Animal Protein Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the animal protein industry.

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Dairy Products Have More Growth Potential

July 2024

Most U.S. consumers purchase dairy, which is also the largest category in retail.


Rapid Expansion of Soybean Crush Capacity Risks Exceeding Growth of Renewable Diesel

March 2024

The push for renewable diesel is boosting demand for soybean oil as a feedstock.

Dairy Heifer

Dwindling Dairy Heifer Numbers May Inhibit New Milk Production

February 2024

Just behind feed and labor, the cost of raising a dairy heifer is the third-highest expense on dairy farms.

Breeding Beef with Dairy Brings New Value to Marketplace

Breeding Beef with Dairy Brings New Value to Marketplace

August 2023

Abysmally dry weather conditions across the U.S. have led to extensive culling in the beef cow herd and will tighten beef supplies for years to come.


Pork Producer Optimism Dampened by Triple Threats

July 2023

Across the board in animal protein, producers have been dealing with input inflation. Pork producers in particular have been struggling, as hog values languished through mid-year and have not kept pace with costs.

Grilling season

Retailers to Appease Grillers with Value-Oriented Meat Features this Season

April 2023

In the years since COVID impacted consumers’ spending, the where, what and why of their decision-making process has been through a massive shift. For Americans, the product scarcity of the first and second quarters of 2020 proved paramount in what they put into their grocery carts. 

Chicken Wings and Breast Meat Set to Offer Reprieve for Inflation-Weary Consumers

March 2023

Chicken Wings and Breast Meat Set to Offer Reprieve for Inflation-Weary Consumers


Higher-Priced Turkeys on the Holiday Menu

November 2022

After grappling with staff shortages, plant closures, and supply issues, the turkey industry has been hit by yet another problem in 2022: the worst Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in U.S. history.


The HPAI Stakes are Higher This Time

September 2022

Seven years after the last outbreak, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza emerged again in 2022 in U.S. commercial poultry flocks. More than 40 million birds have been depopulated, disrupting supplies of eggs and turkey in particular.

Lunch Meat Sandwich

Rising Deli Meat Prices Pressure Back-to-School Budgets

August 2022

Now that the universal federal free lunch program of the pandemic era has ended, more parents may be packing their kids’ back-to-school lunches — and facing sticker shock in the deli aisle.

Animal protein

Consumers to Take on Higher Prices in the Meat Case This Summer

April 2022

In 2021 the market for proteins witnessed a new type of consumer, one who is less sensitive to higher retail meat prices and more interested in

Pandemic, Higher Costs and Avian Flu Put Easter Egg Supplies at Risk

March 2022

U.S. egg producers have been hard-pressed in the past two years to align supplies with market demand. The flock typically expands ahead of demand for Easter and contracts during the summer months when interest wanes.

Shipping containers

U.S. Animal Protein Needs Trade Negotiators Back at the Table

November 2021

For more than a decade, free trade has become decidedly less popular in the U.S. Unfortunately for U.S. meat exporters, the rest of the world continues to make headway on trade agreements that threaten to put U.S. producers at a disadvantage in global markets.

U.S. Dollar

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports

February 2021

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

Animal protein, restaurant

The Great Grocery Grab of 2020 and the Ongoing Impact to U.S. Animal Protein

January 2021

2020 was the most volatile and, for many, the most challenging year in U.S. animal protein history.

Cattle feeding

Surging Feed Prices to Test US Animal Protein’s Recovery

December 2020

Feed costs have been relatively benign since 2012, helping the beef, pork and poultry sectors to expand more from 2014 to 2019 than in any five year period in the industry’s history. But in the coming year, U.S. livestock and poultry producers will face more feed cost inflation than they have in over a decade, challenging their ability to recover after a difficult and volatile 2020.


US Pork Export Outlook: How to Save Our Own Bacon as China Rebuilds

November 2020

The U.S. pork industry has built multiple new plants over the past four years, increasing U.S. packing capacity by 12% with much of this new capacity eyed for international markets. 

meat cases

Closed Meat Plants Today Mean Empty Meat Cases this Summer

May 2020

The spread of COVID-19 among people who work in many beef and pork plants across the country has led to plant slowdowns and shut downs, creating a bottleneck in the U.S. meat and livestock supply chain. 


Walmart’s New Beef Plant is More Sizzle than Steak, For Now

February 2020

In January, Walmart officially entered the beef business when it opened a case-ready beef plant in Thomasville, Georgia. 

dark chicken meat

Evolving U.S. Demographics Give Chicken a New Leg to Stand On

October 2019

Evolving U.S. demographics are shifting consumer preferences from white chicken meat to dark meat.


US Poultry Outlook: This Time Things Are Different

June 2019

The US chicken industry has experienced an unprecedented run of historic profitability since 2012 and responded with a significant increase in production and processing capacity.


African Swine Fever Implications for US Ag

May 2019

Last August when the first cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) were announced in Northeast China, it was immediately clear that the global pork sector would be affected.


Protein Passport: Export Market Volatility is Worth the Risk

January 2019

U.S. animal protein supplies have reached all-time highs in both production and domestic consumption. 


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