Cattle Numbers Continue to Decline

July 20, 2012 09:09 AM

All cattle and calves in the United States as of July 1, 2012, totaled 97.8 million head, 2 percent below the 100.0 million on July 1, 2011. This is the lowest all cattle and calves inventory for July 1 since the series began in 1973.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.7 million, were down 2 percent from July 1, 2011. Beef cows, at 30.5 million, were down 3 percent from July 1, 2011. Milk cows, at 9.2 million, unchanged from July 1, 2011.


Other class estimates on July 1, 2012 and the changes from July 1, 2011, are as follows:

  • All heifers 500 pounds and over, 15.7 million, down 2 percent.
  • Beef replacement heifers, 4.2 million, unchanged.
  • Milk replacement heifers, 4.1 million, down 2 percent.
  • Other heifers, 7.4 million, down 3 percent.
  • Steers, weighing 500 pounds and over, 14.0 million, down 1 percent.
  • Bulls, weighing 500 pounds and over, 1.9 million, down 5 percent.
  • Calves under 500 pounds, 26.5 million, down 3 percent.
  • All cattle and calves on feed for slaughter, 12.3 million, up 1 percent.

The 2012 calf crop is expected to be 34.5 million, down 2 percent from 2011. Calves born during the first half of the year are estimated at 25.1 million, down 2 percent from 2011.

Full July Cattle Investory Report here.

Cattle on Feed Up 3 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.7 million head on July 1, 2012. The inventory was 3 percent above July 1, 2011. The inventory included 6.74 million steers and steer calves, up 4 percent from the previous year. This group accounted for 63 percent of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.92 million head, up 1 percent from 2011.


Placements in feedlots during June totaled 1.66 million, 2 percent below 2011. Net placements were 1.60 million head. During June, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 460,000, 600-699 pounds were 320,000, 700-799 pounds were 390,000, and 800 pounds and greater were 494,000.

Marketings of fed cattle during June totaled 1.97 million, 6 percent below 2011. This is the lowest fed cattle marketings for the month of June since the series began in 1996.

Other disappearance totaled 66,000 during June, 8 percent below 2011

Full Cattle on Feed Report here.

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