More Cows than People in South Dakota? It’s Not Even Close
Take a drive through the country anywhere in South Dakota. Chances are, you won't have to drive far to see cattle. Depending on where you're at, you might see a LOT of cattle.
So how many cattle are in South Dakota? Depending on the time of year, it could be as high as 4 Million. Our state population is only 886,600 as of 2021. When you hear the expression that we have more cows than people, when it comes to South Dakota that's exactly right!
In the most recent overview from the USDA, www.nass.usda.gov;
|Cattle, Cows, Beef - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2023 )||1,533,000|
|Cattle, Cows, Milk - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2023 )||187,000|
|Cattle, Incl Calves - Inventory ( First of Jan. 2023 )||3,550,000|
The numbers are staggering but if you take your drive a little further to the west you see more and more and MORE cattle. West River you'll see more cattle grazing. East River, you'll see cow-calf pairs out on grass already but many more in feed lots.
The saying goes, Beef, it's what's for dinner. Here in South Dakota its hugely responsible for many of the dollars that filter into the system. Producers need tractors and equipment for the farm and ranch and vehicles as well.
Next time you order a burger or pick up a nice steak for dinner, remember your producer friends. And the next time you see them, give them a high five and thank them for dinner!
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