Iowa State University Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist Shane Ellis said while beef and hog prices are good right now, they are also very volatile and the domestic demand hinges on the economy.
"Exports are up over the past year, which has helped hold the prices at the higher level," he said. "With the beef industry still in a retraction, there continues to be beef available."
Drought in the southern Plains has led to many cows being sold, which has affected the size of the cowherd. High grain prices continue to cause a decline as well.
Ellis expects beef production to continue to decline in the coming years. This year, beef production was down 0.5 percent. In 2012, he expects a decrease of 3.9 percent and a 2.8 percent decline in 2013.