Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

“Meat Week,” Morning Edition’s feature this week about U.S. meat providers, offered some interesting numbers for the cattle industry.

According to the article by Peggy Lowe, a reporter for Harvest Public Media:

  • There are 750,000 individual cow-calf operations in the U.S., with an average herd size of 40.
  • There are 2,160 feedlots with 1,000-plus capacity, with the top 25 housing a total of more than 100,000 head or 47% of the market.
  • There are four meatpacking companies that process 82% of the beef on the market: JBS, the world’s largest; Tyson Foods; Cargill; and National Beef Packaging.

Here some more facts that I found through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s website ExploreBeef.org:

  • There were 94.5 million cattle in the U.S. on Jan. 1, 2009.
  • In 2011, 90% of U.S. cow herds had fewer than 100 cows.
  • Five of the top 10 cow-calf operations, in terms of capacity, are located in Florida.
  • The largest cow-calf operation, with 40,000 head, is Deseret Ranch, in central Florida, owned and operated by an entity of the Mormon Church.