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Fox Business: American Beef Industry Hits Record Low, According to USDA

AFBF Staff

photo credit: AFBF Photo, Philip Gerlach

America is running low on cows, according to new numbers out this week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The figures show ranchers have fewer cattle and that is contributing to the cost of beef being more expensive.

According to the USDA, nationwide beef cattle inventory dropped to 28.2 million this year — the lowest level since the 1970s and down 2% from a year ago.

Agricultural economists say persistent drought over the last three years, along with high input costs and inflation are putting pressure on both consumers and farmers.

"We saw drier and warmer temperatures in some of the most highly concentrated areas of livestock production in the United States," AFBF economist Bernt Nelson told Fox Business.  "Combined with high input costs, inflation putting upward pressures on both consumers and farmers, we saw a lot of farmers faced with the decision — do we want to keep producing or do we want to try and rescue out herd size or do we want to try and get out of the business all together?"