The 2014 corn crop will be a key factor in beef cattle price increases. If prices continue to rise, says a Texas AgriLife Extension economist, U.S. corn growers will have to produce a bin buster.

The cow herd remains small and the lack of supply indicates potential to support strong bids for calves.

“Look for continued high prices,” said Dr. David Anderson at the recent Central Texas Cow-Calf Clinic at the Milano Livestock Exchange. “Tight supplies are underpinning the market. I think we are going to have higher calf prices than we did in 2013 and higher prices in 2015 than we did in 2014.”

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Fewer cows and calves will lead to less beef production over the next couple of years, Anderson said. Cattle on feed numbers as well as slaughter and beef production are down from levels a year ago, signaling less supply.

Anderson said the biggest threat to future high calf prices is feed cost.

 

Also of interest on Southwest Farm Press:

Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference Jan. 14 in Wichita Falls

$4 corn vs. $9 corn: Which will win out in 2013?

Beef production decline predicted