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News last update:7 Aug 2012

Less US livestock in 2009

There will be less cattle, poultry and pigs in the US next year, according to the High Plains Journal. This trend is due to higher feed and input costs.

Total meat production for 2008 has been at record levels but, due to higher feed costs, less livestock is being produced. Overall, chicken production is expected to be down 4 to 5 percent from 2008 to 2009 and then up 1 percent again in 2010. Turkey production is expected to be down 3 to 4 percent from 2008 to 2009 and down again 1 percent in 2010.

The pig industry has had a tough go since October 2007 and it looks like they will probably be in the red ink through May 2009," said State University livestock economist John Lawrence. Exports continue to carry the pig market, with exports up 69 percent from January to August.

"Overall, a weak economy and a strong dollar are bad news for beef demand," said Lawrence. "People are willing to give up some things when money is tight and go out to eat less or buy cheaper protein sources." Lawrence expects generally lower cattle supplies in 2009, 2010 and likely beyond. "I expect a reduction of supplies in 2011 and 2012, also.

The increase of ethanol plants has also led to an increase in feed products available to cattle producers. Lawrence thinks this may cause a shift of cattle feeding back to the northern Midwestern states, as more feed is available.

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