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Industry Statistics

Beef Industry Overview

Beef has the most unique and complex lifecycle of any food produced in the United States. The cattle and beef industry includes a variety of distinct segments, and it takes 2-3 years to bring beef from farm to fork.

 

ALL CATTLE AND CALVES

Annual Cash Receipts

2012

$66,090,126

2013

$67,849,440 

2014

$81,076,720 

2015

$78,252,807 

2016

$63,691,327 

2017

$66,936,726 

2018

$67,038,059 

2019

$66,239,043 

2020             

$62,013,996 

2021             

$65,958,605 

Source: USDA

 

U.S. Beef Community

  • Beef cattle are raised in all 50 states
  • Average age of a cattle producer is 58.3

882,692 total cattle & calf operations. Of these:

  • 802,317 are cow/calf and stocker/backgrounder cattle farms and ranches
  • 96% are family owned and operated
  • 9% are operated by women
  • 28,180 are feedlot production operations.(80% family owned.)
  • 54,599 are dairy herds
  • All Cattle and Calves
    • 93.6 million – 1% decrease from 2020 (93.8 million)
  • All Cattle on Feed
    • 14.7 million – comparable to 2020 (14.7 million)
      • >1000 head feedlot capacity – 81.4% cattle
  • Cows
    • Beef: 31.2 million head, down 1% from 2020
    • Milk: 9.44 million head, down 1% from 2020
  • Cows and Heifers that Calved
    • 40.69 million head – slightly below 2020 (40.7 million)
  • Heifers 500lbs and over
    • 20 million head – comparable to 2020 (20 million)
      • Beef Replacement Heifers
        • 5.81 million, up slightly from 2020
      • Milk Replacement Heifers
        • 4.60 million, down 2% from 2020
      • Other Heifers
        • 9.58 million, 1% increase from 2020
  • Steers 500lbs and over
    • 16.6 million head – up slightly from 2020
  • Bulls 500lbs and over
    • 2.21 million head – down 1% from 2020
  • Calves under 500lbs
    • 2.21 million head – down 1% from 2020
  • 2020 Calf Crop
    • 35.1 million head – down 1% from 2019
      • Jan.– June Calves: 25.8 million head - down 1% from 2019
      • July – Dec. Calves: 9.39 million head (27% of the total 2019 calf crop)

 

Top 5 States

  • All Cattle
    • Texas: 13.1 million 
    • Nebraska: 6.85 million 
    • Kansas: 6.5 million 
    • Oklahoma: 5.3 million
    • California: 5.15 million
  • Cows and Heifers that have Calved
    • Texas: 5.3 million 
    • California: 2.39 million 
    • Oklahoma: 2.23 million 
    • Missouri: 2.16 million 
    • Nebraska: 1.96 million 
  • Beef Cows that have Calved
    • Texas: 4.69 million 
    • Oklahoma: 2.19 million
    • Missouri: 2.04 million
    • Nebraska: 1.9 million 
    • South Dakota: 1.8 million
  • Dairy Cows that have Calved
    • California: 1.72 million
    • Wisconsin: 1.26 million
    • Idaho: 646,000 
    • New York: 625,000
    • Texas: 615,000
  • Calf Crop
    • Texas: 4.6 million
    • Oklahoma: 1.95 million
    • Missouri: 1.91 million
    • California: 1.84 million
    • South Dakota: 1.78 million
  • Cattle on Feed
    • Texas: 2.89 million
    • Nebraska: 2.72 million 
    • Kansas: 2.66 million 
    • Iowa: 1.17 million
    • Colorado: 1.14 million 

Source: USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service

 

Leading Beef Exports 

January 2020-January 2021

Country

Metric Tons

Value ($Millions)

South Korea

20,734

$154,553,000

Japan

18,368

$113,262,000

Hong Kong/China

10,884

$86,459,000

Mexico

10,514

$68,249,000

Canada

9,173

$60,139,000

Leading Variety Meat Exports 

January 2020-January 2021

Country or Region

Metric Tons

Value ($Millions)

Japan

3,650

$24,797,000

Mexico

7,531

$19,581,000

Middle East

5,451

$6,946,000

South Korea

621

$4,170,000

Hong Kong/China

822

$3,986,000

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation


Sources: 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2020 & 2021

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Census of Agriculture, 2017

U.S. Meat Export Federation, 2021