Livestock economist says now is a good time for risk management

The USDA issues its July Supply and Demand report Friday and a livestock economist says he’s watching 2025 beef production estimates. 

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown beef production was expected to decline this year.  “We talked about this big cut in production here in 2024 and as carcass weights have stayed heavy, we’re certainly not getting as big a cut as we would have thought earlier,” he says. 
“It will be interesting to see what USDA will do.” 

He tells Brownfield he’s watching feed costs. “When you see what’s happening on the corn side and we see weather,” he says.  “Yes, it’s been too wet in some places and we likely have some issues with flooding that’s going to reduce harvested area. Maybe it’s time to do some risk management on the fee cost side.” 

On Monday, September corn dipped below $4. 

Brown says USDA will also issue its updated beef price projections Friday.  If herd expansion is underway, it could further cut beef production and push prices higher.  But, he says with the cancelation of the USDA’s July Cattle Inventory report, official data on any herd expansion won’t be available until January 1. 

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