As beef prices rise, processors fail to reap the benefits


WESTON, Wisconsin (WAOW) – Beef prices continue to rise and it might not stop anytime soon.

Marathon County beef processors do their best to make sure they can stay afloat.

However, the higher prices of meat are not helping them.

“It’s frustrating on our end,” said Renee Radcliffe, owner and operator of S&R Angus. “We don’t see the big profit margins going back to the producer you see the packer getting and marketing their beef in the grocery store.”

This is because they are still selling the cattle at the same rate as it has been for years and feeding the cows is getting more and more expensive.

According to the USDA, the price of beef increased 9.6% in 2020. So far in 2021, 2.9%. They say it will continue to increase and experts say the pandemic is having an impact.

“We had the backlog caused by the shutdown, then you had the slowdown in the number of sick people, and the problem that we always see in the industry is that it is difficult to find manpower. said Heather Schlesser, Dairy Agent, University of Wisconsin – Madison Extension Division.

Right now, beef processors need to look at all possible ways to increase their profits during this time.

“Looking for different ways to be more efficient, maybe lowering some input costs without sacrificing quality and livestock care is the most important thing,” said Jared Radcliffe, Owner and Operator, S&R Angus.

Over the next year, the USDA estimates that prices will increase 3.3-5.5%. This extra money is spent and does not reach the lower levels.

“The consumer needs to understand that the profit margin is not reaching the producer,” Renee said.

Finding a place to process livestock can also be difficult to find, as some places have a one-year waiting list.


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