cattle herd numbers

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farmwriter

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U.S. CATTLE HERD AT 36-YEAR LOW---The U.S. cattle herd was at a 36-year low in June and the number of cattle being fattened at feedlots was the smallest in 10 years, with the contraction expected to last until 2012, according to a USDA report issued Friday.

The herd is in the third year of reduction amid the recession, high grain prices and lingering concerns over the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the U.S. in 2003. The financial strain from high feed and fuel costs was compounded by parched pasture, especially in the southern Plains, a key cattle-producing and -feeding region.

USDA put the July 1 cattle on feed supply at 9.752 million head, down 5 percent from last year and the lowest July number in 10 years.

Reuters article <http://bit.ly/NMRuy>
 

Alberta farmer

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Now I'm not real sure about this, but I think a couple of years ago the USA basically was export/import neutral? In other words if all imports and exports stopped they would be able to absorb all the beef domestically?
Until about the mid nineties Canada was actually a net importer of beef. Changes to the grain transportation system made it almost a necessity to increase the hog and cattle herds. Worked good for awhile and every man and his dog was planting grass and slapping up hog barns! Now the hog barns are sitting empty and falling apart and the grass is getting ripped up! I suspect by the end of this year Canada will become a net importer of beef once again.
Canada exported a lot of cattle and beef to the USA. About 5% of the USA production? By next year with a reduced herd that will basically end. The USA shouldn't worry though...Brazil is just waiting in the wings to supply all the meat you need...of course the US government will have to convince the American farmers and ranchers that foot and mouth isn't that big of a deal and the consumer that Zebu beef is tasty!
 

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