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Cattle inventory down, contraction likely to continue

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There were fewer cattle in the U.S. at the start of 2024 than 2023 and it looks like that contraction will continue.

That’s mostly in line with pre-report expectations and due to several factors, including producers trying to improve their bottom lines and ongoing drought in many major feeding areas.

On January 1st, there were 87.157 million cattle in the U.S., 2% lower than a year ago, with all cows and heifers that have calved also declining 2%.

Cattle inventory down, contraction likely to continue