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Rick Worthington US Beef Production
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: March 20, 2019

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Ranchers are always looking at opportunities to make a few more dollars in the coming years.

Increasing beef demand means good prices for retail beef, which will, like water, trickle down to reward every sector of the beef supply chain, including the live cattle producer.

But --- will that same trickle down have long term effects?

David Stallings is with the USDA and talks about U.S. beef production over the next ten years.

"We do have rising corn prices for about the first half of the projection period and that's going to contribute to decreasing beef cattle feed price ratio which you would expect would mean that would reduce production incentives for cattle producers. But despite the fact that cattle numbers are expected to decline over the middle part of our projection horizon we do have increased slaughter weights which will increase beef production not sharply increase beef production. We're talking about a 1 percent a year but rising from about 28 billion pounds this year to 30 billion by 2020."

In the short term - Although beef, pork and poultry production are forecast record high in 2019, beef appears most likely to hold its value.

The U.S. cattle inventory has been expanding since bottoming in 2014, but the growth trend is slowing and some project 2019 or 2020 likely will be the last year of growth in the cycle.

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