The prevalence of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) was determined in 197 dairy cows in 18 herds in the Dutch province of Friesland. Samples of rumen fluid were taken by rumenocentesis from between five and 19 animals on each farm and the pH of each sample was determined. The body condition of 139 of the cows was scored approximately three weeks before they calved and three weeks after they calved. The overall prevalence of SARA was 13·8 per cent, and the prevalence on individual farms ranged between 0 per cent (on seven of the farms) and 38 per cent (on one farm). The stage of lactation did not influence the prevalence of SARA but the cows with the condition lost more body condition over the calving period.