US, Canadian cattle, sheep inventories down

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Cattle and calves in the United States and Canada combined totaled 103.3 million head on Jan. 1, 2012, a decline of 2 percent from 105.1 million in the year-ago period, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

US cattle and calves totaled 90.8 million head as of Jan. 1, 2012, down 2 percent from 92.7 million in 2011, according to the agency. All cows and heifers that have calved were also down 2 percent to 39.1 million head.

As of Jan. 1, cattle and calves in Canada totaled 12.5 million head, an increase of 0.5 percent from the year-ago period. All cows and heifers that have calved were at 5.21 million, down 1 percent from a year ago.

Sheep inventories also eased in 2012, according to NASS. All sheep and lambs in the US and Canada combined totaled 6.17 million head on Jan. 1, 2012, down 2 percent from 6.29 million on Jan. 1, 2011. Breeding sheep were down 2 percent to 4.61 million compared to a year ago, while market sheep and lambs were down 1 percent to 1.57 million head, according to NASS.

US sheep and lambs totaled 5.35 million head, down 2 percent from 5.48 million head on Jan. 1, 2011, NASS said. The agency recorded 3.98 million head of breeding sheep, a decline of 3 percent compared to a year ago, while market sheep and lambs were at 1.37 million head, down 2 percent from 2011.

Sheep and lambs in Canada as of Jan. 1, 2012, advanced 2 percent to a total of 829,000 head compared to the 2011 number of 813,000, NASS said. Breeding sheep, at 631,000 head, increased 1 percent from last year. Market sheep and lambs, also advanced to 198,000 head, an increase of 5 percent from a year ago.

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