The cattle price market has exploded, with fed cattle prices near $140 per cwt, up $25 from last year. Feeder calves are now over $2/pound at auction market, up from $1.60 last year. A backlog of heavyweight cattle from the pandemic with not enough slaughter capacity has given beef producers leverage. Both domestic and international demand for beef is at the highest its been in 33 years and these positive market movers should last a while with continuing declining herd numbers.

The most recent USDA Cattle on Feed report showed cow numbers declined last year to just over 30 million head, mostly in the Great Plains region where 35% of the nation’s cow herd lives.

Read more cattle price market outlooks here.