Publications

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  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: July 2012

    LDPM-217, July 17, 2012

    Beef/Cattle: Following on the heels of last year's drought, this year's lack of adequate rainfall over more than half of the United States has resulted in rapidly deteriorating crop and pasture conditions that have driven corn prices higher and cattle prices lower.

  • Feed Outlook: July 2012

    FDS-12G, July 13, 2012

    U.S. feed grain supplies for 2012/13 are projected sharply lower this month with lower production for corn on lower yields. Extremely hot weather and drought result in a 20- bushel-per-acre decline in the projected corn yield to 146 bushels per acre reducing projected production to 13.0 billion bushels, compared with 14.8 billion bushels last month.

  • Slaughter and Processing Options and Issues for Locally Sourced Meat

    LDPM-216-01, June 19, 2012

    ERS evaluates slaughter and processing capacity for local meat production, and the options available to livestock producers selling to local markets. Local demand is still a small share of total demand.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: June 2012

    LDPM-216, June 18, 2012

    Beef/Cattle: Producers are beginning to market calves and beef cows at increasing levels as pasture and range conditions begin to deteriorate. Projected cattle feeding margins are increasingly negative at current price levels. Packer margins are currently positive, but declining byproduct values are adversely affecting them.

  • Stricter Rules Prompt Livestock Producers To Choose Farm Size Just Below Regulatory Cutoff

    Amber Waves, June 05, 2012

    An important and unchanging feature of the Clean Water Act is that livestock operations confining more than a specific number of livestock face more stringent rules. However, some farmers are avoiding the regulations by adjusting the size of their operations to just below the cutoff point.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: December 2011

    LDPM-210, December 15, 2011

    Disproportionally large cow slaughter has kept average dressed weights lower during most of 2011 than if steers had constituted half or more of beef slaughter, as they typically do. Packer margins and high feed and feeder cattle prices are exerting downward pressure on fed cattle prices.

  • Where's the (Not) Meat?-Byproducts From Beef and Pork Production

    LDPM-209-01, November 21, 2011

    The report describes the many uses for animal byproducts-both inedible and edible-and estimates the volume of production of beef and pork variety meats in the United States in addition to the proportion of value added to the live animal from the byproducts. The value added to U.S. meat trade and the role of variety meats in the global marketplace is also evaluated.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: November 2011

    LDPM-209, November 16, 2011

    Beef/Cattle: Drought continues to dominate non-fed slaughter, despite recent rains that provided temporary relief and promoted emergence of winter wheat in the Southern Plains.

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: October 2011

    LDPM-208, October 18, 2011

    Drought-induced cow-herd liquidation has reduced average dressed weights and resulted in relatively more ground products but fewer middle cuts. Wheat pasture could be priced at a premium this winter. Cattle feeding margins remain negative despite higher fed cattle prices.

  • Estimating the Substitution of Distillers' Grains for Corn and Soybean Meal in the U.S. Feed Complex

    FDS-11I01, October 13, 2011

    Corn-based dry-mill ethanol production and its coproducts - notably distillers' dried grains with soluble (DDGS) - have surged in recent years. The report estimates the potential substitution of DDGS for corn and soybean meal in livestock feeding and the impact of substitution upon the U.S. feed complex.

  • Food Safety Audits, Plant Characteristics, and Food Safety Technology Use in Meat and Poultry Plants

    EIB-82, October 03, 2011

    ERS documents the extent of food safety audits in meat and poultry processing plants and examines the association between the use of audits and the plants' size, business structure, and application of food safety technology

  • Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook: September 2011

    LDPM-207, September 16, 2011

    Beef/Cattle: Drought conditions continue to result in Southern cows going to slaughter and Southern calves going to feedlots. Also resulting from the drought, corn, and hay prices are increasing as cow and fed cattle prices slip. Despite deteriorating feed-fed cattle price relationships, feeder cattle prices appear mostly steady.

  • Beef and Pork Byproducts: Enhancing the U.S. Meat Industry’s Bottom Line

    Amber Waves, September 01, 2011

    Byproducts include virtually all parts of the live animal that are not part of the dressed carcasses. Byproducts account for more than 10 percent of the value of cattle and more than 6 percent of the value of hogs.

  • Trade, the Expanding Mexican Beef Industry, and Feedlot and Stocker Cattle Production in Mexico

    LDPM-206-01, August 22, 2011

    This report characterizes Mexican feeder-calf and fed cattle production systems in the context of the imports of Mexican feeder cattle into the United States. The increase in cattle feeding in Mexico will increasingly affect U.S. feeder cattle imports and U.S. beef exports to Mexico in ambiguous ways as Mexican population and incomes increase. Cattle production also depends on geo-climatic factors, disease and pest challenges, feeding systems, and feeder cattle export patterns.

  • Why Have Food Commodity Prices Risen Again?

    WRS-1103, June 28, 2011

    The report describes the factors that have contributed to the large and rapid increase in agricultural prices during the past year. The report focuses particularly on food commodity prices-which have risen 60 percent since June 2010.

  • Cattle Sector Production Practices and Regional Price Differences

    LDPM-202-1, April 26, 2011

    This report outlines the tendency for fed cattle from the Southern Plains to typically sell at a premium over cattle from the Northern Central Plains, describing the nuances in regional production and marketing practices that underlie the price relationship referred to as "the North-South spread."

  • Selected Trade Agreements and Implications for U.S. Agriculture

    ERR-115, April 15, 2011

    ERS examines possible impacts of recently implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) where the United States is not a partner, and potential effects of pending U.S. agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

  • NAFTA at 17: Full Implementation Leads to Increased Trade and Integration

    WRS-1101, March 31, 2011

    This report is the last in USDA's series of Congressionally mandated biennial reports on the impacts of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on U.S. agriculture and the rural economy. The report responds to a mandate in the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act of 1993.

  • The Diverse Structure and Organization of U.S. Beef Cow-Calf Farms

    EIB-73, March 28, 2011

    The beef cow-calf industry is characterized by large numbers of small farms, although large farms account for most of the production. Operators of beef cow-calf farms have varying goals for their cattle enterprises.

  • How Retail Beef and Bread Prices Respond to Changes in Ingredient and Input Costs

    ERR-112, February 24, 2011

    The extent to which cost changes pass through a vertically organized production process depends on the value added by each producer in the chain as well as a number of other organizational and marketing factors at each stage of production. Using 36 years of monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics price indices data (1972-2008), we model pass-through behavior for beef and bread, two retail food items with different levels of processing. Both the farm-to-wholesale and wholesale-to-retail price responses are modeled to allow for the presence of structural breaks in the underlying long-term relationships between price series. Broad differences in price behavior are found not only between food categories (retail beef prices respond more to farm-price changes than do retail bread prices) but also across stages in the supply chain. While farm-to-wholesale relationships generally appear to be symmetric, retail prices have a more complicated response behavior. For both bread and beef, the passthrough from wholesale to retail is weaker than that from farm to wholesale.