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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    Default Farmers - please weigh in

    Am I just watching too much cable TV news, or is it true that the price of meat is set to skyrocket in the near future?

    The reason given was that a lot of livestock was sold off due to the drought, causing a temporary glut in the market so prices went down, but that as no new livestock is being readied for future markets, the prices will take off as soon as the glut is worked through?

    I assume they were talking about beef only. I eat mostly chicken, but do enjoy beef also. I also feel about meat prices kind of like I do about airline prices - won't buy anything that is not on sale.

    I live alone and do not own a huge freezer, so buying a side of beef is not feasible for me, but should I jam-pack my little freezer with as much as I can fit in now?

    Heavy sigh, as one of my former secretaries used to say (I told her I didn't like to hear her sighing all day long when she had too much typing to do, so she would just say it instead). I do try to adapt my eating habits to market conditions, but I fear soon may be forced to adapt it down to not eating at all!

    For some good news, I read today the price of peanut butter will be going down due to a good peanut crop in the south.
    Only part of me worries...the other part doesn't believe in it.
    Wings of Desire



  2. #2
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Default

    That is what is predicted, anyway.

    More reasons, the price of grains went up with the drought, less grain was raised and as the ethanol mandate, where gasoline has to be a percentage or ethanol by law, is using up so much of the grain that otherwise would be used to finish cattle and raise pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc.

    Inflation is also going to get worse and that adds to any inputs to raise, process, transport and market agricultural products and some of that means higher food prices.

    Still, this country has some of the cheapest food of any, compared with most every other country out there, where a much larger part of people's income goes to what they eat.

    As for putting up larger amounts of meat before the price goes up, no one knows what will happen short term.
    If prices get too high, people will buy other food and that will slow demand and so any more price increases or may even become cheaper, if enough is sitting there unsold for a while.

    Here are some articles where you can get more information about this:

    http://mail.aol.com/37105-111/aol-6/en-us/Suite.aspx



  3. #3
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    Mar. 27, 2011
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    The Land of Buggies and Black Bumpers
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    Default

    Hog farmer here, and yes, there will probably be a shortage next year. Feed prices have increased dramatically due to ingredient prices and many people are getting out. There was just a huge hog farm that sold here last week and there is another going for public auction next month. If hog farmers were even entertaining the idea of getting out, they now have great reasons to!



  4. #4
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    Jul. 20, 2010
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    Texarkana, AR
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    Default

    My hay guy has come down $1/bale on his hay. He says that many of his long time horse customers have gotten rid of their horses.

    I don't know that the ethanol thing has a whole lot of effect. The left over "mash" from the ethanol production is an excellent cattle feed, so I'm told.

    But I do know that the drouth has caused many cow/calf producers to reduce their numbers and that will cause a rise in meat prices.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Default

    This is a cyclical process and occurs whenever there is a market "disruption." Or just an overproduction leading to a cull that leads to underproduction.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  6. #6
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    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
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    Default

    You mentioned chicken. I raise meat birds for my family and friends. Since last summer, the price of chicken feed has gone from just over $10 a bag to nearly $18. If you buy horse feed, you've probably noticed the upward trend.

    While the hay supply is a little tighter than usual here this year and prices have approximately doubled, farmers in my area who raised corn and soybeans were very heavily impacted by the drought. You'll find that corn and soy aren't just in feed mixes for livestock we and our pets eat--they're in a lot of processed human foods, too.
    ---------------------------



  7. #7
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    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wireweiners View Post
    My hay guy has come down $1/bale on his hay. He says that many of his long time horse customers have gotten rid of their horses.

    I don't know that the ethanol thing has a whole lot of effect. The left over "mash" from the ethanol production is an excellent cattle feed, so I'm told.

    But I do know that the drouth has caused many cow/calf producers to reduce their numbers and that will cause a rise in meat prices.
    The mash is indeed grand cattle feed. However, I don't think it equals in amount the grain value.
    (My granddad and my uncle used to make alcohol in the winter, they always had to run a heard of something bovine to use the mash up.
    But it still is ridiculous to pour corn into the gas tank. Not one person I have hear talking about it likes the idea.


    As to the prices, depending on where you live, you might be able to find locally produced meat for a reasonable price still.

    A couple of years ago we had a bad drought spell here. The local dairy is situated in a sort of weather hole, they still got a few good showers during the summer. Their milk ended up being cheaper than the grocery store...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  8. #8
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    Default

    Thanks, everyone.

    I will read those articles tonight. Stuck indoors due to Sandy and no COTH pretty soon.

