The die is cast; cattle numbers are going to be tight, and little can be done about Mother Nature. It appears the focus the next six months from a broader cattle industry standpoint will largely be on the actions taken by the federal government and the upcoming election in 2012.
National ID and animal traceability is moving back to the forefront after a hiatus of a couple of years. And, GIPSA will either come roaring back or die on the vine in the next several months as well.
The whole regulatory front is in turmoil with agencies increasingly showing the will to legislate via rules rather than bothering with the democratic process. Then there is the economy and the global debt crisis that is likely to keep market volatility at an all-time high.
Finally, there is the November 2012 election. Obviously, Obama will be the Democratic candidate, and pundits are already claiming that the serious Republican field is down to three with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry being the leading candidates and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., the dark horse.
One thing is certain – the stakes are high and the results will have a significant impact on the economics of the beef industry. Ironically, the other certainty is that the beef industry will likely have very little say in what happens.