beef cattle Iowa State University

USDA surveying cattle operations

During first two weeks of January, producers will have opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and number of cattle on feed.

In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey more than 40,000 cattle operations nationwide to provide an up-to-date measure of U.S. cattle inventories.

All cattle and calves in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2016, totaled 92 million head, 3% above the total in 2015. With declining cattle prices and the lower feed costs, an updated look at cattle numbers across the nation will show how these events have affected the recent herd rebuilding trend.

“In January 2016, Minnesota’s cattle inventory of 2.42 million head ranked 12th in the U.S. Of the total cattle inventory, 460,000 head were milk cows, ranking Minnesota sixth in the nation,” Dan Lofthus, Minnesota state statistician, said. “Obtaining the current count of cattle will serve as a critical decision-making tool for producers and the entire agriculture industry.”

During the first two weeks of January, producers will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and number of cattle on feed.

“This information helps producers make timely, informed marketing decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction,” Lofthus explained. “Additionally, the information producers provide helps promote exports, inform the public and policy-makers about the industry and project future slaughter volume.”

As is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential, by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified.

The January "Cattle" report will be released on Jan. 31, 2017. This and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

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