Liquidation of Beef Herd One of Largest Ever


The following is part of an article from Ag Web:

by Fran Howard

The largest liquidation ever could be under way in the beef industry. USDA’s Livestock Slaughter report, released Sept. 23, shows that the nation’s beef producers sent 22.8 million head to be commercially slaughtered during the January through August period, a 1{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} increase from the comparable period a year ago. For the month of August, commercial slaughter was 5{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} above July levels, at 3.1 million head.

Mark Nelson, an economist with the Kansas Farm Bureau, predicts that cattle numbers will be even tighter next year and in 2013. The liquidation that is occurring now is the largest or one of the largest drought-based liquidations ever, Nelson says.


Heifer numbers are also lower; the nation’s beef producers retained 5{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3} fewer heifers than the previous year as of Jan. 1, according to estimates released by USDA earlier this year.

Nelson says that if current conditions—high corn and hay prices as well as severe drought in the Southwest—persist and liquidation occurs into the fall, the breeding herd could decline by as much as 7{e7e4ba4d9a3c939171d79cae1e3a0df1d41e5a91c3c4158fbb92284b490bc9d3}. “This would be a loss of 2 million head of beef cows,” he adds. “This is huge and could mean a reduction in cowherd numbers this country hasn’t seen since the early ’60s.”

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Source:  Ag Web

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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