Cattle inventory down 5 percent in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced that cattle and calves inventory totaled 1.53 million head on Jan. 1 — down 5 percent from last year’s inventory of 1.61 million.

Virginia’s inventory ranked 20th in the United States for total number of cattle and calves, representing 1.7 percent of the total U.S. inventory. Beef cow inventory, at 657,000 head, was down 4 percent from last year’s 686,000 head. Milk cow inventory totaled 93,000 head, a 1-percent drop.

Beef replacement heifers totaled 115,000 head, down 9,000 head from last year’s total; milk replacement heifer inventory increased, totaling 40,000 head (5,000 head more than last year).

Virginia’s inventory of steers 500 pounds and over totaled 170,000 head, down 13 percent from 2013. Total inventory of all calves less than 500 pounds was 345,000 head, a decline of 10,000 head. The 2013 calf crop totaled 640,000 head, down 30,000 head from 2013.

Virginia’s sheep and lamb inventory totaled 83,000 head — a 5-percent drop from last year’s inventory of 87,000 head. Breeding sheep inventory, at 66,000 head, was down six percent from last year’s total of 70,000 head. Market sheep inventory stayed steady at 17,000 head.

Sheep shorn totaled 32,000 head, a six-percent decline from last year’s total of 34,000. Wool production was 190,000 total pounds, down five percent from last year’s total of 200,000 pounds. The 2013 lamb crop totaled 58,000 head, down 3,000 head from 2012.

Virginia’s meat and other goat inventory totaled 50,000 head on January 1, 2014. This is down 25 percent from last year’s inventory of 67,000 head. Milk goat inventory totaled 3,300 head on January 1, down 1,800 head from last year’s total of 5,100 head.

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