Cattle Inventory Down Slightly, Calf Crop Down 1%
February 1, 2021
USDA’s annual Cattle Inventory report released Friday estimated the total U.S. herd on Jan. 1, 2021, at 93.6 million head, about 200,000 head fewer than in 2020.
All cows and heifers that have calved totaled 40.6 million head. The total beef cow number was 31.2 million head, 1% fewer than a year ago. Dairy cows totaled 9.44 million, up 1% from last year.
All heifers 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2021, totaled 20.0 million head, slightly below the 2020 estimate. Beef replacement heifers, at 5.81 million head, were up slightly from a year ago. Milk replacement heifers, at 4.60 million head, were down 2% from last year. Other heifers, at 9.58 million head, were 1% above a year earlier.
Steers weighing 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2021 totaled 16.6 million head, up slightly from January 1, 2020. Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2021 totaled 2.21 million head, down 1% from last year.
Calves under 500 pounds as of January 1, 2021, totaled 14.2 million head, down 1% from last year.
Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 14.7 million head on Jan. 1, up slightly from last year.
The 2020 calf crop in the United States was estimated at 35.1 million head, down 1% from the previous year's calf crop. Calves born during the first half of 2020 were estimated at 25.8 million head, down 1% from the first half of 2019. Calves born during the second half of 2020 were estimated at 9.39 million head, 27% of the total 2020 calf crop.