State's 2019 cattle herd unchanged

DARYL K. TABOR / Herald Ledger

The USDA's statistics service last week released its latest cattle report, showing the Kentucky cattle and calf inventory for Jan. 1 at 2.13 million head, unchanged from last year.

"Cattle are very important for Kentucky's agricultural economy, and this report indicates this sector remains strong," said David Knopf, director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. "In recent years, cattle contribute $700 million to $1 billion annually to farms in the Commonwealth."

There are more cattle in Kentucky than any other state east of the Mississippi River. According to the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, there were 4,000 head of cattle in Lyon County at the time of the count.

All cattle and calves in the United States as of the reporting date of the 2019 data totaled 94.4 million head, slightly below the 94.8 million head on Jan. 1, 2019. The 2019 calf crop in the United States was estimated at 36.1 million head, down 1 percent from 2018.

Meantime, the count of sheep and goats was mixed statewide.

The total number of sheep and lambs on Jan. 1 was estimated at 62,000 head, a decrease of 2,000 head from the previous year's estimate. The U.S. inventory was 5.20 million head, down 1 percent from 2019. In Lyon County, just more than 70 sheep were tallied in the most recent ag census.

All meat and other goats in Kentucky were estimated at 57,000 head, up 5,000 head from January 2019. All goats and kids inventory in the United States on New Year's Day totaled 2.66 million head, up 1 percent from 2019. About 300 goats were recorded locally in the census count three years ago.