The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) bi-annual livestock, dairy and poultry outlook report revealed that beef supplies in the United States experienced a significant drop last year - the lowest in nearly a decade - due to wet conditions and drought contributing to declining cattle production.
"Total red meat and poultry production in 2023 is forecast to decrease for the first time in nearly a decade," the USDA said, noting that this was attributed to "the 6-percent decline in beef production." Moreover, the report pointed out that the dwindling cattle population had caused a "significant year-over-year decrease in beef production, the first decline since 2015." Despite this, the USDA expects pork supplies to increase in 2023 after two consecutive years of decline due to an increase in carcass weights.
Additionally, broiler meat and turkey production are also expected to increase marginally over last year's record-high figures. With regards to cow inventory numbers, dry conditions were said to have affected pasture and range conditions leading to higher levels of beef and cow slaughter. Thus, any changes made towards current drought conditions could have an impact on inventory numbers over time.