At What Point Do We Run Out Of Cattle? (Cattle Trader Cen‐ ter, 11/15) ‐‐ The U.S. beef cow herd has decreased 12 of the last 14 years, dropping from a cyclical peak of 35.3 million head in 1996 to the January, 2010 level of 31.3 million head. This represents the smallest beef cow herd since 1963. Combined with smaller dairy cow numbers, the 2010 calf crop is expected to be 35.4 million head, the smallest U.S. calf crop since 1950. Total U.S. cattle inventory has decreased by almost 10 million head since 1996 to the January, 2010 level of 93.7 million head, the smallest cattle inventory since 1959.
Cattle, unlike pork and poultry, DO NOT breed very fast. Total consumption of beef is not falling... ergo the U.S. has come to depend on imported beef and cattle.
It is quite fascinating to watch government policies kerbolix things so badly.