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South Dakota’s Cattle Inventory Up 5 percent

Some ranchers in the western United States reportedly are stealing grass and hay to feed their cattle, as the drought has depleted their own pastures.SIOUX FALLS – South Dakota’s cattle inventory heading into 2013 is up 5 percent from the previous year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service says the state had 3.85 million head of cattle and calves on hand on Jan. 1. That’s a 4 percent increase from two years ago.

Cows and heifers that have calved totaled 1.78 million head, up 5 percent from a year ago.

Beef cows totaled 1.69 million head, up 5 percent from a year ago. Milk cows are at 92,000 head, up 2,000 head from last year.

The total cattle on feed for the slaughter market on Jan. 1 was 300,000 head, down 20,000 head from one year ago.

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