Animal Production

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,000,000 animal production operations in the US include farms that raise livestock (such as beef cattle, poultry, sheep, and hogs); farms that employ animals to produce products (such as dairies, egg farms, and apiaries); and animal specialty farms (such as aquaculture (fish farms)).

Environmental Impacts Drive Regulation

Livestock production introduces a number of risks to the environment that, if not properly managed, can impact human health.

Diets & Red Meat Consumption

Red meat’s portion of the American diet has fluctuated over time.

Industry size & Structure

The average livestock operation generates about $164,000 in annual revenue.

    • The US Census Bureau defines a farm as an operation that produces or should have reasonably produced over $1,000 in revenue during a given year, including government payments.
    • The over 1 million livestock operations in the US include 711,800 cattle operations, 64,800 hog and pig farms, and 164,000 poultry and egg farms.
    • Livestock farms produce about $177 billion in average annual value on over 478 million acres.
    • About 90% of livestock farms are owned by farm families in which the family owns and/or operates the farm and has done so for generations.
    • More than 225,900 people are hired employees in the livestock industry, but 77% of total livestock labor is family members.
    • Farm operations that generate more than $1 million in revenue account for 79% of livestock production value.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Animal Production Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                May 16, 2023 - SCOTUS Rules Against Pork Producers
                                • The US Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a California law that affects the pork industry, ruling in May that the case was properly dismissed by lower courts, Food Manufacturing reports. Pork producers said that the law could force industry-wide changes and raise the cost of bacon and other pork products nationwide. California’s Proposition 12, passed in 2018, says that pork sold in the state needs to come from pigs whose mothers were raised with a minimum 24 square feet of space, which rules out confined "gestation crates," metal enclosures that are common in the pork industry, according to FM. The ruling comes at a difficult time for hog farmers who are “facing high input costs and some of the most challenging economic times that the pork industry has seen in 20 years,” CEO of the National Pork Producers Council Bryan Humphreys said.
                                • The Agriculture Department’s first national look at pasture and range conditions brings more bad news than good and suggests there may be more cow culling to come this year, AgWeb reported in May. The USDA Condition Index (CI) shows 33% of pasture and range conditions is rated good to excellent and 37% is poor to very poor. While overall conditions have improved from last year, some states are rivaling the worst conditions since 2013. Kansas currently has the lowest rangeland/pasture condition on record for the modern era, said USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. As Kansas and the entire Plains region digs out from the drought, the cattle herd could continue to shrink. Thirty-three states are in good to excellent condition, up 11 states vs last year. The recent epic snowfall and rains put California at the top with a good to excellent CI ranking of 95%.
                                • The Biden administration is considering a mass vacation program for poultry, The New York Times reported in March. Amid the largest outbreak of avian influenza in US history and rising concern that the virus could mutate and start to spread more easily among humans, officials at the US Agriculture Department, which is responsible for the health of farm animals, say they’ve begun testing potential poultry vaccines and initiated discussions with industry leaders about a large-scale bird flu vaccination program for poultry, which would be a first for the United States, NYT reports. While the virus has already jumped to mammals – including minks and foxes – the CDC says risk to humans is low. The poultry industry is divided over the vaccination scheme, in part because it might spawn trade restrictions that could destroy the $6 billion poultry export industry, according to NYT.
                                • The US Department of Agriculture in March proposed new requirements that would allow labels on meat, poultry or eggs to use the phrases “Made in the USA” or “Product of USA” only if they come from animals “born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States,” The New York Times reports. Current policy allows voluntary use of such labels on products from animals that have been imported from abroad and slaughtered in the US and on meat that’s been imported and repackaged or further processed, according to NYT. The new regulatory requirements are designed to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means. Under the proposed rule, the “Product of USA” label claim would continue to be voluntary. About 12% of the beef consumed in the US is imported.
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