Lack of data problematic for the cattle industry

The USDA’s cancelation of the July Cattle Inventory report leaves the industry with less data, and an ag economist says that’s a concern.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says especially when considering the current cattle cycle. “There’s so much discussion about when are we going to start growing, when are we going to see the cow herd try to expand,” he says.  “Missing the July data is potentially problematic if we try to start to grow as we go further here in the next few months.”

He tells Brownfield the next inventory report isn’t scheduled until January 2025, and a lot can happen in a year’s time. “We’re going to only have two pieces of the puzzle here to think about,” he says.  “Beef cows in particular, and that’s beef cow slaughter and percentage of heifers on feed once a quarter.”

Brown says those are good indicators of what’s happening in the industry, but don’t tell the complete picture.

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