For the first time in nine years, America’s cattle herd is increasing. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) said the number of cattle and calves in the U.S. as of January 1, 2015, totaled 89.8 million head. That’s an increase of 1% over last year’s 88.5 million head.
The number of all cows and heifers that have calved was pegged at 39.0 million head, up 2% from last year’s 38.3 million head. The number of beef cows totaled 29.7 million head, also up 2% from last year. The milk cow count totaled 9.3 million head, up 1% from 2014.
Other class estimates on January 1, 2015 and the change from January 1, 2014, are as follows:
- All heifers 500 pounds and over, 19.2 million, up 1%
- Beef replacement heifers, 5.8 million, up 4%.
- Milk replacement heifers, 4.6 million, up 1%.
- Other heifers, 8.8 million, down slightly.
- Steers weighing 500 pounds and over, 15.8 million, up 1%.
- Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over, 2.1 million, up 3%.
- Calves under 500 pounds, 13.7 million, up 1%.
- Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all feedlots, 13.1 million, up 1%.
- The combined total of calves under 500 pounds, and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds outside of feedlots was 25.2 million, up 1%.
The 2014 calf crop was estimated at 33.9 million head, up 1% from 2013. Calves born during the first half of 2014 were estimated at 24.6 million, up slightly from 2013.
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