Friday, November 26, 2010

U.S. Cattle Herd

This quote comes courtesy of the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Office:

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.


Bill said...

But, but, but...I went into the store and lots of people were buying beef so everything must be ok.

Dan said...



PioneerPreppy said...

I would be very interested to see what the actual beef packaging sits at for the USA today vs. the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Personally I know some improvements in cattle breeds and other areas gives us a higher percentage of product per head. I wonder if it has kept up with demand.

And BIll very funny BTW :)

bureaucrat said...

But, but, but I heated my house for $1 per million BTU in 1999, and then someone said we had peaked in natural gas production in this country. They were building these really expensive "frozen natural gas (LNG)" ships to ship us the natural gas from outside the U.S. ... so I look today, and we have more domestic natural gas than we know what to do with. Whoever invested in those LNG ports and ships must have been really stupid.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Donal Lang said...

While you are beefing about the government ;-) this may be a very attractive way forward for them. Beware!

Anonymous said...


There is already a bill floating around Congress to that effect. It would convert everyones private retirement account into a government controlled annuity. A Republican controlled Congress will never pass it, I hope.


Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...


Why didn't I think of that?

Anyway... of course its not head count as much as total pounds produced (meat and milk).

I put this stuff up so thinking people can throw a wrench into the works...

I will check that.