Great forage conditions supported cow-calf operations all summer, with only the Southern Plains and Southeast showing a significant decline in conditions. Regional data would suggest that producers had enough forage alternatives that widespread cow culling has not happened, reports the Daily Livestock Report.
However, regional differences abound. The Northern Plains shows some of the largest change in beef cow slaughter, up 25% on year-to-date figures in one of the largest cow inventory regions. West Coast states, along with the Southeast and Midwest are putting up larger slaughter numbers as well. Based on the by-state breakdown of Jan. 1 Inventory, that would imply the Midwest states of IL, IN, MI, MN, OH and WI have sent 20% of their beef cows to slaughter so far this year, while the states of CO, MT, ND, SD, UT an WY are only 4%.
The latest bump in cull cow prices, should it continue, could incentivize more cows heading to market. Fourth quarter slaughter will be more telling on cow-calf producer long term plans.
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