Farm Progress

Farm Progress America, July 25, 2023

Mike Pearson takes a look at the cattle inventory report released last week by the USDA.

July 25, 2023

Mike Pearson takes a look at the shrinking cattle herd and what impact the recent cattle inventory report from the USDA has on beef prices.

Beef producers witnessed record prices in 2014 and 2015. This meant beef producers kept heifers back and the herd growing.

Then a fire in the second largest beef processing facility destroyed the facility and it meant thousands of cattle were sent back to the herd due to difficulty in not being able to find enough processing.

Then COVID happened and it hit cattle producers with low prices.

And if that wasn't enough, the drought started and it hit producers with high grain prices and even higher land prices.

The USDA's Cattle Inventory Report showed the country's beef herd 3 percent smaller than in July 2022. This means the country has the smallest cattle herd in 25 years,

The result for consumers-- record prices for beef.

Traders say high interest rates and the smallest hay crop in over 25 years could keep this herd smaller for years to come.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, a farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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