Market News & Headlines >> Cattle Inventory Report Shows No Herd Expansion

Last Friday’s semi-annual Cattle Inventory report from USDA indicated that expansion of the U.S. cattle herd has come to a halt for now, showing the total U.S. cattle herd unchanged from a year earlier as of July 1. 

USDA pegged the July 1 U.S. cattle herd at 103.0 million head, with the total supply of cows and heifers that have calved at 41.7 million head, a modest 100,000 head smaller than a year earlier. The beef cow herd was unchanged at 32.4 million head, while the milk cow herd was put at 9.3 million head, down from 9.4 million last year. 

The supply of heifers retained for beef cow replacement purposes was 95.6% of a year earlier, while the supply of heifers retained for milk cow replacement was 97.6% of a year earlier. 

The total 2019 calf crop was estimated at 36.3 million head, 99.7% of a year earlier, with the January-June crop down 100,000 head from last year at 26.5 million head.

The inventory report pegged the total U.S. feedlot inventory as of July 1 at 13.6 million head, up 102.3% from 13.3 million head a year earlier, which was slightly negative news for the fed cattle market, with USDA’s 12-state Cattle-on-Feed report pegging the feedlot inventory at 101.8% of a year earlier.