Beef costs for consumers are up, so why aren’t producers getting a profit?

The cost of beef for consumers is way up, but many producers are still having trouble turning a profit.

Increased labor costs, as well as high feed costs, are cutting down ranchers’ incomes. Kansas State Extension Specialist, Dr. Glynn Tonsor tells us just how much those input costs are rising.

“You can look back over time at how the cost of how putting weight on a feed yard has varied over time, and the most recent month that I have closed the book on is April of 2022. The cost of gain on the closeouts in April of this year was $120. For context, in 2021 that was $96, so anybody good at math knows that’s a big percentage jump and if I keep going back in time, in 2020 it was $87, in 2019 it was $88 and in 2018 it was $79, so we’ve had a notable increase in the cost to put weight on.”

Unfortunately, domestic demand for beef is down at the grocery store and restaurants, so it will be harder for producers to make up for higher input costs.

Tonsor says two-thirds of people are tightening their pocketbooks and buying less meat.


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