News Release

Contact: Terry Matlock, (720) 787-3172

United States cattle inventory down slightly

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2021 – There were 93.6 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of Jan. 1, 2021, according to the Cattle report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

All cattle and calves inventory

Other key findings in the report were:

  • Of the 93.6 million head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totaled 40.6 million.
  • There were 31.2 million beef cows in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2021, down 1% from last year.
  • The number of milk cows in the United States increased to 9.4 million.
  • U.S. calf crop was estimated at 35.1 million head, down 1% from the previous year.
  • All cattle on feed were at 14.7 million head, up slightly from 2020.

To obtain an accurate measurement of the current state of the U.S. cattle industry, NASS surveyed over 34,900 operators across the nation during the first half of January. Surveyed producers were asked to report their cattle inventories as of Jan. 1, 2021, and calf crop for the entire year of 2020 online, by mail, or telephone.

The Cattle report and all other NASS reports are available online at


NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

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