Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1999


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XVI December 14, 15 and 16, 1999 - Greeley, Colorado.


Since 1976, the total supply of red meat and poultry has increased 63%. However, all of the gains since 1976 have been the domain of the competing meats. During 1998, beef production approximated the record production of 1976. This was accomplished with approximately 28 million fewer cattle (100M) than in 1976 (128M). The entire reduction in cattle inventories is offset by an increase in average annual carcass weight. During the period 1990-1998, beef production increased 3.1 billion pounds, pork increased 3.7 billion pounds, chicken increased 9.0 billion pounds and turkey increased 660 million pounds. In total during the 1990-1998 period, the red meat and poultry supply increased 16.5 billion pounds. The competing meats comprised 13.4 billion pounds or 81% of the total increase in meat supplies. Thus, the market share for beef continued to decline and the price level and production of competing meats increasingly influenced the level of beef prices and the profitability of the beef industry.