Market transparency for grass fed beef industry

Sep 27, 2013

In response to industry requests, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced a new market news report that covers grass fed beef.

The report, designed to shed some light on the unknowns of the grass fed industry, will include market commentary and three sections of data: prices paid for live cattle, wholesale beef prices and directmarket beef prices.

“This monthly report will bring market clarity and exposure to assist the grass fed industry in marketing their products,” said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo. “This report will fill a significant data gap for the industry and increase transparency in the marketplace for all participants.”

For almost a century, USDA Market News has provided farmers, ranchers and businesses with the market and pricing information. Over the years, our reports have evolved to better meet the changing demands and needs of stakeholders who rely on our data to remain competitive. Earlier this year, USDA was asked by the industry to develop a report for grass fed beef to assist them with attracting more producers and farmers to grass fed beef production.

In addition to market commentary, the new report includes three sections: prices paid for live cattle, wholesale beef prices, and direct-market beef prices. In the future, US- DA will continue to expand the report as the number of market reporting participants grows by including trade volume data, and adding graphs and other visuals to the report.

The first monthly report was released on Monday, Sept. 23. Though there was no comparison since the report is new, the first report showed grass fed dressed steers and heifers sell for $200-250. This compares to the most recent dressed steer averages which have been hovering around the mid- $190s.

In order for the report to be a reflection of current industry conditions, stakeholders involved in grass fed beef production are encouraged to supply information by contacting the Market News office at 515/284-4460.

For additional information, visit To view the most current report, visit txt. — Traci Eatherton, WLJ Editor