Understanding where cattle numbers could be headed


Understanding where cattle numbers could be headed

Long-term drought pressure, rising input prices, and other issues have resulted in increased reports of herd liquidations.  But, some have questioned if those numbers line up with recent reports from the USDA.

University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown explains.  “We aren’t holding heifers back, because the percentage of heifers in feedyards is large,” he says.  “Beef cow slaughter has continued to run very large.  And drought conditions in many parts of the country.  All of those things tell me we are pulling forward.  But it won’t continue.”

He tells Brownfield the day of smaller placements is coming. “USDA gave us their first look at 2023 meat production,” he says.  “And on the beef side of the equation a decline of nearly 2-billion-pounds.  It reminds me that everyone is in this camp of supplies are going to get a lot tighter.”

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