The bright spots in agriculture right now are beef and pork.
Both have cheap grain to feed an expanding herd, and both are seeing excellent export sales, pork at almost 25 percent of U.S. production going out of the country.
Beef is the star right now as China is awaiting the first shipment, sent from Nebraska, to be released into channels of trade July 16.
There are a lot of requirements that U.S. processors are going to have to meet, and documentation and tracking is not the least of those.
There are a lot of positives for the beef industry right now but Dr. Derrell Peel, a livestock economist at Oklahoma State University, reminds producers not to get too caught up in thinking China will be a major market for a while.
“Exports have continued to grow a bit over time in both volume and value, and there are several ways that exports add value to the U.S. beef industry,” Peel said. “Selling more product when we have access to a larger set of markets is certainly part of it. Some of the products that we export have more value in those other markets, and so we pickup additional value in that sense. The third part is the fact that we don’t utilize all of the products that come from the beef industry.”
Farm Broadcaster Ron Hays from the Radio Oklahoma Network spoke with Dr. Peel late last week.