January 1 Cattle Inventory Down Slightly

All cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2020 totaled 94.4 million head, slightly below the 94.8 million head on January 1, 2019.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 40.7 million head, were 1 percent below the 41.0 million head on January 1, 2019. Beef cows, at 31.3 million head, were down 1 percent from a year ago. Milk cows, at 9.33 million head, were down slightly from the previous year.

All heifers 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2020 totaled 20.1 million head, slightly below the 20.2 million head on January 1, 2019. Beef replacement heifers, at 5.77 million head, were down 2 percent from a year ago. Milk replacement heifers, at 4.64 million head, were down 1 percent from the previous year. Other heifers, at 9.71 million head, were 1 percent above a year earlier.

Steers weighing 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2020 totaled 16.7 million head, down 1 percent from January 1, 2019.

Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2020 totaled 2.24 million head, down 1 percent from January 1, 2019.

Calves under 500 pounds as of January 1, 2020 totaled 14.7 million head, up 1 percent from January 1, 2019.

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 14.7 million head on January 1, 2020. The inventory is up 2 percent from the January 1, 2019 total of 14.4 million head. Cattle on feed in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head accounted for 81.5 percent of the total cattle on feed on January 1, 2020, up slightly from the previous year. The combined total of calves under 500 pounds and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds (outside of feedlots) at 26.4 million head, was slightly below January 1, 2019.

Calf Crop Down 1 Percent

The 2019 calf crop in the United States was estimated at 36.1 million head, down 1 percent from last year's calf crop. Calves born during the first half of 2019 were estimated at 26.4 million head, down slightly from the first half of 2018. Calves born during the second half of 2019 were estimated at 9.71 million head, 27 percent of the total 2019 calf crop.