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The livestock industry finally had a fairly profitable year in 2011, following a somewhat stable year in 2010, which was preceded by the serious financial difficulties and negative profit margins in 2009 and 2008. Pork and beef producers experienced fairly strong market price levels throughout most of 2011, which resulted in some nice profit margins, even with the very high feed costs that existed throughout most of the year.
The dairy industry also rebounded nicely in 2011, with some higher fluid milk prices and improved profitability. Profit prospects for the livestock sector in 2012 continue to look quite favorable with a good market price outlook, lower feed costs early in the year, and strong product demand, both in the U.S. and abroad.
Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.