Here are some key factors to consider. In the last decade:

  • Domestic usage of corn increased from 6.3 to 8.4 billion bushels.

  • Domestic usage of soybeans increased from 1.3 to 1.6 billion bushels.

  • U.S. pork production increased from 17.6 to 19.9 billion pounds.

  • U.S. beef production increased from 23 to 26.2 billion pounds.

  • U.S. per capita consumption of chicken has increased from 22 to 34 billion pounds.

As livestock producers expand, corn and soybean consumption increases. It isn't good news for U.S. corn and soybean farmers when livestock farmers lose money.

If you take a long-term look at U.S. livestock and crop farming prices and profitability, the livestock sector tends to run nine to 11 months ahead of crop farming prices and profitability.

Looking ahead, forecasting next year's corn and soybean crop is difficult, but trying to forecast U.S. meat demand and livestock profitability is even more of a challenge.