Cattle Inventory: Ranking of All 50 States

As we move closer to the mid-year cattle inventories report, it’s time to review where the beef industry is. In the past six months, wildfires, drought and floods have all impacted regional changes in cattle numbers. It’s no surprise to cattlemen that Mother Nature is in charge of herd expansion and contraction.

All cattle and calves in the United States, as of Jan. 1, 2017, totaled 93.6 million head. This is 2% above the 91.9 million head on Jan. 1, 2016. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 40.6 million head, are 3% above the 39.5 million head on January 1, 2016. Beef cows, at 31.2 million head, are up 3% from a year ago. Milk cows, at 9.35 million head, are up slightly from the previous year.

In this map, we’ve ranked states by total cattle inventory as of Jan. 1, 2017, as reported by the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service. 

The list below shows the inventory by state for 2016 and 2017 and the percent change year-over-year. To sort the list, click the top headings.

Texas remains the state with the most total cattle, followed by Nebraska, Kansas, California, Oklahoma and Missouri. The greatest change from Jan. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2017 occurred in Alaska (up 18%); Arizona (up 8%) and Missouri, Colorado and North Dakota, which each saw a 6% increase year over year.


USDA will release their mid-year inventory estimates on July 21, 2017.