The Henningsen Cold Storage Co. warehouse in Stilwell, Oklahoma, was so jammed with frozen turkeys from the likes of Butterball LLC and Cargill Inc. this year that manager Scott Mayberry turned down requests to store about 1 million more birds, or double his inventory.
The cattle herd in the U.S. may be the smallest since 1958, when McDonald’s Corp. had just 79 hamburger restaurants, signaling tighter beef supplies and higher costs for companies including Tyson Foods Inc.
Texas cattle ranchers, the biggest suppliers in the world’s top beef-producing nation, will cull the most breeding cows ever this year as drought increases feed costs, driving livestock prices to a record.
A prolonged drought from Kansas to Texas probably forced U.S. ranchers to sell more cattle to feedlots last month, signaling increased supplies for meat processors including Tyson Foods Inc. and lower beef prices.
U.S. meat consumers are swapping premium steaks for cheaper ground beef as concern for high unemployment and slower economic growth forces families to trim their food budgets, according to industry researcher CattleFax.