If you have gone to the grocery store lately you may have noticed that beef prices are on the rise.

Compared to the last 25 years, this is the smallest supply of cattle the country has seen according to the USDA.

We've seen it in Texas, without rain it has been hard for ranchers to grow grass for their cattle and so they have to make the hard decision to slaughter. The USDA says we are already down 3% compared to last year.

According to the report, there were around 112 million head of cattle in the United States in 1998. The number dropped after the 2011 drought; it is dropping once again this year to 95 million head.

The weighted average market price for a steer this July is 27% higher than it was in July 2022.

Other key findings in the USDA report were:

  • Of the 95.9 million head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totaled 38.8 million.
  • There are 29.4 million beef cows in the United States as of July 1, 2023, down 3% from last year.
  • The number of milk cows in the United States remained unchanged at 9.40 million.
  • U.S. calf crop was estimated at 33.8 million head, down 2% from 2022.
  • All cattle on feed were at 13.1 million head, down 2% from 2022.

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