The May 20th, 2020 USDA retail beef value was reported at $7.58 per pound, up $1.41 per pound from a year ago. Live cattle slaughter weights were reported at 1,370 pounds. Retail beef yield from a 1,370 pound steer or heifer will be around 575 pounds (42% of live weight). $7.58 per pound x 575 pounds retail weight = $4,358 per head retail value. Live cattle sales were reported at $1.02/cwt. A 1,370 pound live animal x $1.02 = $1,397 per head or 32% of the price consumers are paying at their retail grocery store. This low producer share of the consumer beef dollar is unprecedented and is around half of the amount producers received in 1970 when big meatpacker concentration was 25% and the markets were competitive. So much for efficiency and economies of scale!
“It’s a captured and corrupt government that allows the criminal Batista brothers full access to sell their stolen and rotten meat in every state in our Union …”
The calculation doesn’t include the meatpackers $99.32 per head drop credit, or the freight cost to the slaughterhouse for the cattle, normally paid by the cattle feeder.
Those stubborn cattlemen that have refused to give their cattle to the big meatpackers as captive supplies are being hurt the most as they continue to feed their now grossly overweight cattle with no kill date in sight. Sonny Perdue and USDA continue to ignore the problem and Congress is failing to act.
“This low producer share of the consumer beef dollar is unprecedented and is around half of the amount producers received in 1970 when big meatpacker concentration was 25% and the markets were competitive”
Legislative efforts to support effective and real state-inspection programs to remove unnecessary barriers to the market, like onerous, abusive, and ineffective USDA inspection and elimination of laws restricting market access like interstate sales of meat (allowed to cross state lines), should be passed and implemented immediately.
Wyoming recently passed legislation allowing the retail sale of cuts of meat, rather than whole animal sales, but only within the state. This is important, not because a rancher no longer has to sell the whole live animal, but because the rancher can sell meat at the retail value, rather than the depressed live animal price, thereby capturing the lost retail share back to the ranch, where it belongs. Consumers will be happily paying for the actual weight of the meat they’re getting and not wondering what happened to the rest of the animal when they had it processed themselves. Ranchers should still continue to sell the whole animal, or shares of the whole animal, to better meet income and cash flow needs. This also helps the small plant process more animals per day using a standard bone-in cut. The bone has nutritional value and improves the retail yield of the animal by around five percent.
“Consumers will be happily paying for the actual weight of the meat they’re getting and not wondering what happened to the rest of the animal.”
There shouldn’t be any complaining when consumers find out they can buy directly from a farmer or rancher at the same average price they pay at Walmart – less the 12% added solution and without the Pink Slime added to the burger, not to mention how many fewer animals are represented in their pound of ground beef.
It’s a captured and corrupt government that allows the criminal Batista brothers full access to sell their rotten and stolen meat in every state in our Union, but a citizen livestock producer can’t sell a cut of meat to a neighbor, or to a customer a few miles away across the state line.