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.