The United States cattle inventory has seen a decline of 3% as of January 1st, 2023, according to the Cattle report published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
This decrease in the overall inventory can be attributed to a 4% drop in the number of beef cows in the country, which now stands at 28.9 million. Despite the decline in the beef cow population, the number of milk cows has increased to 9.40 million.
In addition to the decline in the beef cow population, the report also highlights that the U.S. calf crop was estimated at 34.5 million head, a 2% decrease from 2021. This, along with the decrease in the number of beef cows, suggests a decrease in the supply of beef in the coming months.
Furthermore, the report indicates that all cattle on feed were at 14.2 million head, down 4% from 2022. These numbers suggest that the overall demand for beef in the country may be outstripping the supply, which could result in higher prices for consumers in the future.
Summary of key findings in the report:
- Of the 89.3 million head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totaled 38.3 million.
- There are 28.9 million beef cows in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2023, down 4% from last year.
- The number of milk cows in the United States increased to 9.40 million.
- U.S. calf crop was estimated at 34.5 million head, down 2% from 2021.
- All cattle on feed were at 14.2 million head, down 4% from 2022.
National Agricultural Statistics Service. (2023). [Washington, DC]. Retrieved from: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Newsroom/2023/01-31-2023.php