The latest cattle report from USDA shows that the cattle and calves inventory continues the decline in the current cattle cycle. Inventory peaked in 2019, and today, we’re at historic lows.

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says the last time cattle inventory was this low was in 1951 at 82.1 million head. 2024 inventory is at 87.2 million.

Of the 87.2 million head inventory on U.S. farms as of January 1, 2024:

  • All cows and heifers that have calved totaled 37.6 million.
  • There are 28.2 million beef cows in the United States, down two percent from last year.
  • The number of milk cows in the United States decreased slightly to 9.36 million.
  • The U.S. calf crop was estimated at 33.6 million head, down two percent from 2022.
  • All cattle on feed were at 14.4 million head, up two percent from 2023.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed approximately 36,300 operators across the nation during the first half of January to get an accurate measurement of the current state of the U.S. cattle industry. Surveyed producers were asked to report their cattle inventories as of January 1, 2024, and calf crop for the entire year of 2023.

At the close of trade on Friday, Feb. 2, the February contract for Live Cattle was $180.55 per hundredweight.

Click HERE to read the full cattle report from the USDA.

Source: NAFB News Service.