The market is expanding in the beef, pork and poultry sectors, and higher profit potential is possible for pork and beef in the second quarter of 2017, if you stay on top of marketing opportunities.

"We’re in a time of expansion in both the red meat and poultry industries, plus we’re in a dynamic market environment where pricing opportunities can appear and disappear quickly," said Lee Schulz, an Iowa State University Extension livestock economist. "Be prepared when profitable margins present themselves."

It can be tricky, especially for pork producers facing significant market volatility. Consider how the market bottomed out in mid-November 2016 at $40.75 per hundredweight (cwt). By mid-February, the market had soared 81 percent to $73.84 cwt.

"That was...