The cow slaughter in the United States has increased significantly and reached unprecedented levels, according to reports shared at the Cow Calf Days tour in Minnesota.

The U.S. cow herd is expected to decrease by 2-5% in 2023, or about 600,000, and the worsening drought has led to cuts in many beef-producing areas of the country.

Despite the drop in cow numbers, cattle prices have not increased as expected. Dr. Eric Mousel, of the University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team, predicts that there could be a 6-7% reduction in feeder cattle supplies, which is a significant drop.

He also mentions that the recent jump in egg prices is a warning that other commodities could become just as volatile, and with the rise in interest rates, extra money may not be available, which could hurt the demand for beef.

Producers need to band together to protect themselves and have a united voice, said Pierz cattle producer Dar Giess. Severe drought continues to hit major beef production areas, and the impact of this year’s snowfall remains to be seen.

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