USDA Predicts Large Livestock losses

Published on: 19:43PM Aug 29, 2012

As we discussed the estimated 2012 net farm income from the USDA report yesterday, the grain farmers are looking at a very good year at the expense of the livestock operators.

USDA is predicting that dairy revenues will fall from about $40 billion to $33 billion and in connection with much higher feed prices, this will lead to much larger dairy losses.

Total cattle sales are expected to be higher, however, is primarily due to extra liquidation of the herd rather than higher prices.  Total hog and broiler revenue is expected to remain about the same, however, high feed prices again will lead to large losses.

Total revenues from livestock for 2012 are as follows:

  • Cattle and calves - $65 billion
  • Dairy - $35 billion
  • Poultry - $23 billion
  • Hogs - $21 billion
  • Total livestock sales of about $144 billion


One last observation is that total farm expenses have now surpassed the 1979 inflation adjusted peak (using 2005 dollars) at about $325 billion of total expenses.  1979 peaked out at about $280 billion.