On January 1 there were 1,250,000 head of cattle and calves on Alabama farms according to figures released by the Alabama Agriculture Statistics Service, ranking Alabama as 14th in beef cattle numbers nationwide.
Nationally, there were 89.3 million head of cattle and calves on U.S. farms as of Jan. 1, 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Of the 89.3 million head inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved totaled 38.3 million.
There are 28.9 million beef cows in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2023, down 4% from last year. The U.S. calf crop was estimated at 34.5 million head, down 2% from 2021, while all cattle on feed were at 14.2 million head, down 4% from 2022.
Value of Cattle Inventory & Hay Crops
The total value of cattle on Alabama farms in 2022 was $2.5 billion. The value per head on January 1 was $1,200.
Alabama cattle depend on hay as a major winter feed source and cattlemen produce a lot of hay each year. In 2022 1.836 million tons of hay was harvested from 680,000 acres. The total value of the hay crop was $235 million.
Beef Demand Still Strong14th In Number of Beef Cattle
Beef demand remains strong both domestically and internationally. The top eight importers of U.S. beef include South Korea, China/Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, Colombia, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. The total export value of U.S. beef and beef products in 2022 was $11.68 billion.
Inventory of all cattle and calves in the United States, as of January 1, 2023, totaled 89.3 million head, down 3 percent from the 92.1 million head on January 1, 2022. There were 678,000 beef cows that had calved in the state on January 1. The state ranks 14th among all states in beef cow numbers. USDA figures show there were 17,972 farms in Alabama with beef cows that have calved.
Alabama cattle producers primarily have cow-calf farms each year the calf crop is sold and shipped to stocker programs in the Midwest or directly feedlots for finishing A statewide network of 27 livestock auctions provide easy access markets to sell cattle.