Much of the beef cow herd liquidation that has occurred since 2001 resulted from external factors, including input market shocks that reduced cow-calf profitability, a national and global recession that tempered cattle prices and severe drought in important cattle-producing states.
Though 2013 is likely another year of beef cow herd liquidation, the improvement in conditions in the second half of the year may provide a period of stabilization that often occurs in the first year of herd expansion.
“As long as drought conditions continue to moderate the situation, beef cow herd growth of 2 percent is possible in 2014 with an additional 2 percent to 3 percent in 2015,” said Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock marketing specialist.
More rapid growth is unlikely when all factors are considered. Among several implications, Peel believes, is an approximately 7 percent decrease in total cattle slaughter in 2014.
To read more about the future of the U.S. cattle industry, check here.
If you are enjoying reading this article, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.