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Rick Worthington Ranchers Wary of 2019
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: December 04, 2018

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Ranchers Wary of 2019

Yesterday we told you, concerns for farmers in 2019 are growing as the US trade war continues.

What about Ranchers?

Well, it's a little more complicated, and while there are challenges now, there is also some big opportunities ahead for beef producers.

Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association says, the current trade issues are concerning, but they support the current administration and believe big things are ahead.

Continued growth in U.S. beef production will keep the focus on beef demand in 2019. Beef production is slowing but is forecast to increase

Beef demand, including both domestic and international components, has played a key role in moving growing beef supplies through beef markets. Through 2018, total beef production has increased 14.2 percent (3.4 billion pounds) since the recent 2015 low. Strong beef demand has supported prices and margins at all levels of the beef and cattle industry as beef production expanded. Continued strong beef demand will be critical in 2019 as beef production pushes to new record levels.

There are, however, continuing and perhaps growing challenges and threats to beef demand in the coming year. In addition to record beef supplies, pork and poultry production will increase from record 2018 levels to new record production totals in 2019. Thus far, beef has maintained good demand relative to pork and poultry as indicated by the fact that beef retail prices are at near record ratios compared to retail pork and poultry prices.

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