Daily Livestock Report – Read more…
Since the start of the year, US beef cow slaughter has increased by 217,200 head or 9.1% compared to the previous year.
US cow slaughter has been running high all year and September was no different. It is a truly unprecedented situation where wholesale beef prices hit near record levels in August and yet cow-calf operators were forced to sell off their cows. Normally high beef prices are a signal to producers to hold on to their production base because the market is looking for more product. But that price signaling system has been disrupted for the moment by limited labor availability.
The result will be higher beef prices for consumers in the coming years as beef supplies are likely to continue to decline. September total cow slaughter was 551,300 head, up near 35,000 head or 6.8% compared to a year ago. Beef cow slaughter was 286,700 head, 20,700 head higher than the previous year or +7.8%.
Since the start of the year, US beef cow slaughter has increased by 217,200 head or 9.1% compared to the previous year. The increase in beef cow slaughter has come even as the beef cow herd on January 1, 2021 was 181k head smaller than the previous year and 533k head smaller than two years prior. The dairy cow slaughter in September was 264,600 head, down 14,200 head or 5.7% compared to the previous year. In addition to more cows coming to market, producers are also sending more heifers to slaughter. September heifer slaughter so far this year (Jan-Sep) has been 302,200 head or 4.3% higher than the previous year despite a smaller calf crop in 2019 and 2020.