USDA to survey livestock operations

Nationwide surveys give producers opportunity to report the latest information on conditions and trends in the livestock industries.

Starting in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) began measuring sheep and goat inventories and wool and mohair production during a nationwide survey.

In January, NASS will survey about 43,000 cattle operations nationwide to provide an up-to-date measure of U.S. cattle inventories.

“Interest in sheep and goat data continues to grow with increased diversification in agriculture and consumer demands,” said Dan Lofthus, state statistician of the NASS Minnesota Field Office. “The Sheep & Goat Survey gives producers the opportunity to report the latest information on conditions and trends in the industry.”

In Minnesota, about 700 operators will be asked to provide information about their sheep and goat inventories, counts of lambs and kids born during 2017 and production and prices received for wool and mohair.

“Accurate data on sheep and goat inventory, as well as wool production, is a significant decision-making tool for USDA and the industry to be more responsive to domestic and international markets and consumer needs,” Lofthus said. “The information can also help create public appreciation for the many benefits of U.S. sheep and goats and their needed products.”

The cattle survey “helps producers make timely, informed business decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction. It also helps packers and government leaders evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export,” Lofthus said. “Obtaining the current count of cattle will serve as an important decision-making tool for the entire agriculture industry.”

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

To make it as convenient as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding via the internet, telephone, mail or a personal interview with a local NASS representative.

NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data in aggregate, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified.

The January "Cattle" and "Sheep & Goats" reports will be released on Jan. 31, 2018. These and all NASS reports are available online at

TAGS: Beef
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