Kansas cattle industry could face tough year

US - Cattle producers, cattle feeders and livestock market analysts agree that 2007 could be a challenging year for the beef industry.
calendar icon 18 December 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

Just how challenging depends on several factors, including how high corn prices go, how dry it stays in the Great Plains and how the market for distillers grain develops.

For the Kansas economy, the stakes are high. Beef is the biggest single industry in Kansas, contributing more than $6 billion a year and employing thousands of people on ranches, in feedlots and in processing plants across the state.

Ethanol vs. beef

Ethanol manufacturing -- the primary driver of higher corn prices -- is growing quickly, with eight plants now on line producing 215 million gallons of ethanol a year.

That number is expected to double in the next two years as eight more plants come on line.

Experts agree the relationship between beef and ethanol is likely to become better defined in the coming months and both are likely to see some changes.

Source: The Wichita Eagle

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