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2012 Cattle Cycle Book

Basis Estimates, Monthly Average Prices and Slaughter Facility Information

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Posted Oct. 2, 2012

A cattle cycle exists because of the accumulation and liquidation of cattle inventory. Accumulation is a period of increasing cattle numbers, while liquidation is a period of decreasing cattle numbers. Cattle producers expand and contract their herd size in response to cattle prices or profits as weather and external factors permit. As prices increase and more profits are made, producers begin to increase their herd size.

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Dan Childs
Senior Agricultural Economics Consultant

Steve Swigert
Agricultural Economics Consultant (Retired)

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