Cattle Mid-Year Inventory Unchanged, Calf Crop Down

NASS data suggest the expansion phase has ended. ( Sara Brown )

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) said the July 1, 2019 inventory of all cattle and calves totaled 103 million head, unchanged from last July. The total was inline with industry analysts’ estimates.

NASS’ annual mid-year calf crop estimate was 36.3 million head, down slightly (102,700 head) from last year. Calves born during the first half of the year were estimated at 26.5 million head, down slightly from the first half of 2018. An additional 9.80 million calves are expected to be born during the second half of 2019.

The NASS data also seemed to confirm ideas the expansion phase is over. All cows and heifers that have calves totaled 41.7 million head, also down slightly (100,000 head) from last July. Beef cows, at 32.4 million head, were unchanged from a year ago. Milk cows, at 9.30 million head, were down 1 percent from previous year.

All heifers 500 pounds and over on July 1, 2019 totaled 16.4 million head, 1 percent above the 16.3 million head on July1, 2018. Beef replacement heifers, at 4.40 million head, were down 4 percent from a year ago. Milk replacement heifers, at 4.10 million head, were down 2 percent from previous year.

Other heifers, at 7.90 million head, were 5 percent above a year earlier. Steers 500 pounds and over on July 1, 2019 totaled 14.7 million head, up 1 percent from July 1, 2018. Bulls 500 pounds and over on July 1, 2019 totaled 2.10 million head, unchanged from July 1, 2018. Calves under 500 pounds on July 1, 2019 totaled 28.1 million head, down 1 percent from July 1, 2018.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 13.6 million head on July 1, 2019. This number should not be confused with the monthly cattle on feed report which only counts cattle in feedlots with more than 1,000-head capacity. That number was also released Friday and the total was 11.5 million head, 2% higher than last year.

The inventory of cattle on feed in all feedlots was up 2% from last July. Cattle on feed in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head accounted for 84.4 percent of the total cattle on feed on July 1, 2019, down slightly. The combined total of calves under 500 pounds and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds (outside of feedlots) is 37.1 million head. This is slightly above the 37.0 million head on July 1, 2018.


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