U.S. Beef Herds Will Expand in 2015

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One area of economic data I follow is where corn is being sold to. Recent data has pointed to farmers raising cattle which means an expanding beef market. I did some research and found this forecast at FarmandDairy.com:

U.S. Department of Agriculture semiannual report that cattle numbers have increased by slightly more than 1 percent following seven years of decline.
The most significant expansion has been in beef cows, which were up 2 percent from the previous year, the USDA said.
There were 610,000 new beef cows added nationally. Hurt said the expansion is likely to continue through most of this decade.


One reason for the expansion is prices farmers are getting for beef:

“These were led by record-high cattle prices in 2014 with finished cattle averaging near $155 per live hundredweight and Oklahoma 500-550 pound steer calves averaging $250,” Hurt said.

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Rise of the Pork

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Hoosier Ag reporter Cayla McLeland is reporting pork will be on the rise in the near future for the consumer.

Purdue Extension Ag Economist, Dr. Chris Hurt, says expansion could reach seven percent higher by the end of this year.

“Breeding herd has grown by over 212,000 animals over the last year and that’s mostly in the center of the country. The western corn belt breeding herd increased by 105,000 head with Missouri rising by 55,000 animals. Iowa by 40,000 and Minnesota by 10,000 head. The second-largest growth region was down in the southern plains and they’re still recovering, of course, from the long-term drought. Both Texas and Oklahoma have added 20,000 animals to the breeding herd over the last year.”

Consumers faced higher prices a few years back due to farmers thinning herds from the drought and the the PED virus hitting hard last winter.

Read the rest of the article here.

Pork Prices To Rise

Purdue Agricultural economnist Chris Hurt is projecting pork prices to head this summer into the mid $90 per head profit range for producers. Currently they sit around $70 per head. Excluding inflation from money printing, he states that smaller spring farrows from PEDv virus and growing foreign purchase of US pork is driving the pricing. Hurt has suggested farmers has seen this price indicator and plan to expand their pork farrows between 4-6%. His analysis also leads to lower pricing after September of this year after the $90/head profit is reached. Spring of 2015 bigger herd numbers should be seen.