Howdy market watchers. I’m writing this week’s column from the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association annual convention in Norman.
It is great to be back in person to see friends, colleagues, suppliers and customers and to discuss the issues our industry faces. There is plenty of talk in Washington with Biden’s executive orders regarding competition bringing the cattle industry front and center, in addition to prescription drugs, hearing aids and internet service. While the focus on concentration in core supply chains is warranted, it is becoming increasing concerning, from my perspective, that the government may increase involvement in the industry. Enforcement of existing regulation seems to be what is needed more than additional regulation.
However, from the current rhetoric, there is little doubt more regulation is on the horizon and that alone enables concentration among the largest processors. The “Product of the USA” re-designation requiring American-born and raised seems to be a win for local producers and it is that type of government guideline that is supportive to the industry without getting in the middle of the pricing discussion.
The cattle market was indeed on fire this week, helped by weaker grains and continued drought issues in the high plains leading to herd liquidation, with…