CattleFax’s Randy Blach believes beef herd expansion is on its way – but maybe not until a year or two from now. Blach says the herd is still getting smaller and cattle market watchers think it will continue to shrink a little more on into 2014 and 2015 – but by January 2015 – he believes the herd will stabilize and grow – as long as it rains. Blach says fed slaughter is down 950-thousand head for the year and heifer slaughter is down over half of that. Normally – he says heifer slaughter would count for 36 to 37-percent of the United States’ total slaughter. That means producers are trying to hold females together – according to Blach – who says beef cow slaughter is down nearly 500-thousand head.
He predicted prices to be a record high this year – and he says it’s going to be a tough situation for the next 12 to 18-months as the situation of declining numbers to pick and choose from continues. Weights are going to be up 17 to 18-pounds – according to Blach – and the bottom line is that four animals today produce as much beef as five did 20-years ago. He says cattlemen have a phenomenal story to tell – with what they’ve been able to do with productivity increases, better nutrition, learning to feed cattle and animal husbandry among other things. Blach says these productivity increases are going to be important in feeding the growing world population.
Source: NAFB News Service