Wisconsin sees dip in total number of cattle in state

Carol Spaeth-Bauer
Wisconsin State Farmer
All cattle and calves in Wisconsin is down 1 percent from last year according to the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service report.

Wisconsin is home to 3.45 million cattle and calves as of Jan. 1, 2019, down 1 percent from 3.5 million at the same time last year. The biggest drop is in the number of milk cows, however, the number of beef cows increased slightly, according to the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cattle report. 

At 1.27 million head of milk cows at the beginning of 2019, Wisconsin has 5,000 fewer milk cows than on Jan. 1, 2018. The number of beef cows were 285,000 on Jan. 1, 2018 compared to 290,000 on Jan. 1, 2019, a 2 percent increase. 

All heifers 500 pounds and over, at 820,000 head, were down 1 percent from last year. Heifers for beef cow replacement totaled 80,000 head, unchanged from last year. Heifers for milk cow replacement, at 680,000 head were down 3 percent from the previous year; and all other heifers were up 10,000 head to 60,000 head.

Steers weighing 500 pounds and over were down 5 percent from last year at 360,000 head.

Calves under 500 pounds on Jan. 1, 2019, totaled 680,000 head, down 3 percent from last year's total of 700,000 head.


The sheep and lamb inventory for the state remained steady at 75,000 head, the same as last January. Total breeding stock was also unchanged with 63,000 head as of Jan. 1, 2019. 

The lamb crop in 2018 was the same as in 2017 at 57,000 head. Wool production in the state also remained steady at 330,000 in 2017 and 2018. 


Wisconsin ranks first in milk goats, ahead of California, Iowa and Texas, with 72,000 head as of Jan. 1, 2019, compared to 67,000 in 2018, according to the NASS Sheep and Goats report. This is a 7 percent increase from last year. 

All goats and kids inventory in the United States on Jan. 1, 2019 totaled 2.62 million head, down 1 percent from 2018.

Carol Spaeth-Bauer at 262-875-9490 or Follow her on Twitter at cspaethbauer or Facebook at