"Returns to cattle
feeders increased significantly in 2003 compared to 2002 and were at
record levels," said Dale Lattz, U of I Extension farm management
specialist, who authored the study "Costs to Produce Beef in
Higher total returns
were due mainly to higher market cattle prices, Lattz noted.
The study was based
on information collected by the Illinois Farm Business Farm
Management Association record-keeping and business analysis program
from 11 beef-feeding farms. The sample farms had no other kind of
livestock enterprise and specialized primarily in beef production.
But, Lattz indicated,
the results reveal a positive trend for Illinois farmers who have
"The 2003 level of
returns was $26.27 per hundredweight of beef produced above the
average returns for the 1994 through 2003 time period," said Lattz.
"Total returns have exceeded total economic costs in only five years
since 1980, when this study began. Those years were 2003, 1999,
1992, 1990 and 1987."
In 2003, total
returns for Illinois beef feeding enterprises exceeded total
economic costs by $20.87 per hundred pounds of beef produced.
"This was by far the
highest profit margins for these farms since the study began," said
Lattz. "The average price received per 100 pounds of beef sold was
$84.57 in 2003, up 30 percent from the 2002 figure and the highest
price received since this study began.
"The average price
paid for feeder cattle replacements in 2003 was $88.13, slightly
higher than in 2002. The price paid for feeder cattle replacements
was also the highest since this study began. The purchase cost of
feeder cattle is subtracted from finished cattle sales in
determining total returns per 100 pounds produced."