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Cattle and sheep counts made

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 3:15 p.m. CDT

The total number of cattle and calves in Illinois on Jan. 1 was 1.12 million head, 50,000 head above last year’s total. This is the first increase in Jan. 1 cattle inventory since 2007. Beef cows and steers played the largest part in this increase, up 29,000 and 30,000 respectively.

All cattle and calves in the United States as of Jan. 1 totaled 89.3 million head, 2 percent below the 90.8 million on Jan. 1, 2012. This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since the 88.1 million on hand in 1952.

All cows and heifers that have calved, at 38.5 million, were down 2 percent from the 39.4 million on Jan. 1, 2012. This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory of all cows and heifers that have calved since the 36.8 million head in 1941.

The total number of sheep and lambs in Illinois on Jan. 1 was 53,000, 7 percent below last year’s total of 57,000 head. Breeding inventory, at 45,000 head, decreased 6 percent, while market inventory decreased 1,000 head to 8,000 head for 2013. Illinois’s 2012 lamb crop decreased 2,000 from last year to 47,000 head.

All sheep and lamb inventory in the United States on Jan. 1 totaled 5.34 million head, down 1 percent from 2012. Breeding sheep inventory decreased to 3.98 million head on Jan. 1, down 1 percent from 4.0 million head on Jan. 1, 2012. Ewes one year old and older, at 3.14 million head, were 1 percent below last year. Market sheep and lambs on Jan. 1 totaled 1.36 million head, down 1 percent from Jan. 1, 2012. Market lambs comprised 94 percent of the total market inventory. Twenty-three percent were lambs under 65 pounds, 12 percent were 65-84 pounds, 22 percent were 85-105 pounds, and 37 percent were over 105 pounds. Market sheep comprised the remaining 6 percent of total market inventory.

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