A growing U.S. herd is providing some support for dairy replacement cow prices, although there seems to be less correlation between where cow numbers are building and price movement. Nationally, quarterly U.S. replacement dairy cow prices averaged $1,360 per head in January 2021, up $20 from October 2020 and about $60 more than January 2020. The U.S. average price was still 36% per head less than the latest peak of $2,120 in October 2014.

atest USDA Milk Production reports indicate substantial year-to-year growth in cow numbers in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Dakota and Texas. Among those states, however, only Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and to a lesser extent, South Dakota, saw much movement upward in replacement cow prices. Year-over-year price changes were flat in Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Texas. Wisconsin posted the largest year-to-year increase, even though the dairy herd there has been steady to shrinking.


On a quarterly basis, Indiana saw the largest jump in replacement cow prices compared to last October, up $90 per head. The biggest decline was in Virginia, down $90 per head. Highest January 2021 average prices were in Arizona and Wisconsin; lowest average prices were in Virginia and Utah. The USDA estimates are based on quarterly surveys (January, April, July and October) of dairy farmers in 24 major dairy states, as well as an annual survey (February) in all states. The prices reflect those paid or received for cows that have had at least one calf and are sold for replacement purposes, not as cull cows. The report does not summarize auction market prices.


A dairy cow can cost between $900 and $3,000. This range is dependent on the price of a yearly to the price of a proven family cow. Yearlings and calves are less expensive as compared to matured cows. Moreover, a cow that is bottle-fed and hand-raised will be expensive as they are friendlier with people and can be kept around family.

The cost of Jersey cows can be as low as $1,400 to $1,800.

Cows that are sold by weight usually cost in between $1.05 and $1.35 (per pound)

As compared to bred cows, heifers are cheaper, they cost around $500 and $1,000.

The cost of lactating dairy cows is around $1,500 and $2,100.

Bottle-fed, tamed, and hand-raised cows are usually expensive because they are friendly with humans.

Breads of Dairy Cow

  • Jersey: They are smaller in size and they are great milk providers.
  • Brown Swiss: They are gentle and one of the older dairy animals.
  • Dexters: They are smaller in size but they are also used for meat.
  • Guernseys: They are smaller in size.
  • Hereford: They mature early. They are docile and great providers of milk.
  • Holstein: They are efficient milk providers and are used for beef also.

Average Price Of A Holstein Cow

 $900.00 – $3,000. 

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