When asked if they have plans to expand the beef cattle herd in 2013, a 46 percent majority said, “Maybe. It’s a possibility to consider.”

The online poll found 42 percent of respondents saying “Definitely yes. Now’s the time to bring in more cattle.”

Only 12 percent rejected the idea of herd expansion, answering “No way. The input expenses are too high to expand.”

National herd numbers are expected to be down at least 1 million head, according to several market analysts, when the January 1 data is reported in the coming weeks. With live cattle pushing $126 per hundredweight and the select-choice spread remaining wide, many producers see the current tight supply as a key opening for increased herds.


Go online to progressivecattle.com to weigh in on the next reader poll, which asks readers what they think of the new U.S. federal rules for traceability.