Short and unhappy message. It’s only gonna get worse.
Burgers and steaks are set to stay pricey as U.S. cattle ranchers shrink their herds, further constraining U.S. beef production in the months ahead.
Rising costs for feed and other expenses are leading ranchers to sell their calves into feedlots at a faster pace, according to federal data, leaving fewer cattle available for slaughter later this year and in 2023.
Beef production in 2023 is expected to decline 7% and cattle prices are expected to increase to record highs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this month.
And that may just be the beginning.
“It’s really stressful,” Ms. Alderson said. “A lot of ranchers are in deep, deep debt, and if they have to go more in debt, some people will go out of business in the next few years.”
And so we end up with more consolidation, fewer cattle, and even higher prices.
This isn’t just ranching. Increasingly it’s what much of our ag sector looks like. Higher bread prices are in tune with higher costs and lowering production.
Exports to countries such as China are still strong and likely to help keep meatpackers’ beef profit margins steady, analysts said.
No doubt, our loss, as usual, is China’s gain. American agriculture will increasingly be owned by foreign companies and exist to service foreign markets making America essentially a third-world country.
Unless this entire system gets turned around.
We’re looking at rising prices, lower supply, and less choice. This is starvation in more ways than one. Scarcity is feeding on itself all the way up the food chain, literal and metaphorical.