and Volyn (up 5.7% to 18,500 cows).
Also, the regions with the highest numbers of cows on the smaller family units included Khmelnytsky (95,700 cows), Odessa (77,500 cows) and Transcarpathian (77,100 cows).
In terms of milk production, Ukraine produced 522,100 tonnes of milk in January 2022, which is 1.5% less than in January 2021. This was broken down into 243,300 tonnes or 46.6% of milk produced by industrial farms, which is up 7% on last year, and 278,800 tonnes on family farms.