Livestock News

United States cattle inventory down 2%


A new report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service found that America’s cattle inventory shrank over the course of a year. The report shows there were 91.9 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of Jan. 1, 2022. Compare that to 2021 numbers of 93.8 million, the report shows a 2 percent decrease since last year. 

Other key findings in the report were:

  • All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.5 million head, were 2 percent below the 40.3 million head on January 1, 2021.
  • There are 30.1 million beef cows in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2022, down 2 percent from last year.
  • The number of milk cows in the United States decreased to 9.38 million, down 1 percent from the previous year.
  • All cattle on feed were at 14.7 million head, up slightly from 2021.

In addition, the report found calf crop down one percent. The 2021 calf crop in the United States was estimated at 35.1 million head, down one percent from the previous year’s calf crop. Calves born during the first half of 2021 were estimated at 25.6 million head, down one percent from the first half of 2020. Calves born during the second half of 2021 were estimated at 9.46 million head, 27 percent of the total 2021 calf crop.

NASS surveyed approximately 34,800 operators across the nation during the first half of January to obtain an accurate measurement of the current state of the U.S. cattle industry. Surveyed producers were asked to report their cattle inventories as of Jan. 1, 2022, and calf crop for the entire year of 2021 by internet, mail, or telephone.

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