Industry At A Glance: Latest inventory figures show cow herd expansion is underway

State-by-state inventory figures reveal the first time producers have built the beef cow herd since 2005 and 2006. 

Nevil Speer

February 9, 2015

1 Min Read
Industry At A Glance: Latest inventory figures show cow herd expansion is underway

This year’s USDA Cattle Inventory report was especially significant – it revealed that U.S. beef producers have seemingly turned the corner and are now committed to rebuilding the cow herd over the next several years. Moreover, 2015’s beef cow inventory was even larger than expected; this year’s cowherd is more than 600,000 head larger than last year. The growth is the first time producers have built the herd since 2005 and 2006; those two years combined saw an increase of only about 170,000 head.  

The accompanying chart breaks down 2015’s beef cow inventory on a state-by-state level for the top 25 states. Cumulatively, these states represent approximately 90% of the nation’s beef cow inventory. Texas and Oklahoma beef cow inventories increased by 270,000 and 105,000 cows, respectively, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s growth. Note, too, that both Oklahoma and Iowa jumped two spots in the overall ranking.

How do you view the overall trend of cow herd expansion? Will we repeat the same pattern in 2015? Are there opportunities within your state to grow the cow herd even further? Besides weather, what’s the largest factor that limits producers in your area from keeping more cows?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


You might also like:

100 biggest seedstock producers in the U.S.

6 things to consider as you clean out the vet cupboard

9 ranch management concepts to improve your ranch

3 ways mineral supplementation is key to optimal performance in beef cattle

It's the cowboys turn in the market driver's seat

7 U.S. cattle operations honored for stewardship efforts



About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

Subscribe to Our Newsletters
BEEF Magazine is the source for beef production, management and market news.

You May Also Like