Cattle numbers lowest since 1950s

photo of beef steers

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The number of cattle and calves in Ohio Jan. 1, 2013, was estimated at 1.23 million head, down 4 percent from last year.

According to the latest numbers from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in Ohio, beef cows, at 290,000 head, were down 3 percent from last year, and milk cows, at 270,000 head, were unchanged from last year.

Replacement heifers

Ohio’s beef replacement heifers were at 55,000, the same as last year but dairy replacement heifers were up 5,000 head from last year.

Other heifers, at 65,000 head, were down 5,000 head from last year. Steers 500 pounds and over were also down 5,000 head from last year to 185,000 head. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market, at 160,000 head decreased by 11 percent.

Bulls, at 20,000 head, declined by 5,000 head from Jan. 1, 2012.

Ohio’s calf crop, at 480,000 head, decreased by 2 percent from last year.

National picture

All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2013, totaled 89.3 million head, 2 percent below the 90.8 million on Jan. 1, 2012.

This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 88.1 million on hand in 1952. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 38.5 million, were down 2 percent from the 39.4 million on Jan. 1, 2012.

This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory of all cows and heifers that have calved since the 36.8 million head in 1941. Beef cows, at 29.3 million, were down 3 percent from Jan. 1, 2012. Milk cows, at 9.2 million, unchanged from Jan. 1, 2012.


Other class estimates on Jan. 1, 2013 and the change from Jan. 1, 2012, are as follows: All heifers 500 pounds and over, 19.1 million, down 1 percent.

Beef replacement heifers, 5.4 million, up 2 percent. Milk replacement heifers, 4.6 million, down 2 percent. Other heifers, 9.2 million, down 3 percent. Steers weighing 500 pounds and over, 15.8 million, unchanged.

Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over, 2.1 million, down 2 percent. Calves under 500 pounds, 13.8 million, down 2 percent.

Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all feedlots, 13.4 million, down 5 percent. The combined total of calves under 500 pounds, and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds outside of feedlots was 25.5 million, up 1 percent.

Calf crop

The 2012 calf crop was estimated at 34.3 million head, down 3 percent from 2011. This is the smallest calf crop since the 33.7 million born during 1949. Calves born during the first half of 2012 are estimated at 25.0 million, down 3 percent from 2011.


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  1. Well with grain and hay prices up, we just can’t afford to care for them like we used to and it’s only gana get worse with the drought in the west and obama raiseing everyone’s taxes again, something has got to give sooner or later, plus HSUS on everyons back don’t help any either..

  2. You cant make muchiif anything unless you run a lot of cattle. Feeding anything less than 30 head in Ohio nets you nothing but a hobby n headache. You feed a huge cow to get your money back after selling the calf. If you don’t make your own hay you loose money.

  3. I raise goats and sell thier kids at 3 and 4mo.old to pay for the feed and hay i give my cattle and horses.goats are actualy selling pretty good right now and they keep going up every year.I have dairy goats and they are growing in population over the so-called meat goat.most of my LaMancha Nubian goats are bigger then most meat goats anyway.They also make good pasture cleaners they eat all the weeds plus that nasty multi floral rose bush stuff that grows up here,in return that makes more grass grow for the cattle and hay production..


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