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Industry Statistics

Beef Industry Overview

  • Most unique and complex lifecycle of any food, includes variety of segments
  • Takes 2-3 years to bring beef from farm to fork

1Data accessed 5/30/19 https://data.ers.usda.gov/reports.aspx?ID=17832
***Forcasted Values

ALL CATTLE AND CALVES

2010

$51,246,136

2011

$62,321,217

2012

$66,090,126

2013

$67,457,442

2014

$81,478,368

2015

$78,128,981

2016

$63,672,844

2017

$67,351,377

2018***

$66,510,424

2019***

$69,167,213



 

Evolution of Beef Industry

  • The U.S. beef production system used to be inefficient- cattle were moved around based on the location of grass at any given time
  • The first widespread early cattle feedyards in the nation were built by cottonseed oil-mill operators in the 1850s to utilize mill by-products
  • Around 1914, due to a drop in the number of cattle, we started feeding cattle at an earlier age, which resulted in higher-quality meat

 


 

U.S. Beef Community

  • Beef Cattle are raised in all 50 states
  • Average age of a principle beef cattle rancher is 57.4  
  • 913,246 total cattle & calf operations2. Of these:
    • 727,906 are beef farms and ranches. Of these:
      • 91% are family-owned or individually-operated
      • 11% are operated by women
    • 26,586 are engaged in cattle feedlot production. Of these:
      • 80% are family-owned or individually operated
      • 5% are operated by women
    • 64,098 are milk cow operations
  • All Cattle and Calves
    • 94.8 million - up slightly from 2018 (94.3 million)
  • All Cattle on Feed
    • 14.4 million head - 2% increase from 2018 (14.1 million)
      • >1000 head capacity - 81.3% of cattle on feed
  • Cows: Beef Cows
    • Beef: 31.8 million - 1% increase from 2018
    • Dairy: 9.35 million - 1% decrease from 2018
  • Cows and Heifers that Calved
    • 41.1 million - 1% increase from 2018 (40.9 million)
  • 2018 Calf Crop
    • 36.4 million head - 2% increase from 2017
      • Jan - June Calves
        • 26.6 million - 3% increase from 2017
      • July - Dec Calves
        • 9.8 million (27% of the total 2018 calf crop)
  • Heifers over 500lbs
    • 20.2 million 
      • Beef Replacement Heifers
        • 5.92 million head - 3% decrease from 2018
      • Milk Replacement Heifers
        • 4.7 million head - 1% decrease from 2018
      • Other Heifers
        • 9.6 million head - 3% increase from 2018
  • Steers over 500lbs
    • 16.6 million - 1% increase from 2018
  • Bulls over 500lbs
    • 2.26 million
  • Calves under 500lbs
    • 14.5 million - 1% increase from 2018
  • Slaughter 
    • Commercial Slaughter: 33 million 
      • Calf: 579,800
    • Federally Inspected Slaughter: 32.5 million
      • Steer: 16.6 million
      • Heifer: 9.2 million
      • Cow: 6.2 million
        • Beef Cows - 3.02 million
        • Dairy Cows - 3.2 million
      • Bull: 537,600
      • Calf: 571,400
    • U.S. Beef Production
      • Federally Inspected - 26.5 billion lbs
      • Commercial - 26.9 billion lbs

 


 

Top 5 States

  • All Cattle
    • Texas: 13 million 
    • Nebraska: 6.8 million 
    • Kansas: 6.35 million 
    • Oklahoma: 5.3 million
    • California: 5.15 million
  • Cows and Heifers that have Calved
    • Texas: 5.2 million 
    • California: 2.38 million 
    • Oklahoma: 2.19 million 
    • Missouri: 2.14 million 
    • Nebraska: 2 million 
  • Beef Cows that have Calved
    • Texas: 4.66 million 
    • Oklahoma: 2.15 million
    • Missouri: 2.06 million
    • Nebraska: 1.94 million 
    • South Dakota: 1.82 million
  • Dairy Cows that have Calved
    • California: 1.73 million
    • Wisconsin: 1.27 million
    • New York: 625,000
    • Idaho: 614,000 
    • Texas: 545,000
  • Calf Crop
    • Texas: 4.75 million
    • Oklahoma: 2.05 million
    • Missouri: 1.94 million
    • South Dakota: 1.9 million
    • California: 1.86 million
  • Cattle on Feed
    • Nebraska: 2.75 million
    • Texas: 2.75 million 
    • Kansas: 2.43 million 
    • Iowa: 1.32 million
    • Colorado: 1.05 million 

  • Of the 30,320 feedlots in the U.S., those with less than 1,000 head of capacity compose the vast majority of U.S. feedlots (85.8%).5
  • As of January 1, 2019, of the 14.37 million head on feed, feedlots with greater than 1,000 head capacity account for 81% of all cattle on feed.5
  • The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. (i.e. purchased by consumers in foodservice and retail) in 2018 was 26.767 billion pounds.7
  • The amount of beef consumed in the U.S. Per Capita in 2018 was 57.2 lbs.7
  • Average price of USDA Choice beef sold in retail in 2018 was $6.24/lb8
    • $4.82 was the average retail price for all beef at retail in 2018
  • Value of U.S. beef exports (including variety meat) in 2018: $8.332 billion, up from $7.269 billion in 2017.6
  • Volume of beef export: 1.35 million metric tons in 2018 up from 1.26 metric tons in 2017. 6
  • Top U.S. Beef Export Markets (including variety meat) for 2017

2018

Country

Metric Tons

Value ($Millions)

Japan

330,217

$2,077

South Korea

239,676

$1,747

Mexico

239,110

$1,058

Hong Kong

122,832

$966

Canada

114,039

$745

Taiwan

59,694

$550

 


 

Resources:
1U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 2016
2U.S. Department of Agriculture, Census of Agriculture, 2012
3Livestock Marketing Information Center, Jan. 1, 2016
4CattleFax Data 2016
5CME Group Daily Livestock Report 2016
6U.S. Meat Export Federation 2016
7USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand estimates, June 2019
8IRI/Freshlook, Total US MULO ending 5/26/2019; Categorized by VMMeat System

 

2018 National Cattlemen Directions Statistics