October 6, 2011

Is the cattle cycle dead?

Is the cattle cycle dead?

By ALLAN TINKER
At a cattle marketing and livestock meeting last Wednesday at the Sheridan County Court-house Community Room, the question was asked, “Is the cattle cycle dead?”
The answer was basically that it had been hammered by unusual situations but should return to a more balanced cycle again, in a few more years.
With floods, drought, weather, world catastrophes, political and economic ups and downs, the cycle has not been predictable to any degree.
The seasonal cycle of cattle calving and gestation periods have remained stable, but relatively little else. North Dakota is rebuilding herds while Texas has been selling cows “like mad,” said Tom Petry, livestock economist from NDSU. The nation’s cowherd is down in number with prices higher for longer. “It is really how much beef we produce, not the actual number of cattle,” added Petry.
The pounds of production per cow has increased dramatically since the 1950s but actual cow numbers have fluctuated due to the afore-mentioned inputs into the markets.
 


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