Long Road Ahead for America’s Cattle Herd Rebuilding According to OSU’s Derrell Peel

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Derrell Peel about rebuilding the cowherd.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is back talking with Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Dr. Derrell Peel about the rebuilding of America’s cowherd.

To listen to Part 1 of the conversation with Peel at the 2024 LMA Convention and World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in OKC, click here.

Peel said the rebuilding process will be a long haul, especially with extremely tight female numbers.

“There is a lot of tendency to compare this to a decade ago, but one of the big differences is that we are in a fundamentally tighter situation, particularly from the female side, so the process of putting together herd rebuilding is a slower process,” Peel said. “I think we are looking at multiple years to get herd rebuilding done once we start, and that means we are going to be at elevated prices for an extended period of time. Longer than what we saw in 2014 and 2025.”

Aside from tighter female numbers, Peel said there is still potential for more drought, which is another contributing factor to an extended rebuilding process.

“A big one is just finance costs,” Peel said. “Interest rates are so much higher now in cost, and after what happened in 2014 and 2015, both producers and bankers are very logically being somewhat cautious going forward. I don’t think they are in a real big hurry to do this.”

Peel said he believes there is a strong chance of growing the herd back to the same numbers as in 2019.  From a global market standpoint, Peel said there is plenty of market value for the cattle industry to be just as large in numbers once again.

As for peak cattle numbers, Peel said he expects to see those levels in 2025 or 2026. For now, Peel added consumers continue to pay record-high prices for beef.

“We are reducing beef production because we simply do not have the numbers to maintain production,” Peel said. “So, some people are going to eat less beef, but that is just the market rationing tighter supplies. There are other people that will continue to pay whatever it takes to enjoy their beef, and I think they will pay higher prices going forward.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Verified by MonsterInsights