More supply and strong demand are expected to keep the outlook in the livestock sector pretty positive. During a workshop on the subject at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, Dr. Glynn Tonsor, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University, talked about what the future would hold.
“The meat-to-feed price ratios will be very attractive, which will create a multi-year period of industry expansion,” Tonsor said. Producers can look for an expansion in pork sooner than in beef, but an overall increase in U.S. red meat and poultry will occur in the first quarter of 2015, according to projections. Tonsor also mentioned that global demand for meat provides a long list of reasons to be confident.
Certain circumstances in the U.S. could have effects that push the market in either direction. Changes in the economy like lower gas prices and perhaps wage increases could allow for additional expendable income for consumers to spend on protein, yet the impact of pork diseases such as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome as well as pasture and range conditions have not yet been fully determined, Tonsor said.
Tonsor did say that producers need to keep their eyes on some key political issues that could have major effects on livestock markets include country of origin labeling, international poultry trade bans, a second beef checkoff and public acceptance of scientific advancements.