Ground beef demand remains high in 2021

Ground beef demand is the other factor driving cull cow values and lean trimmings prices.


James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas

via BEEF Magazine - Jul 15, 2021


Cull cow markets and cow slaughter rates have increased in 2021 for many reasons. James Mitchell, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Arkansas, takes a look at one of the main drivers of cull cow markets, ground beef demand.


To review, cull beef cows contribute to ground beef production as a source of 90% lean trimmings, which are blended with 50% lean trimmings to make the majority of our ground beef and hamburger. The other two sources of lean trimmings are dairy cows and lean beef imports. Fed cattle trimmings are the main source of 50% lean trim.


Beef cow slaughter has been averaging 9.9 percent above 2020 slaughter and 12.4 percent higher than 2019 slaughter. This means a larger supply of lean trimmings from beef cull cows. All else equal, we would expect lower cull cow and lean trim prices due to larger supplies. However, this has not been the case this year.


Southern Plains slaughter cow prices...


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