Cow Calf Production Costs Skyrocket, Record Cattle Feeding Losses

As in all of animal agriculture, pro­duction costs have risen sharply in the cattle sector, primarily as a result of rising feed costs. For example, in the cattle finishing sector a monthly survey of commercial cattle feedlots by Kansas State University indicates that the cost of gain increased from an average of about $0.54 per pound in 2006 to $0.74 in 2007 and prelim­inary estimates indicate feedlot costs of gain will average well over $0.80 per pound during 2008, an increase of 54% in just two years. Cattle feed­ing returns estimated by Iowa State University indicate cattle feeders ex­perienced the largest loss on record ($167 per head) during April since the series began in the 1960s.

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