There likely will not be much change in the cattle market next year

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Livestock economists are not expecting much change in next year’s cattle market.

Experts are Rabobank say producers are holding back replacement heifers as they continue fighting drought and high feed prices. Right now, researchers are focused on studying total female cattle slaughter numbers, and they estimate 2022 will end with 17.6 million head of cows and heifers slaughtered. They warn those numbers could have long-lasting implications, including sacrificing gains in next year’s cow herd.

Without better precipitation over the winter and into next spring, researchers say the pattern will likely continue into 2024’s cow herd.