U. S., Canadian Cattle Inventory Up 3%

All cattle and calves in the United States and Canada totaled 104 million head on Jan. 1, 2016, according to a report Tuesday from the U. S. Department of Agriculture. That was up 3% from the 101 million head on Jan. 1, 2015. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 44.4 million head, were up 2% from a year ago.

Tuesday’s report was the last for 2016, according to an earlier USDA release. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is suspending the July Cattle report, which was slated for release on July 22, and the U.S. and Canadian Cattle report scheduled for August 23. The reports have been published twice a year, in late winter and in late summer. NASS published the January Cattle report on Jan. 29, 2016 and released the U.S. and Canadian Cattle report, which uses data from the January Cattle report, on Tuesday, March 8

U.S. Cattle and Calves Were 92 Million Head

All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2016, totaled 92.0 million head, 3% above the 89.1 million head on Jan. 1, 2015. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.6 million head, were up 3% from a year ago.

All cattle and calves in Canada as of Jan. 1, 2016, totaled 12.0 million head, up slightly from the 11.9 million on Jan. 1, 2015. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 4.79 million, were up slightly from a year ago.

The late winter report released Tuesday also includes the sheep and lamb counts. All sheep and lambs in the United States and Canada combined totaled 6.15 million head on Jan. 1, 2016, up slightly from the 6.12 million on Jan. 1, 2015. Breeding sheep, at 4.60 million head, were up slightly from a year ago. Market sheep and lambs, at 1.55 million head, were up slightly from last year.

Suspension Resulted From Budget Restrictions

The Cattle report issued in July contains inventory numbers of all cattle and calves in the United States. The U.S. and Canadian Cattle report is a joint effort of Statistics Canada and NASS to report the number of cattle and calves by class and calf crop for both countries within one publication. .

A NASS spokesman said the decision to suspend the report was not made lightly but was necessary because of available fiscal and program resources. NASS said it reviewed estimating programs against mission-and user-based criteria. It also considered the amount of time remaining in the fiscal year to meet budget and program requirements while maintaining the strongest data in service to U.S. agriculture. NASS said it will continue to review federal agricultural statistical programs, using the same criteria to ensure that timely, accurate and useful statistics are provided.

Cash Cattle Trade

Cash cattle markets Tuesday were limited on extremely light demand. Trade was at $136 to $137 per cwt on a live basis and a few dressed sales were at $214.

The USDA reported its choice cutout price down $1,17 per cwt. at $220.25 and select up 0.81 at $214.55. The choice/select spread widened to $5.70 from $5.18. There were 191 loads of fabricated product sold into the spot market.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Monday was $159.18, up 0.28. This compares with Mar’s Tuesday’s settlement of $1.58.97, up $1.02.