Cattle inventory down a percent

From contributed reports
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced this week that Virginia’s cattle and calf inventory was down one percent in 2010. (“Cattle and calf” is a term used for breeding beef cows that have calves.)

According to the Virginia Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Virginia’s cattle and calf inventory totaled 1.54 million head on Jan. 1, down from last January’s inventory of 1.55 million head.

Virginia’s inventory tied with New Mexico, ranking 20th in the United States for total number of cattle and calves and representing 1.7 percent of the total United States inventory.

Beef cow inventory, at 675,000 head, was up two percent from last year’s total of 665,000 head. Milk cow inventory totaled 95,000 head, remaining constant with inventory from Jan. 1, 2010.

Beef replacement heifers totaled 90,000 head on Jan. 1, 2011, down 20,000 from last year’s total of 110,000 head. Milk replacement heifer inventory also decreased, totaling 49,000 head, a decline of 1,000 from last year. Replacement heifers are young female animals used for breeding purposes.

Virginia’s inventory of steers 500 pounds and over totaled 160,000, down nine percent. Steers are castrated males that are used for beef, not reproduction. Total inventory of all calves under 500 pounds was 370,000, an increase of 20,000 over Jan. 1, 2010.

The 2010 calf crop totaled 650,000 head, down 40,000 head from the 2009 calf crop.

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