• Total cattle inventory continued its downward trend, falling 2% from last year. Beef cow inventories also declined 2%, indicating the contraction period of the cattle cycle is not yet over.
  • Almost all notable categories of cattle inventories were down. One exception was cattle on feed, which was up 2%.
  • Iowa was reported to contain 4% of all US cattle, 3% of US beef cows, and 8% of US cattle on feed.
  • Beef cow and heifer slaughter have not showed obvious signs of slowing, indicating the US herd is not likely to start growing in the immediate future.
  • Despite consistent higher cattle prices, US producers have not yet responded with a larger US herd.
  • The continuation of US herd contraction should offer support to cattle prices moving forward.

Cattle Herd

The inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. on January 1, 2024, was down 2% from last year, dropping from...