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View from the Cab: Learning about beef

By: Kent Casson

Did you know beef and pork exports in 2022 accounted for 503.4 million bushels of U.S. corn?

This was some of the information I learned last week during the annual meeting of the Illinois Beef Association in Springfield. Beef industry representatives from around the state gathered at the state fairgrounds to network with others and learn more about beef demand and production.

Key markets include Japan, Korea and China and beef exports surpassed a record $1.24 billion in 2022. For U.S. beef exports last year, South Korea set an all-time record but Japan was down four percent by volume compared to the previous year.

Current headwinds for the industry include Proposition 12, a stronger U.S. dollar, inflation and reduced U.S. beef production and supply. Opportunities include demand, an expanding global middle glass, global tourism rebound and an E.U. pork supply shift.

So far this year (as of March), volume is down about eight percent and value is down 22 percent. Also, global beef exports were steady in the first quarter. Areas of export growth this year include Mexico, Hong Kong, Philippines and Africa. U.S. beef and variety meat exports are expected to decline from 2022.

Illinois Beef Association membership dollars have supported various lobbying efforts to defeat animal rights agendas in Washington D.C. and in Springfield during 2022 and 2023. Investments helped support a stronger voice for Illinois’ beef industry in Congress and through the last election cycle, pro-livestock support has been maintained in the State Senate and House of Representatives.

IBA has advocated for more veterinarians in the Illinois Department of Agriculture and will continue to work with the agency on animal health and disease preparedness programs. Policy dollars helped defeat legislation in the Illinois General Assembly which would have amended the Livestock Management Facilities Act in 2023 that could have negatively impacted how livestock is raised on family farms.

Strong relationships continue between IBA and other agriculture groups such as Illinois Corn Growers Assocation, Illinois Soybean Assocation, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Grain & Feed, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association and the Illinois Association of Meat Processors.

More information on the Illinois Beef Association and its recent annual meeting can be found online at


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