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The Midwest Cattleman · August 5, 2021 · P12
             LARGE COW SLAUGHTER CONTINUES                                                 GROUND BEEF DEMAND

               By David P. Anderson, Texas A & M AgriLife Extension Service     By James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas
         Cow slaughter                                                        Our colleague David  An-           Southern Plains slaughter
      continues to run                                                      derson at Texas A&M wrote  cow prices have averaged 8.1
      ahead of a year                                                       an article  that you’ll see  percent above 2020 and 14.7
      ago, led by beef                                                      here as well that provided  percent above 2019 prices.
      cows.  Even with                                                      an update on cow slaughter  Fresh 90% lean trimmings
      larger slaughter,                                                     and cull cow markets (Large  have averaged 4 percent
      prices are ahead                                                      Cow Slaughter Continues).   below 2020 prices but 11 per-
      of last year.  Over                                                   I thought I would continue  cent higher than 2019 prices.
      the  last  three                                                      this discussion by examin- Lower dairy cow slaughter
      months,        beef                                                   ing one of the main drivers  and beef imports (the other
      cow      slaughter                                                    of cull cow markets, ground  two sources of lean trim)
      totaled 818,000                                                       beef demand.                      have helped support cull cow
      head, the most                                                          To review, cull beef cows  and ground beef markets.
      since the 837,000                                                     contribute to ground beef  Ground beef demand is the
      during the same period in  Slaughter in Region 9, which  production as a source of 90%  other factor driving cull cow
      2010.    Total cow slaughter  includes Arizona, California,  lean trimmings, which are  values and lean trimmings
      over the same period is the  and Nevada, was the most  blended with 50% lean trim- prices.
      largest  since  2013.    At  that  since  2013.    Region  10,  the  mings to make the majority            Much like other meat pric-
      time, the industry was reduc- Pacific Northwest (Washing- of our ground beef and ham- es, ground beef prices have
      ing the number of beef cows  ton, Oregon, and Idaho), had  burger. The other two sources  averaged higher this year.
      due, mostly, to low prices and  their largest beef cow cull- of lean trimmings are dairy  Data through May 2021 from
      then the drought  in  Texas  ing  in  more  than  a  decade.   cows and lean beef imports.  the Bureau of Labor Statis-
      and the Southwest hit.             While drought is likely driv- Fed cattle trimmings are the  tics shows that ground beef
         Weekly beef and dairy  ing  more  culling,  expanded  main source of 50% lean trim. prices have averaged $4.04/
      cow slaughter is report- cow packing capacity in the                    Beef cow slaughter has  lb or 0.5 percent higher than
      ed  by region.    Region  6 in- region likely skews the data.   been averaging 9.9 percent  2020. Lean ground beef pric-
      cludes  Texas, New Mexico,  Region 8 includes the rest of  above 2020 slaughter and  es have averaged 1.6 percent
      and Oklahoma.    Beef cow  the mountain  West and the  12.4 percent higher than  and 9.9  percent  above 2020
      slaughter in Region 6 over  Dakotas.  Beef cow culling in  2019 slaughter.  This means  and 2019 prices, respectively.
      the last three months totaled  those states totaled 73,600  a larger supply of lean trim- The only way to have higher
      204,000, the most since 2011.   head, the most since 2019.            mings from beef cull cows. All  prices with larger supplies of
                                            On the dairy side of the  else equal, we would expect  cull cows and lean trimmings
                                         ledger, cow culling totaled  lower cull cow and lean trim  is with strong ground beef
             Callaway                    667,000 over the  last  3  prices due to larger supplies.  demand.
                                         months, the smallest since  However, this has not been
             Livestock                   2015.  Excluding comparisons  the case this year.
                                         to 2020, dairy cow culling in
            Center, Inc.                 the Midwest and California
                                         are the smallest since 2015.
             On I-70, 4 miles east of    Culling in Texas, New Mexi-
        Kingdom City, MO on outer road   co, and the Pacific Northwest
                                         are larger than prior years.
              573-642-7486                  Cull cow prices usually
                                         increase from the beginning
                                         of the year until mid-year.
              Feeder Sale                Southern Plains 85-90 per-

                Monday                   cent lean cows have increased
                                         at a normal seasonal rate
               12:30 p.m.                to about $65 per cwt at the
                                         end of June, about $8 higher
                                         than last year.  National cut-
         1st Thursday Night              ter cows hit $67, also about
                                         $8 above a year ago.  The cow
            of Each Month                beef cutout and wholesale 90

                6:00 p.m.                percent lean boneless beef
                                         are also above a year ago.
          Special Cow Sale                  Cow culling tends to in-
                                         crease seasonally from mid-
                                         year through Fall and pric-
                                         es tend to decline.  Drought
             Jack Harrison               development in the West and
                                         the course of milk prices will
               573-386-2138              affect culling.   Large early

           John P. Harrison              beef cow culling might affect
                                         later culling.

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