Beef exports boom but loss of cows, heifers tempers growth

As dairy farmers consider the lower prices they expect to get for their milk this year – based on predictions from numerous agricultural economists – they may be helped out, at least a little, from the beef side of their cattle business. Those dairy cows that “change career” this year may help out the bottom line more than in other years.

During the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison in January, Dr. Brenda Boetel, chair of the agricultural economics department at UW-River Falls, predicted that 2023 U.S. beef production will be down 5.1 percent largely based on drought conditions in cattle country. In the world of supply and demand, that should generate a boost in prices for farmers selling cattle from their dairy herds.

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