US cattle herd collapses – suckler cows at lowest level since 1962
Steaks and hamburgers are likely to become more expensive in the next few years as US beef herds shrink to their lowest levels since 2014.
there were nearly 89.3 million cattle on Jan. 1, down 3% from a year ago, according to a US Department of Agriculture cattle inventory report Tuesday. While the drop wasn’t unexpected, the total was close to what a Bloomberg poll had expected, but a larger drop in beef production could still be ahead in 2025 or 2026.
“As fewer cattle supplies become available, beef production is expected to decline significantly over the next few years,” said Courtney Shum, cattle market reporter at Urner Barry, an industry publication.
Years of drought on the US plains have withered pastures and made forage, such as hay and corn, scarce. The result: ranchers have liquidated some animals to save on costs, depressing breeding.
In Texas, a major cattle state, the USDA said in a separate report that grazing and grazing conditions are “mostly poor due to lack of moisture and cold temperatures.”
Meanwhile, the number of beef cows developed for raising calves fell to its lowest level since 1962.
“We’re still in the contraction phase,” said Don Roose, founder of US Commodities, a grain and livestock investment and management firm. “It takes a long time to rebuild a herd.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/us-cattle-herd-plummets-suckler-cows-at-lowest-level-since-1962-42323172.html US cattle herd collapses – suckler cows at lowest level since 1962