Last year ended on a good note, with the outlook generally positive for livestock and poultry in 2018. That forecast came from James Robb, director and senior agricultural economist with the Livestock Marketing Information Center. However, he says there are some concerns surrounding both industries as uncertainty looms around trade agreements.
Robb spoke during a workshop at the American Farm Bureau national convention. Domestic demand for beef has increased, with Americans expected to consume about 219 pounds of red meat and poultry this year. That’s the largest amount since 2007. Robb says as demand increases, quality becomes more important. “Beef sells for well more than other products because consumers are willing to pay a premium,” Robb says. “They don’t care about the cost of production and won’t pay a premium for the product if the quality isn’t there.” Robb noted during the workshop that the pork industry is considering setting up a grading system similar to beef. He adds, “Beef product, compared to pork and chicken, has improved dramatically. Pork wants to have grading guidelines like beef to improve their product.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.