USDA REPORT SHOWS HERD EXPANSION CONTINUES


     The July 1 USDA cattle inventory report confirmed the expansion in cattle numbers documented in January by the agency. All cattle and calves in the U.S. July 1 totaled 98.4 million, up 2% from the 96.3 million head a year earlier. According to North Dakota State University Livestock Economist Tim Petry, the last time the all cattle and calves inventory increased on the July 1 report was 2006.
     Petry said the best overall pasture and range conditions in many years east of the Continental Divide and record calf prices spurred interest in cowherd rebuilding. Beef cow numbers, at 30.5 million, were up 3% from a year earlier on the July 1 report. The number of beef replacement heifers July 1 was up 6.5% from a year earlier.
     The July 1 inventory report does not contain state-by-state cattle numbers. According to Petry, the January 1 report showed most of the expansion in beef cow numbers occurred in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Colorado. He said these states likely accounted for much of the continued increase in cow numbers verified on USDA’s July 1 report.

KLA Communications Program Manager Scarlett Hagins highlights the new beef industry long-range plan, which focuses on increasing beef demand over the next five years.