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Recent News About USA Beef!

written by

Ben Simmons

posted on

April 11, 2023

The article was about the status of the USA beef industry from the perspective of the large meat processors that does trickle down until it lands at the local farmers in communities across the country. This point is really important.

Some of the points the article pointed out include:

  • January 2022 meat packers enjoyed record profits of $554 per head. By January 2023 profit had fallen to $108 average per head
  • USDA reports the total USA cattle inventory is at its lowest level since 1962. The latest tally showed the largest annual decline in at least 30 years
  • Nov 2022 report showed export demand for U.S. Beef was up 4%. China demand was up 24% by volume
  • U.S. consumer demand has improved considerably
  • The World Bank predicts that the higher prices the world has seen for red meat are going to be with us for a while

Cattle futures closed this week at $200.80 per hundred weight ($2.01 per lb). Futures have doubled since April 6th of 2020 from a low of $103.63. I predict the market will at least test the market high of $245.20 set on Oct 16, 2014.

Our local stockyard has been selling 500 lb calves coming straight off the farm for $2.50 lb. live weight. That would equal about $4.17 lb. carcass weight. The calves are then trucked to feedlots where they will gain another 6-700 pounds before sold to a large meat processor. These prices are good for local farmers (who had record high input cost raising them), but passes a burden onto feedlots who could get stuck with much more money invested in the calves then what the big packers are willing to pay IF consumer demand drops off due to higher cost. Someone is likely going to be stuck with expensive inventory (calves) they cannot sell to recoup their investment. Yep, it is a moving target with a lot of uncertainty.

So, how does that impact Nature's Gourmet Farm AND families who depend on us to feed their families?

We certainly have higher input cost. Our Non GMO feed (for chickens, eggs, and pork) has increased about 70% the past 12 months. The price to ship chicks via USPO has more than doubled.

We do not set our prices based on market trends - be they up or down trends. Our objective is to take our cost and add a margin for profit. Without profit a business cannot survive. I do expect our prices to increase based on increases in our cost.

The GREAT NEWS is we had our first USDA on-farm BEEF HARVEST Wednesday, April 5, 2023! So thankful to our Lord for his blessing. While, our first harvest was not without its challenges, we did successfully work through the kinks and were able to harvest all seven beef. We will harvest pigs April 24th.

In closing, I would like to share this Bible verse a customer set me last week. It reads:
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare. ~Isaiah 55:2

At Nature's Gourmet Farm, our intent is to create a community that will evolve around one of the most intrinsically important things of the ages, and that’s the provision of sustenance. That's our passion - to raise healthy food to nourish families and strengthen immune systems.

If you are new to our farm then maybe you have been looking for premium ALL NATURAL GOODNESS of beef, pork, chicken, and eggs raised on pasture as God intended - with emphasis on Regenerative Principles and NOT conventionally raised animals (with growth hormones, drugs, chemicals, and antibiotics) - and where animals are treated humanely - then you have come to the right farm. Our delivery schedule and product availability is listed below along with order buttons that will take you to our website where you can browse over 90 product choices and place your order from the convenience of your home. It's that simple!

** Product Availability Update **

Chicken - Next harvest date is April 11th with restock the following day. Processing will continue for twice per month for the balance of the year.

Eggs - Eggs have improved drastically and you will see the difference in availability. Please note that eggs will be added to our website the Wednesday PRIOR top your delivery date by 6pm. So, we have decided to put them on sale as follows:

Jumbo/ XL - buy 4 or more flats for $10 each. Save $5 each

Dozen - buy 4 or more cartons for $4.50 each. Save $1 each

Beef - Restocked March 28th. Next restock April 21st.

Pork - Restock fresh pork late February 2023. Next harvest will be April 24th.

More from the blog

Farm Visitors

Since we started selling via our online store in 2016, the number of visitors to our farm increased. Then, building the on-farm USDA poultry plant in 2019 spurred a lot of interest from folks who were interested in raising pastured poultry and were looking for a way around the MS Department of Ag regulation limiting the number of chickens per farm to only 1,000 per year. Most of the folks visiting were potential customers looking for naturally raised meats to feed their families.

Farmer Musings!

Beth & I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving - and turkey if you purchased one our our pastured turkeys. For our family the turkey did not disappoint. I spatchcocked (removed the backbone) so the turkey would lay flat. Beth then brined it for a day before smoking. It turned out tasty and juicy. Before our Thanksgiving meal each of us shared something we were thankful for. Beth's sister Debra shared the following:

A Day Processing Ground Beef!

Overall rain this week on our farm was about ONE inch! Not a lot in the big scheme of things, but very appreciated. It was enough to make a difference for our winter grass as you can see from this picture. In some areas of other pastures it appears that the seedlings died after germinating back in October. An observation that the heavy dews was not enough to keep them alive.