U.S. cattle inventory is down by 2%

The drop is due to producers trying to improve their bottom lines amid an ongoing drought.

There were fewer cattle in the U.S. at the start of this year compared to last, and it seems the contraction will continue.

Total cattle and calves inventory was just over 87 million head, which is down by 2 percent from 2023. This is lower than what analysts were expecting ahead of Wednesday’s semi-annual inventory report, but DTN analysts say the report came with no surprise. The drop is due to producers trying to improve their bottom lines amid an ongoing drought.

The total calf crop is currently at 33.6 million head, down 2 percent, and all cattle on feed were at 14.4 million head, up 2 percent from last year.

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