USDA to survey cattle producers in January
How are higher feed prices and lower consumer spending affecting U.S. cattle production? The U.S. Department of Agriculture is calling on nearly 50,000 cattle operations, nationwide, to provide the latest and most accurate data on current conditions in the industry including cattle inventories and calf production.
"During the first two weeks of January, the Missouri Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will be contacting about 1,800 operations in order to measure trends in beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop and cattle operations," said Missouri Director Gene Danekas.
Those selected for the survey will have the option of responding via telephone, mail, Internet, or personal interview with a local NASS representative. "Whichever option a producer chooses, they are providing an important service to the cattle industry and to U.S. agriculture as a whole," Danekas said. "Their responses will be compiled with those of their fellow producers nationwide, providing the only accurate and comprehensive estimate of the state of U.S. cattle production."
The information they provide is a critical decision-making tool for the cattle industry, he explained. "For example, it helps producers make informed marketing decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction. It also helps packers and government evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export," Danekas said.
Danekas noted that, as is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. NASS safeguards the privacy of all survey responses and publishes only state- and national-level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified.
Results will be published in NASS's biannual Cattle Report, on Jan. 30. The report will provide state- and national-level estimates of total inventory, beef cows, milk cows, bulls, replacement heifers, other heifers, steers, calves, and number of calves born during the previous year. In addition, NASS' Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock Operations report, published in February, will include data on the number of operations with cattle and calves, and percent of inventory by herd size. These and all reports are available on the NASS website: www.nass.usda.gov.