US cattle inventory is falling


Severe weather conditions (drought) will accelerate the trend.

Posted on Jul 29 ,11:07

US cattle inventory is falling

USDA’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report on Friday confirms the US inventories of beef cows, replacement heifers, feeder cattle and calf supplies are declining. USDA’s survey indicated all cattle and calves totaled 101 million head on July 1, about 1% below the 102 million head counted in the mid-year report last year.

USDA’s July 1 count of beef cows was 31.4 million head, down 2% from a year ago. Analysts expect the drought to further reduce those numbers throughout 2021. Given the smaller cow herd, USDA’s preliminary calf crop estimate was 35.1 million head, down slightly from last year. Calves born during the first half of 2021 were estimated at 25.8 million head, up slightly from the first half of 2020. An additional 9.3 million calves are expected to be born during the second half of this year.
With its mid-year inventory, USDA surveys 10,000 operations compared to the 50,000 producers surveyed for the January 1 inventory.

All cows and heifers that have calved totaled 40.9 million head, 1% below the 41.4 million head on July 1, 2020. Milk cows, at 9.50 million head, up 2% from previous year. All heifers 500 pounds and over on July 1 totaled 16.0 million head, 1% below the 16.2 million head last year. Beef replacement heifers, at 4.30 million head, down 2% from a year ago. Milk replacement heifers, at 4.10 million head, up 3% from previous year. Other heifers, at 7.60 million head, 3% below a year earlier. The supply of feeder cattle and calves outside feedlots is estimated at 800,000 head smaller than year-ago levels at 49.5 million head.

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