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Beef Production By State

Beef Production By State


As the world's leading beef producer, the United States holds a dominant position in this globally significant industry. With beef farms accounting for over a third of all U.S. farms, it's no surprise that the nation's cattle holdings are substantial and varied. The U.S. beef industry is broadly divided into cow-calf operations focused on raising calves and cattle feeding operations charged with preparing cattle for production. Although these operations are found across all fifty states, the total number of beef cows varies significantly from state to state.

We delve into the state of beef production by examining the number of cattle in each state. This count provides valuable insights into the beef production capacities across the U.S., as states high on cattle count naturally tend towards higher beef production.

From the dataset, we can deduce several key findings:

  • The heart of U.S. beef production lies within Texas, with a staggering 4.3 million beef cows, significantly more than any other state.
  • Oklahoma trails behind as the second biggest beef producer, boasting a herd of 2 million, followed closely by Missouri (1.9 million) and Nebraska (1.7 million).
  • The states with the lowest number of beef cows are predominantly located in the Northeast, with Rhode Island only homing around 1.1K beef cattle.
  • Despite some minor fluctuations, the overall number of U.S. beef cows appears to be trending downwards, dropping a bit from the previous year's total.
  • Even states not typically associated with cattle, such as Hawaii, contribute to the nation's production with over 80,000 beef cows.

Top Beef Producing States

Texas firmly creates the most Beef with an estimated 4.3 million beef cows. This massive quantity represents approximately 15% of the country's total beef cattle and provides a stronghold for the U.S. in global beef production.

Following behind but with respect-worthy figures of their own, we have Oklahoma and Missouri holding the second and third spots, with 2 million and 1.9 million beef cows respectively. They are trailed by Nebraska closely with a population of 1.7 million beef cows.

South Dakota and Kansas maintain the next level with 1.5 million and 1.3 million beef cows, showing their significant contribution to the beef production industry. Surprisingly, Montana with its large landmass, houses an equal number of beef cows as Kansas at 1.3 million.

As we move down the list, the numbers decline but remain considerable, with Kentucky, Florida, and North Dakota contributing notably to the country’s beef manufacturing sector. Kentucky boasts 895,000 beef cows, followed closely by Florida with 888,000 beef cows. North Dakota wraps up our top ten list with 876,000 beef cows.

Top Beef Producing States:

  1. Texas - 4.3M
  2. Oklahoma - 2M
  3. Missouri - 1.9M
  4. Nebraska - 1.7M
  5. South Dakota - 1.5M
  6. Kansas - 1.3M
  7. Montana - 1.3M
  8. Kentucky - 895K
  9. Florida - 888K
  10. North Dakota - 876K

By State

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions


State Name

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