Is Beef Expansion Over After Slow Growth on Cattle Inventory Report?

February 2, 2017 10:27 AM

The cattle industry is gathering in Nashville for its annual National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) convention, discussing issues like trade and Washington policy as the new administration is already hard at work.

Producers from around the country are talking about Tuesday’s cattle inventory report, which shows 2 percent growth in the nation’s overall cattle herd. For beef cows, it’s slightly higher at 3 percent, marking the third consecutive year the U.S. cattle herd has grown.

For Mike Martz, expansion is action, not talk. Construction is underway at Larson Farms in Maple Park, Ill. for a barn that will house 900 head. Martz is growing to meet demand.

“We have customers we’ve had to turn away,” said Martz. “When you have that customer base, when people want to feed cattle, I hate to turn them away.”

Not every producer is increasing their herds like Martz. The cattle inventory report says beef expansion is down 2 percent in his home state of Illinois.

Neighboring states like Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Missouri are seeing a beef bump because the dairy industry has taken off in those areas.

Watch the full report from Nashville on AgDay above.

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