Missouri Cattle Totals Hold Steady Despite Drought, Nationwide Decline

Missouri was one of the few states that saw its cattle population increase during 2022, despite flash drought and higher input costs.  The semi-annual USDA Cattle Inventory report found that the state’s producers had 4.11 million head on hand to start the year, up 20,000 from a year ago.  Cows and heifers that had calved were unchanged at 2.01 million, but with just 65,000 of them being milk cows.  Missouri was one of just three states that had at least one million calves under 500 pounds, with only California and Texas reporting more.  The state’s calf crop in 2022 was steady at 1.89 million.  Just 80,000 head were in feedlots around the state.  Missouri remains fourth in the nation for the number of cows and heifers that have calved, as well as sixth in the nation for overall cattle population.

Steady numbers in Missouri went against the national trend of lower inventories across the board.  Cattle population at the start of 2023 was down three percent from a year ago at 89.3 million head.  Nearly all categories were down three to four percent.