U.S. cattle inventory hits a nine-year high

At 32.5 million, the number of beef cows, including heifers that have calved, is 7 percent above the 2015 mid-year count. The ratio of the July beef cow inventory to the January level is the highest since 1993. These numbers confirm that the cowherd is still expanding. Heifer slaughter is up 11 percent so far in 2017, and the number of heifers on feed was up 11 percent in the 2nd quarter of this year, suggesting that heifer retention is slowing.

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