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USDA surveying cattle, sheep and goat operations

Athens, GA – Starting in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will measure cattle inventories along with sheep and goat inventories and wool and mohair production during a nationwide survey.

“This information helps producers make timely, informed business decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction. It also helps packers and government leaders evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export,” said Southern Regional Director Jim Ewing. “Obtaining the current count of cattle and sheep and goat data will serve as an important decision-making tool for the entire agriculture industry.”

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina operators surveyed will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and cattle on feed information. Operators will also be surveyed on their sheep and goat inventories, counts of lambs and kids born during 2017, and production and prices received for wool and mohair. The Southern Region will contact about 2,800 cattle operators and 1,500 sheep and goat operations to request their responses to the survey.

“Accurate data on cattle and sheep and goat inventory and production is a significant decision making tool for USDA and the industry to be more responsive to domestic and international markets and consumer needs,” Ewing said.

To make it as easy as possible for producers to participate in the survey, NASS offers the option of responding online, by telephone, mail, or a personal interview with a local NASS representative.

NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state- and national-level data in aggregate, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified.

NASS will publish the survey results January 31, 2018 in the Sheep and Goats report. This and all NASS reports are available online at For more information, call the NASS Sothern Regional Office at (800) 253-4419.

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