The U.S. Agriculture Department is looking ahead to 2013 as producers of meat continue to struggle with drought conditions and record high feed costs.
Gerry Bange is the Department's Outlook Board Chairman and says broiler chicken production is expected to drop 1.3%.
That means chicken prices should increase about 4 1/2%. The only meat source expected to drop in price is turkey at 1.3%.
USDA is reporting with the higher price of feed many dairy producers are looking into reducing herd numbers. All meat source prices are expected to increase in 2013 except for a slight drop in the price of turkey.
Hog producers have been slow to increase numbers and that may pay off in the future. Bange says some may decide to cut back even more due to record high feed costs.
Cattle producers are stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. Bange says the drought has reduced forage for their herds and feed costs are extremely high. They will need to make a decision whether to reduce herd numbers or to ride the storm out and hope for better conditions down the road.
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