Beef producers tackle tighter margins

Input prices continue to add up for the livestock industry.

Dr. Brandon Koch, beef nutritionist with Kent Nutrition Group, says elevated production costs have tightened margins for beef producers this year.

“Everything has increased like feed costs and corn price,” he said. “It has stabilized compared to where we were 10 months ago, but everything is elevated when you look back to where we were 2-3 years ago.”

But, he tells Brownfield, “I’m still seeing at a minimum $75 to $120 a head profit for fed cattle today,” Koch said. “There’s a lot of opportunity and there’s a lot of (producers) excited to buy cattle.”

Koch says producers should consider incorporating some sort of risk management, like the Livestock Risk Protection program.

“Rather than having to do puts, calls, buybacks and everything else, it allows you to consider what’s your bottom end.”

He spoke to Brownfield at a recent Spring Ag Roundtable hosted by KWPC, Muscatine.

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