Some cattle ranchers struggle to break even despite increasing beef prices


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Since last year, the price of beef has skyrocketed about 20%, but many Kansas farmers and ranchers do not see a profit.

Experts say the driving force for the increase is due to the cost of business going up. 

John Jenkinson, KSN’s agricultural expert, said meatpackers are getting as much as $900 for every animal moved through, but many ranchers aren’t seeing that money trickle down to them.

“The producer is in a bad situation because they’ve got plenty of cattle. They just need to move them through the processing plant, and because they are at the mercy of what a processor will pay, then, therefore, they can’t dictate their price,” commented Jenkinson. 

Scarlett Hagins of the Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) claims that the profit margins have been narrower for cattle ranchers.

“It has been tighter for them, and so that you know, we are hearing that from our members and from the producers. So in the last couple of years, it’s been tough on ranchers,” mentioned Hagins.

Thanks to a recent shift in the market, while many cattle producers are operating in the red, some are starting to break even, added Hagins.

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