U.S. cattle herd expansion not here yet

A livestock economist says beef cow slaughter numbers indicate expansion of the US cattle herd won’t happen anytime soon.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says the year-to-date beef cow slaughter is 4.95% of beginning inventory.

“Cow slaughter is not down enough that we’re actually building cow inventory. You have to get at below four percent of that beginning inventory before you talk about real increase in beef cow inventory.”

For the same period in 2022, the rate was 5.45 beginning cow inventory.

He tells Brownfield there is likely some building in some parts of cattle country, but…

“It’s just recovery, its not new growth.  You’ve got other parts of the country, you know, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri where it’s dry enough that I think it’s just tough, even if you wanted to expand, to make sure you have enough forage for that expansion plan.”

Brown says from 2015 to 2018 beef cow slaughter was 3.5% of beginning cow inventory.

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