With the largest fed-cattle industry in the world, the United States is also the world's largest producer of beef, primarily high-quality, grain-fed beef for domestic and export use. Nevertheless, the United States is a net beef importer, purchasing lower-value, grass-fed beef destined for processing. The U.S. industry is roughly divided into two production sectors: cow-calf operations and cattle feeding. Because the cattle/beef industry depends on feed grains, grain supplies and prices affect beef production. 

ERS’S Outputs on Cattle and Beef

ERS conducts research and analyses on the livestock market, including the cattle and beef market, and provides a monthly industry outlook as well as current and historical data covering supply, use, prices, and trade of cattle and beef. 

Periodic scheduled outputs include:

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, a monthly report that provides supply and use projections for U.S. livestock, dairy and poultry markets based on the most current World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
  • Livestock and Domestic Meat Data, a monthly data product that contains current and historical data on beef, veal, poultry, and pork including production, supply, utilization, and farm prices.
  • Livestock and Meat International Trade Data, which contains monthly and annual data for imports and exports of live cattle, hogs, sheep, and goats, as well as beef and veal, pork, lamb and mutton, chicken meat, turkey meat, and eggs. The tables report physical quantities, not dollar values or unit prices. Data on beef and veal, pork, and lamb and mutton are on a carcass-weight-equivalent basis. Breakdowns by country are included.
  • USDA's Agricultural Baseline Projections provide a longrun livestock and meat market outlook.

ERS also releases reports covering domestic and global conditions, trends, and policies that affect poultry supply, demand, prices, and trade in the egg and poultry sector. Some of the issues covered in ERS reports include:

Federal Natural Disaster Assistance Programs for Livestock Producers, 2008–2016

Analysis of three disaster assistance programs for livestock administered by the Farm Service Agency reveals regional differences in payment delivery and how outlays vary by year and program.