While we’re over two months in, many questions remain about 2023, and how the year head will impact the farming community.  Dr. Phil Bass, Meat Science Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho, said he’ll keep a close eye on the weather in the weeks and months to come.  He noted note only does the Northwest need moisture, but the region needs it at the right time.


"But what that can also do is going to lend us to better understand the feed situation.  And I'm going to keep the close eye on the commodities that are produced, corn and soy our main feed ingredients.  Up here in Pacific Northwest we have a lot of great byproduct we can use potato byproducts, wheat, barley, things like that but corn and soybeans are still the biggest driving factors and great barometers for industry.”


Other things he’ll watch in the year ahead, the Farm Bill, state legislative sessions, as well as carcass weights.


"Our team at the University of Idaho has been researching this for a number of years, it's always been a big part of what I've kept an eye on.  I'm impressed with the efficiencies of the beef industry in the United States.  We can grow big animals, but that also leads to other challenges.  So we're going to keep an eye on that.  This has become such an impact to the point where certified Angus Beef has changed their hot carcass weight spec to 1,100 pounds, and that's the maximum weight for the carcass.  What that means is that it's likely a lot of other branded beef programs are going to change as well.  Meaning that the Packers are going to be more open to these bigger carcasses.”


But Bass noted the interest in larger carcasses does not mean that the plants across the country have been retrofitted to take those larger carcasses.  But it is an issue, he noted, the industry will need to address sooner, rather than later.


He added while producers have done a great job and should be very proud of the popularity of American beef, a lot of volatility remains in the industry.



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