Indeed, BEEF’s 2013 outlook survey tells two tales – a pessimistic and fearful story for the nation as a whole, and an upbeat, optimistic tome about the cattle business. Perhaps this respondent summed both emotions best:

“I love cattle and have my life’s work thus far in them. I love the land I live on, which has been in my family since 1835. I care none for selling my cows or land for any price. I care deeply for both, and work continuously to improve them. Any attack on them is an attack on me, and a mere paragraph cannot put into understanding what it has taken to get to the point I am. I’m not special; there are many more that have worked, sacrificed, achieved and done far more than I, and I am proud of them. A cattle operation can be as much a work of art as any painting.

“If my life’s work is to ever be destroyed, I want at least all who watch, and those involved, to have a common understanding that, for a time, there was a great testimony to land, animal and human working together, so that people question, ‘was it really worth destroying?’”

Bull prices to rise?

bull prices in 2012BEEF readers expect the strong market for bulls seen the last year or two to continue into 2013. Of those who bought bulls in 2012, 22.1% paid $2,000 to $2,999; 15.4% paid $3,000 to $3,499; and 10.1% paid from $3,500 to $3,999. A few (8.1%) went bargain shopping, paying from $1,000 to $1,999, but just as many (8.5%) paid from $4,000 to $4,499, while 3.6% paid from $4,500 to $4,999, and 7.5% paid more than $5,000.

Those who plan to buy bulls in 2013 don’t expect prices to back up any. Most (51.3%) think prices will resemble those of 2012, while 25.9% expect higher prices. Only 2.4% expect prices to be less than 2012, while 20.4% don’t plan to buy bulls in 2013.

The majority of those who anticipate higher bull prices in 2013, at 57.7%, think prices will jump 10-15%, while 30.3% expect an increase of 10% or less. Only 9.1% expect prices to increase 16-20% and 2.9% expect prices to increase by more than 20%.