U.S. Beef Cow Inventory Update – Jan ’20
According to USDA’s semiannual cattle inventory report, the U.S. beef cow herd declined for the first time in the past six years throughout 2019, finishing at a three year low level. The report showed that as of January 1st, 2020, the total U.S. beef cow herd stood at 31.32 million head, down 374,000 head, or 1.2%, from the previous year. Texas had the largest beef cow herd as of January 1st, 2020, followed by Oklahoma, Missouri and Nebraska. The aforementioned states accounted for over a third of the total national beef cow herd. YOY declines in beef cow herd figures were led by Kansas (-96,000 head), followed by Texas (-85,000 head) and Oklahoma (-51,000 head). California (+35,000 head) experienced the largest increase in their beef cow herd throughout the year. The number of beef replacement heifers declined for the third consecutive year, finishing 1.9% below the previous year. Total beef replacement heifers of 5.77 million head finished at a six year low overall, down 113,000 head from the previous year. On a heifer replacement per beef cow basis, the 2020 figure of 0.184 finished at a seven year low. Texas had the largest number of beef heifer replacements as of January 1st, 2020, followed by Montana, Oklahoma, Nebraska and South Dakota. The aforementioned states accounted for nearly a third of the total U.S. beef heifer replacements. YOY declines in beef heifer replacements were most significant within Oklahoma (-30,000 head) and Kansas (-30,000 head), followed by South Dakota (-25,000 head). Texas (+30,000 head) experienced the largest increase in beef heifer replacements throughout the year.