Curious George. Yes, the little monkey from children’s books who was rescued by “The Man in the Yellow Hat.” That is what kids at school liked to call me – and no, it wasn’t because I was always getting into trouble but because when your last name is George that is where the creativity of kindergartners ends. However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t just a little fitting. I love to learn. When I’m curious about something, I just have to find the answer.

We’ve all been curious about something. Maybe you’ve looked into a new technology to see if it is something you could implement on your operation. How about examining how the drought affected cattle numbers in your state? Or even wondering what the average size of a cow-calf operation here in the U.S. is.

Included in this issue, you’ll find the Progressive Cattle annual beef stats poster. This poster encompasses more data than you’d probably care to look for. But I bet you’re curious about at least one thing that you can find out in just a few pages. We included everything from cow production, cattle on feed and cattle sales numbers to global production and trade data, and much more.

Our team has spent weeks pulling data, calculating percentages and designing it in a way which makes sense visually. And, though I may be biased, I think it’s something you’ll all enjoy. Here are a few of my takeaways:

  1. This year we have new USDA Census data. It’s been five years since the last update and there have been some big changes, most notably in the number of operations. From the last USDA Census in 2017 to the most recent in 2022, the U.S. lost 150,569 cattle operations. That’s 17% of our farms and ranches gone in just the last five years.
  2. There are decreases in beef cow numbers in many large beef cow-producing states, as predicted. However, there was a bit of positive movement for a few Western states. Cattle on feed numbers also dropped in many states, which was also predicted.
  3. Cherry County, Nebraska, is back! In the past, Cherry County did not report beef cow numbers, leading them to not be included in the top beef cow counties rank. So while we could suspect them as being the top beef cow county, the data did not show it. Thankfully, this year it was reported so we have an accurate representation of beef production, and hopefully for years to come.

What are you curious about? I hope you take a look at the beef stats poster provided in this issue and find your answers. As always, let me know what you think and any suggestions you have, either on the poster or any other topics we cover here in Progressive Cattle. You can reach me via email. I’d love to hear from you!