COWHERD EXPANSION CONTINUED IN 2015
The January 1 USDA cattle inventory report showed ranchers continue to rebuild the beef cowherd. According to the report, the number of beef cows and heifers that had calved as of January 1 was 3.5% higher than the same date a year earlier. The number of beef replacement heifers on hand January 1 was up 3%. Beef replacement heifers expected to calve in 2016 was up 5.7% from last year. University of Wisconsin-River Falls Ag Economics Professor Brenda Boetel said this suggests the 2016 calf crop should increase by 3.8% compared to 2015.
Boetel noted Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota accounted for 38% of the U.S. beef cows on the report, with more than 46% of the increase in beef cow numbers coming from these five states. She said Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado and Texas posted the greatest increases in beef cow replacements, while Kansas was among states registering a decrease in replacement heifer numbers.