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Cattle producer expecting decreasing herd sizes

A southwestern Missouri cattle producer says there could be a sharp decrease in cattle herd sizes if processors and retailers don’t share more of their profit margins.

“The producer has given all he can give right now,” said Glen Cope.

Cope says rising cattle production costs are sharply cutting into margins.

“Our feed costs are just really hampering our profitability,” he said. “…we’re just going to try to put all the gain we can on them with forage.”

But the Aurora, Missouri farmer said grass is behind at this point in the spring adding more pressure.

Cope tells Brownfield heifer retention numbers are already dropping.

“If we see a tightening in cattle supplies and shrinking in herd numbers, that’s the only give that I can see,” he said.

Cope said the situation is even more dire for producers experiencing drought in the plains but that offers opportunity, comparing it to the 2012 drought.

“Those of us that were able to, kind of, hang on and keep the cows that we did have, we’re were rewarded for that in 2013 and 2014 when we certainly saw a tremendous price increase for cattle [and] for our calves that came off the farm.”

Glen Cope Interview

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