By Jennifer Carrico
Beef producers continue to experience high prices, which are expected to continue for a few more years according to Charles Brown, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension.
“Cattle inventory numbers continue to be below the previous year, which is a positive influence on prices at all levels,” said Brown.
Commercial beef slaughter for 2014 is down 1.5 percent from the previous year. The outlook for 2015 slaughter is to be down another 5.3 percent. While numbers are down, carcass weights continue to increase. In 2014, carcass weights increased 0.7 pounds at an average of 792 pounds. The same increase is expected in 2015.
“With the decrease in slaughter number and increase in carcass weights, total beef production is only expected to be down 0.7 percent from the previous year. However, 2015 is expected to have a decrease of 4.7 percent even with an increase in carcass weight,” said Brown.
Cattle prices are also supported by lower input costs. Feedstuff prices are lower, leading to higher expected profits. [Read More]