Results from the Scottish Agricultural Census: June 2023

Final results from the 2023 June Agricultural Census on land use, crop areas, livestock and the number of people working on agricultural holdings. Estimates for 2022 are published in the supporting documents.

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Steady decline in number of beef cows as number of dairy cows increases 

Over the past decade there has been a 12 per cent decline in the total beef breeding herd, with a total beef breeding herd of 394,700 in 2023.

The total number of dairy cows has increased by six per cent over the past 10 years. In 2023 dairy cows numbered 175,600.

Information on cattle numbers in this section has a complete time series.

Figure 10: Beef and dairy breeding herd cow numbers between 2013 to 2023

Line chart with two lines presenting the number of beef and dairy cows (breeding herd cows) between 2013 to 2023. Beef cows have declined from 446,900 in 2013 to 394,700 in 2023. Dairy cows have increased between 2013 from 165,700 to 178,600 in 2023.



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