In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey more than 40,000 cattle operations nationwide to provide an up-to-date measure of U.S. cattle inventories.

“This information helps producers make timely, informed business decisions such as planning 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 Northeastern Regional Director King Whetstone. “Obtaining the current count of cattle will serve as an important decision-making tool for the entire agriculture industry.”

During the first two weeks of January, Northeastern producers will have the opportunity to report their beef and dairy cattle inventories, calf crop, death loss and cattle on feed operations. 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.

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.

The January Cattle report will be released on January 29, 2016.