This January the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey cattle operations throughout the country to obtain a current measure of beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop and cattle on feed operations. NASS will publish the survey results in the Cattle report on January 31, 2014.

“This January Cattle Survey is more important than ever because it’s NASS’ first comprehensive measurement of the industry in an entire year,” said Southern Region Director Doug Kleweno. “Due to budget reductions there was no July Cattle Survey and resulting report, so this current information is much needed by producers and the industry.”

During the first two weeks of January Southern producers will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop and cattle on feed operations. In Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, NASS will contact about 3,190 operations to request their responses to the survey.

The information is a critical decision-making tool for the cattle industry, Kleweno explained. “For instance, it helps producers make informed marketing decisions and plan for herd expansion or reduction. It also helps packers and government evaluate expected slaughter volume for future months and determine potential supplies for export.

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

Kleweno noted that, as is the case with all NASS surveys, information provided by respondents is confidential by law. “NASS safeguards the privacy of all responses and publishes only state and national level data, ensuring that no individual producer or operation can be identified,” he said.

The cattle report and all NASS reports are available online. For more information, call the NASS Southern Region Field Office in Athens, GA at 1-800-253-4419.