Cattle producers have had a tough few years, with the pandemic changing demand and drought conditions fueling the highest culling rate on record. In 2022, half the nation’s beef cattle living in drought conditions. As a result, 13.5% of the herd was liquidated last year.

However, industry forecasting experts have a positive outlook for the years ahead. Don Close, a market analyst with decades of experience, gave Successful Farming his top five reasons for a bullish outlook. First, he cites the low inventory numbers and reluctance to retain heifers.

Next, he highlights how beef demand has remained steadfast through the pandemic and high inflation. Close also mentions consumer demand has increased for high-quality beef as restaurants closed in recent years. While the industry lost some demand from those closing, consumers have begun to bridge the gap and purchase nicer cuts. According to Successful Farming, the average American consumed 58 pounds of beef in 2022. It was the highest amount in a decade, even as the meat was set at the highest recorded average price per pound at $7.30.

Finally, Close cited international demand as a reason for a bullish outlook. As markets grow for U.S. beef, exports add an estimated $500 value to finished steer.

Take a deeper look with Successful Farming.