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Fed Cattle Price Discovery Issues and Considerations

This report was commissioned by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to provide guidance in support of cattle industry policy considerations, especially related to price discovery in fed cattle markets. The task force of agricultural economists that produced this report collectively have more than 120 years of experience as cattle industry economic analysts and researchers. In about three weeks’ time, this task force assembled, considered, synthesized and summarized available research, information and knowledge about the economics of the cattle industry.


Some will be disappointed that we are unable to provide more specific, simple answers to industry questions. While we try not to make things harder or more complicated than necessary, we recognize that making things simpler than they actually are is very dangerous. The U.S. cattle and beef industry is arguably the most complex set of markets on the planet. This report provides guidance to the industry to understand the economic forces that have shaped the industry and the implications of policies that would propose to change industry structure and/or behavior.


In the end, the industry must decide on policy direction for itself, and that is as it should be. Our responsibility is to make sure industry participants are as informed as possible about the implications of policy proposals.


Every member of this task force is committed to supporting the cattle and beef industry through turbulent times and the coming challenges and opportunities of dynamic global protein mar-kets. We look forward to continued collaboration with producers in research and education to ensure the success of the U.S. cattle and beef industry.

E-1053 Fed Cattle Price Discovery Issues and Considerations

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