Beef and pork production continue strong growth
Contraction in the cattle industry continues as producers are still battling drought conditions and rising input costs. University of Missouri livestock economist Scott Brown says while cattle inventory could rival the record low levels seen in 2014, beef production will not near record lows.
“And the reason is productivity,” he says. “So when you look at what’s been happening in terms of beef per cow over the 2020-22 period, we’re 14.4% higher. I’d say a majority that is higher rates.” Brown says some of that increase could also be attributed to additional calves per cow in the US.
He tells Brownfield that production growth hasn’t just been limited to beef, pork has also increased exponentially over the last two decades. “It’s 45.1% more pork per sow in 2022 than what we saw in 2000,” he says. “And if you just want to think a little longer, it’s only 158.7% higher than where it was in 1980 when you look at the pork per sow.” Brown says in addition to heavier weights, the increase comes from increased farrowings per year and an increase in pigs per litter.
The final red meat production numbers for 2022 come out in April.
The USDA’s semi-annual cattle inventory report comes out on January 31, 2023.