Lance Zimmerman Sees Next Calf Crop to Be Aggressively Efficient

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Lance Zimmerman about beef cow herd numbers.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is visiting with senior beef and cattle market research analyst at Rabo AgriFinance, Lance Zimmerman, about beef cow numbers and what the January 2024 Cattle Inventory report may have in store.

The January of 2023, the Cattle Inventory number was 28.9 million head of beef cows. A second number to be watching is the beef cow replacement number, as in 2021 that number was at 5.8 million head. In January 2023, the beef cow replacement number was 5.1 million head.

Because of how many heifers are being liquidated during this time, Zimmerman said the replacement number will be trending softer. There is an incentive to rebuild the herd with conditions improved from last year, Zimmerman added, so the replacement numbers should start to bottom out earlier than the beef cow inventory number.

Zimmerman said there is still a long way to go before that replacement number starts trending in a positive direction.

With high calf prices, Zimmerman said he is encouraging producers to stay positive and make it through this next calf crop because drought conditions may improve significantly next year.

“As we go forward, I think this next calf crop to come out of this next expansion- these calves are going to be super high quality, they are going to be aggressive from a growth and efficiency standpoint, and they are going to serve our industry very well in building a deeper demand base going forward,” Zimmerman said.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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