U.S. Beef Cow Inventory Blog – Jan ’16
According to USDA’s semiannual cattle inventory report, the U.S. beef cow herd continued to expand throughout 2015, finishing at a five year high. The report showed that as of January 1st, 2016, the beef cow herd was 3.5% higher than a year ago while the number of beef replacement heifers was 3.3% higher than the 2015 figure. The total beef cow herd finished the year at 30.33 million head, up 1.03 million head from the prior year while beef replacement heifers finished the year at 6.29 million head, up 198,800 head from the prior year. The number of beef replacement heifers increased for the fifth consecutive year and finished the year at a 21 year high. Beef replacement heifer growth was most significant in Oklahoma (+40,000 head), followed by Arkansas (+32,000 head), Texas (+30,000 head) and Colorado (+30,000 head). Despite increasing on an absolute basis, on a heifer replacement per beef cow basis, the 2015 figure of 0.207 finished slightly below the 46 year high of 0.208 experienced in the previous year.