    I live at the beach so no meat raised here, no local buying. I grew up in rural Indiana where my dad had and I worked at from the time I was 12, the local drugstore, so lots of daily interaction with farmers. I miss it. They always could tell us what was "coming" in the food market.

    One of my other first jobs was detasseling corn. (Trying to show Dad I could get other fun jobs) Hard to believe the uses it now has.
    Only part of me worries...the other part doesn't believe in it.
    Wings of Desire



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEEDS A NAP View Post
    Thanks, everyone.

    I will read those articles tonight. Stuck indoors due to Sandy and no COTH pretty soon.

    I live at the beach so no meat raised here, no local buying. I grew up in rural Indiana where my dad had and I worked at from the time I was 12, the local drugstore, so lots of daily interaction with farmers. I miss it. They always could tell us what was "coming" in the food market.

    One of my other first jobs was detasseling corn. (Trying to show Dad I could get other fun jobs) Hard to believe the uses it now has.
    Stay safe!

    But don't dismiss your beachy area!
    I just got back from the beach and not too far inland there were pastures with cows (and horses)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  10. #10
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    Jul. 14, 2000
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    midwest
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    Default

    What you heard is correct and it will continue for awhile.

    It takes 18+ months to get a steer from birth to butcher. There was a measurable sell off this year but the long term problem is not enough replacement calves will be hitting the ground this fall and next spring because many extra cows were sent to butcher due to the drought and cost of hay.

    If you enjoy good beef it would be worth it to buy a small freezer and stock up now. Supply and demand will drive the price of beef after the first of the year.



  11. #11
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    THere were several articles floating around late summer that chicken prices would be the first to go up significantly since it takes less time to raise a chicken to butcher and corn prices were going up up up this summer. Next comes pork, as you have seen and heard here. Next will be cattle.

    I'm so glad we have chickens and cows (dairy cows too!) and we are considering a couple pigs as well...



  12. #12
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    Feb. 26, 2011
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    Europe will actually be harder hit with meat shortages, in no small part due to restrictions on things like farrowing crates. Last spring we were getting $180 for one day old Holstein bull calves to go to a feed lot. By the end of summer, when it was apparent that most of the US had burned up, they were $40. Now, with the anticipated shortage, they are slowly climbing.
    We actually experienced a similar cycle in 2009 when milk prices fell, people were culling off left and right. The drought in TX last year removed a fair number of animals from the pool, and this year is no different.

    Feed prices are astronomical for us. We use as many recycled feed stuffs as possible, like dried distillers grain from the ethanol industry and wet brewers grain from plants like Budweiser, but we have to have more in the ration than just that. Our ration recently replaced flaked corn with molasses because we can feed less for cheaper, but we are unwilling to give up feeding hay, like some people have, and silage.

    On the plus side, the feed prices have made it easier for us to cull mediocre cows from the herd and replace them with registered animals to improve our genetics. At this time, really good registered animals are going for cull cow prices.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  13. #13
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Default

    Here is an interesting video of what resources we have and what it will take to feed everyone with them.
    That is the really big picture, but it applies to your question also, why do we do what we do with what we have and why that impacts what and how much we have at any one time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=wzxF-rfGeJg

    I never heard of that group that puts that video out, but the simple and clear ideas are very general factual information.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 8, 2011
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    108

    Default

    The leftover "corn mash" from the ethanol process is called "Dry Distillers Grain" or 'DDG's.' DDG's put an average of 30% of corn back into the feed market. These DDG's are a high quality, high protein, high fat product that is very useful in feed rations for many livestock species. In fact, China has a high demand for our DDG's, and the US sells high volumes over the ocean to feed China's growing hog population.



  15. #15
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    May. 17, 2010
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    683

    Default beef producer here

    From everything I can tell, beef prices are going to increase substantially sometime next year. There are a lot of sell-offs and it does take a while to get new beef ready to go. On our end, we sell natural, grass-fed beef. Customers were complaining about the price of our beef, so we didn't send as many to the processor. Our costs are way up. I would rather feed it than sell it at a loss because we run a small herd.

    The main problem is more and more farmers are leaving the business and there are fewer young people looking to farming as a way of life. That equals reduced supply.

