Brazil's cattle herd grew by 1.3% to reach a new report level in 2015, the Brazilian Census Bureau (IBGE) announced this week.
Rising to 215.2 million head last year, Brazil's herd topped the previous record set in 2011 before drought reduced numbers in 2012.
The survey showed that cattle production is expanding in northern Brazil, where productivity is rising from extremely low levels. The herd in the north grew 2.9% in 2015.
In contrast, southern Brazil saw the cattle herd decline due to the pressure of crop agriculture.
Meanwhile, in the center-west states of Mato Grosso, Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul, the herd rose 2.1% to solidify the region as the largest cattle producer.
While cattle numbers rose across Brazil, the number of dairy cows declined 5.5% last year. As a result, total milk production fell 0.4% to 9 billion liters in 2015
Ongoing pressure from expanding soybean and corn output is causing the cattle industry to intensify across the country, with feedlots starting to become more widely used across the center-west in particular.
Expansion in production will likely continue to occur in the north over the coming years as beef demand is expected to respond to a small economic upturn domestically and also possibly increased export appetite after the United States authorized the importing of fresh beef.
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