2021 Brazilian cattle herd breaks record

6 October 2022

For three years running, the Brazilian cattle herd has been increasing, hitting 224.6 million head in 2021. In fact, it broke the 2016 record of 218.2 million head.

New data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that herd growth was 3 percent compared to 2020. Reasons for the increasing size are the retention of females for calf production along with lower cattle slaughter.

Looking at the different cattle-producing states in Brazil, Mato Grosso has the largest herd and has he second largest. The cattle in Mato Grosso account for nearly 15 percent of the country’s total with 18.6 million head in 2021. Even though it has the largest herd, Mato Grosso’s numbers have been on the decline since 2017. The 2021 total is 2 percent lower than the previous year’s number.

These numbers show that there are more ox and cows than people in Brazil – specifically 4.22% more.

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