Cattle inventory shows some surprising regional shifts


Cattle inventory shows some surprising regional shifts

The USDA’s latest Cattle Inventory report hints at the start of some contraction in the beef industry. University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says looking at the regional shifts — Colorado, Kentucky, and Missouri showed the largest declines. 

He tells Brownfield he expected to see a decline in Colorado.  “I think the weather has played a role in a state like Colorado,” he says.  “The next two, Missouri and Kentucky, with Missouri down nearly 50,000 head and Kentucky down nearly 40,000 head, those surprise me.  While there might have been some weather issues in parts if Missouri, there weren’t really weather issues overall.”

On the flip side, he tells Brownfield Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas saw the largest increases in beef cow inventory.  “Oklahoma was up 80,000 head – I would have thought maybe some dry weather would have caught Oklahoma,” he says.  “It’s a mixed bag. I think that shows an overall smaller reduction than many of us would have thought coming into that report.”

The USDA’s next Cattle Inventory Report comes out in July.