The future of cattle slaughter rates could cause issues later

Idaho cattle producers are remaining optimistic, though, about next year.

Researchers at the University of Missouri say high beef cow and slaughter rates could soon cause trouble for the cattle industry.

They warn it is going to be harder in the future to rebuild the herd. They say slaughter rates in states like Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are 30 percent above last year and 55 percent higher than 2019.

States like Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska are running 34 percent above last year. Experts say while tighter supplies usually push prices higher, there is a lot of uncertainty next year with demand being slowed due to a sluggish economy.

This year has been a challenging one for cattle producers, especially with drought so wide-spread, but leaders at the Idaho Cattle Association say one saving grace was precipitation early on in the year. When it comes to next year, they say there is a lot to be optimistic about in Idaho.

“We got a couple of facilities coming online to help process cattle, and even if it doesn’t do anything other than shift where the cattle are headed, the value in trucking, or not having to ship those cattle as far is high. When you sell your cattle, you’re usually paying freight on them to get them to their final destination, and the closer that point is, the more value you can put on your cattle,” Idaho Cattle Association Executive Vice President, Cameron Mulrony.

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