Beef cowWith the latest report showing US drought conditions identified in more than 61% of the country, beef cattle inventories will also continue to feel the heat. Conditions are showing similar traits to September of 2012, when 65% of the US was classified to be in drought, setting an all-time record that resulted in beef cattle herd numbers dropping to their lowest since 1952. The impact of current US drought conditions is affecting nearly 80% of the nations herd.

Herd inventories from the Central Plains are expected to take the largest hit. Reflecting on 2021, seven of the eight states within this region culled cows, with Iowa being the lone exception. This totaled 484,000 cows, which equated to 67% of the total US loss this past year (719,000). With no relief from drought conditions in sight, it’s likely these numbers will continue to increase.

Read more on the impact of drough on the nation’s herd inventories.