Expert: Increased heifer slaughter could be a problem

Experts at Oklahoma State University say the total female cattle slaughter is up on a year-over-year basis, and that trend is not slowing down.

Extension agent at the University of Oklahoma and frequent Market Day Report guest, Derrel Peel, says nationwide, females make up more than 50 percent of all cattle slaughtered since January, and that could lead to problems next year.

He says it will take quite some time to replace the heifer pool and says the industry has not been in this position in almost 40 years.

“So far this year, total female slaughter represents 50.9 percent of total cattle slaughter. We haven’t seen a number like that since 1986, so it may come down at the end of the day, we’ve got only about 16 weeks left, but we’re running out of time to bring this number down on a year-over-year basis,” said Peel.

He says one option is to slow down on cow slaughter, but heifer numbers will not be there to build a replacement herd.


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