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Abstract

The cow-calf industry has been in a contraction state since 2008 despite improved calf prices in 2010 and 2011 and what appeared to be a market signal toward expansion. Instead, 2012 and 2013 appear to be headed to two more years of contraction. We examine factors impacting a cow-calf producer’s decision on heifer retention to gain a better understanding of a producer’s decision. Results help to explain the continued decrease in the U.S. herd size despite price signals that appear to favor expansion.

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