    PKN



  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenrow View Post
    The leftover "corn mash" from the ethanol process is called "Dry Distillers Grain" or 'DDG's.' DDG's put an average of 30% of corn back into the feed market. These DDG's are a high quality, high protein, high fat product that is very useful in feed rations for many livestock species. In fact, China has a high demand for our DDG's, and the US sells high volumes over the ocean to feed China's growing hog population.
    IMHO DDG is better feed than corn, lower carb
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  17. #17
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Feed prices have skyrocketed. I've noticed it mostly for my poultry as they are most dependent on grains on my farm. My cattle eat only forage so I've not seen any increases there. The pigs I'm feeding mainly corn to with some balancer and have not had them long enough to really compare costs to prior to the drought. They get some eggs and bread also to supplement their ration.

    I had noticed a huge drop in egg production since about mid Sept. I put out lights and still the increase in eggs produced was minimal. No molting or anything going on. I was feeding a layer ration made by Purina called Country Acres. On a "what the heck" moment I added plain cracked corn, some oats and some out of date bread (for wheat) that I'm getting from a discount bakery (very inexpensive bread) to their ration. The change in egg production was incredible. In 3 days I had double the eggs. I was blown away...What I think happened is that the quality of the ingredients in what Purina is using is really dropping off. We all know they are the low cost feed company but wow...not sure what is in that stuff...cardboard maybe..and I'm paying over $15 a bag for it. It was keeping my birds alive but not much more. I guess as the summer wound down and they could not forage as much of their diet, they became deficient. Still working it all out.

    Chick starter is up to $18 a bag also. I had poor broiler growth all this summer compared to last year and nothing changed apparently...but now with the revelation of the feed possibly being lower in quality than before, I think I may have my answer now.

    So learning from that lesson, I'm in the process of switching over to whole grain unprocessed feeds for the layers and hope to do my own mix next year for the broilers also. This way I'll know exactly what I'm paying for and what they are eating. I've had a lot of requests for soy free products also...meaning no soy feeds for the chickens...so we'll price that out and see what I can manage. I'll also try to use locally sourced ingredients as much as I can to help support other local farmers.

    Margins have shrunk and my prices went up...definitely...poultry feed has gone up over $3 a bag (50 lb bags) since this Spring. I certainly understand how any farmer would have to raise prices or cut their losses regardless of the process they use to raise their animals. I'm debating cutting my poultry production and increasing pork and beef which are lower cost and less work intensive. Maybe no turkeys next year...they are pain in the butt to house and contain and will eat you out of house and home. They are hard to process. I sold out on heritage turkey this year and demand is certainly there but it's time and labor with my situation that I have to consider also.

    We are going to continue to increase our pork production. We raise a heritage breed called "Red Wattle." They are critically endangered and there will likely be some demand also for feeders and breeding stock as we get a registered boar in here. We already have a nice registered gilt for future litters. There is a huge demand for feeders for small farms in this area, for heritage animals for small farms like ours, as well as the excellent meat for customers, and everyone in this area who raises pork for direct sale to customers is sold out almost immediately. Considering we are in the shadow of Smithfield foods, that is amazing but people want to know their farmers and where their food comes from...so that segment of the market will continue to grow.



  18. #18
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    Bringing this back up, to answer this question with some more information.

    Sandy is having and will for a while a very broad impact, including on the price of meat.

    Remember, most of the meat sold is sold as a perishable product, to be used immediately and/or in the near future, as people cook it or order it in restaurants.

    Now, with millions of people not being able to cook or go out for meals, as restaurants can't open for who knows how long, that is all meat that will not be consumed, that leaves more meat out there for the rest of us, that will keep a lid on the expected increase of price.

    Just to show you how markets work, why it is hard to guess if you need to hoard meat before prices go up, because no one knows what will happen to disrupt regular market forces of supply and demand.

    In short, where prices will be is anyone's guess at any time.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    Default

    Fascinating subject. I went out to dinner last night, but lots of places, mostly on the beach road were closed.

    The OBX fared ok, lots of damage and flooding in Kitty Hawk. Don't know if you all have seen this picture, but it seems to have gone viral. Gotta love the OBX spirit.

    http://igotyourcrabs.com/crabblab/?p=79

    (hopefully that worked)
    Only part of me worries...the other part doesn't believe in it.
    Wings of Desire



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEEDS A NAP View Post
    Fascinating subject. I went out to dinner last night, but lots of places, mostly on the beach road were closed.

    The OBX fared ok, lots of damage and flooding in Kitty Hawk. Don't know if you all have seen this picture, but it seems to have gone viral. Gotta love the OBX spirit.

    http://igotyourcrabs.com/crabblab/?p=79

    (hopefully that worked)
    Yes, it worked, neat, people helping where they can.



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