Extending the Productive Life of the Stock Cow

Author: Kristy



JANUARY 1, 2014

By: Jim Krantz, Cow/Calf Field Specialist at SDSU Extension

January 1, 2013 U.S. cow inventory totals documented a 60-year low in stock cow numbers, marking eight continuous years of reduction in the U.S. cowherd. Most analysts predict those totals to indicate further reductions when the January 1, 2014 report is unveiled.

Several factors have contributed to this trend, none more so than the drought of 2012. Cow inventories in the southern U.S. dwindled by as much as 12 percent while northern herds recorded liquidation estimates of about half that amount. In addition to the drought, escalating feed costs, farmer/rancher age and the conversion of hay and pasture land to crop acres were significant factors contributing to stock cow inventory reductions.


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