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Published by BeefBasis

The cattle industry is awaiting the release of USDA’s cattle inventory report in the afternoon on January 31st, 2023. The report will give a clearer picture of the overall U.S. beef cattle herd numbers in the wake of the significant cow and heifer liquidation that has been occurring for the past several months. Industry experts have forecast a reduction in “all cattle and calves” inventory ranging from 3.5% to as 5% below 2022.

This chart shows historical January 1 estimates for “All Cattle and Calves” since 1867 along with the percentage year-to-year change in blue (measured on right axis). The horizontal dashed red lines draw a comparison for a 4% drop in inventory. A reduction of 4% would be the largest year-to-year drop since the 1970s and would mean that inventories will have reached their lowest point since the early 1950s.