Cattle Crisis: Production Plummets to Decades-low Level, ‘Biden policies hurting America’s cattlemen,’

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A rancher is raising concerns that the beef supply reaching a crisis point will have repercussions for Americans, as cattle production reaches its lowest levels in decades.

“This is a bad situation for America’s cattle farmers and America because we’re producing 1 billion pounds less beef than we were in this country, just a year ago,” John Boyd, Jr. – president of the National Black Farmers Association – said during a Thursday interview on “Fox & Friends First.”

Boyd has been farming and producing beef for 41 years, and he stressed, “I’m telling you, this is a time when we should be investing in America’s cattle, and we’re not doing it.”

“We’re not investing in America’s beef and cattle farmers, and Biden policies are hurting America’s cattlemen, such as myself,” he continued. “They should be invested in America’s cattle farmers and making sure that we have the tools needed to stay on the farm.”

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Last week, Boyd observed empty stalls at a highly regarded cattle market close to his residence in Blackstone, Virginia. He attributed this concerning situation to the decline in beef production by American ranchers compared to previous times. Boyd cautioned that such reduced production would inevitably lead to significant price fluctuations.

“Americans are going to pay the price at their local grocery stores,” he stated.

“We already are seeing such a steep, hike and beef in this country,” Boyd said. “And it’s because we’re not supporting these cattlemen such as myself… the Biden administration, isn’t paying attention [to] this national crisis. This is a national crisis for America’s cattlemen, and this administration has turned a blind and a deaf ear to something that needs immediate attention.”

According to the latest Cattle Inventory Report by USDA, the total number of cattle in the country stood at 87.2 million as of January 1, 2024. This figure reflects a decrease of approximately 2% compared to last year’s count and marks the smallest herd size in 73 years.

Fox Business reported, “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.”

American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Bernt Nelson told the Southern Farm Network, “The combination of higher input prices and drought drove farmers and ranchers to market more cattle, and not just more cattle but more female cattle that are responsible for replacing the beef herd. Now, we’re looking at a beef herd of about 28.2 million head. Amongst that we have a calf crop that is 33.6 million. Now this is down two percent, but it’s the smallest calf crop since 1948. That’s in 76 years.”

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Nelson said the current pipeline for beef supplies is “strong,” but cautioned “as that supply begins to dry up, that’s when we are going to see beef supplies start to get tighter and tighter, and this could lead to the record prices that I think are going to occur in 2024 and 2025.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of beef last year was $5 per pound.




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