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The size of the US beef cow herd was estimated to have decreased by 2.3% during 2021. Steep culling of the cowherd was a major reason why this was the case as beef cow slaughter was up by nearly 9% for the year. A frustrating calf market and drought in much of the US led to herd reductions as a lot of cows were sent to market. Year-over-year, the increase amounted to almost 300 thousand cows, which probably accounted for about 40% of the reduction in beef cow numbers last year.


US cattle heard decreases 2.1% and continues too. (