Beef cattle herd shrinks to lowest in 52 years

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The U.S. cattle herd is showing further signs of contraction. USDA’s semi-annual inventory report showed a further drop of 3 percent.

The total number of cattle and calves on July 1st was 95.9 million head. There were declines in most major categories, including cows and heifers and replacement heifers. Steers, bulls, and calves were all down as well as drought whittled away at supply.

Beef cows matched the lowest number on record at 29.4 million, dating all the way back to 1971. The calf crop is 2 percent below last year’s inventory check of 24.8 million head.

You can read the full report here.


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