Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy


  • USDA average prices for choice steers came in at $108.51/cwt. for 2020. 2021 average prices are forecast at $117.00/cwt., just above 2019’s average of $116.78.
  • Broilers show a similar story at $0.732/lb. in 2020, and $0.925 for 2021. Eggs are forecast at. $1.12/doz for 2021, even with 2020’s average price.
  • Prices for locally produced meats continue to significantly outpace national commodity prices, and demand remains very strong, continuing the surge seen in 2020.
  • Many local meat producers cater to high-end restaurants, which are opening with the recovery, but are slow and conservative with ordering.
  • Slaughter facilities in the region continue to be overwhelmed. For producers without standing appointments bookings can be a month out or more.
  • Equine boarding and lesson facilities took a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic but are largely back to full capacity again. Hay and bedding expenses have increased considerably.
  • The NYS Standard and Thoroughbred industries have been trending well since Summer 2020. The handle at the racetracks, which had to operate in 2020 without on-site patrons increased by double digits leading to record high race purses. This increase is thought due to the COVID reduction of major league and college sports (betting) coupled with fewer entertainment alternatives. Racetracks in NY will be 100% open to the public in July. The industry is expecting a record number of attendees likely leading to further increases in the handle and purses. Likewise, the Saratoga NY Bred Sale in August is expected to reflect higher purses. NYS has a large crop to sell, the industry is expecting prices and demand to be strong.