A beef with cattle prices

A beef with cattle prices

A recent price dip in live cattle prices has raised the ire of many cattle producers across the country. But even as some farmers and ranchers call for federal reform, economists see a supply and demand explanation for the disparity between what beef packers are paying for cattle compared to the price they are getting for boxed beef.

On Aug. 9, a fire at the Tyson plant in Holcomb, Kansas, shut down one of the largest beef processing facilities in the country, cutting national beef production by as much as 6% overnight.

According to economists, this instant reduction in capacity re­sulted in a glut of cattle ready for processing and limited facilities to take those...

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