Beef AG NEWS Today, the January Podcast; Cow Stress, and Addressing the Nutritional Concerns

In this month’s podcast of Beef AG NEWS Today, show host Duane Rigsby visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes about the weather related stress cows have been under, and addressing the resulting nutritional concerns. That conversation evolves into a preview of the 2019 Ohio Beef School being hosted in several Ohio counties on February 5.

Winter Weather Impacts Cattle Markets

– Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

A major winter storm this past week extended in a belt across the middle of the country from Denver east to the mid-Atlantic coast. Heavy snow hit parts of feedlot country across eastern Colorado, Kansas, southeastern Nebraska, southern Iowa and the eastern Corn Belt. Much of Nebraska and the northern Plains along with the Texas panhandle were spared the worst of the snow but rain has created wet, sloppy conditions in many places that will impact cattle performance in feedlots and in the country. Recent weather may delay fed cattle marketing enough to help support fed cattle prices or push prices higher. Whether or not weather impacts are widespread enough to noticeably impact overall market conditions, cattle producers in many areas face significant management headaches due to the weather.

Winter weather often impacts feedlot performance and efficiency. Feedlots typically post the lowest seasonal average daily gains (ADG) for cattle marketed in March to May which reflects cattle fed over the previous four to six months. This likely includes the negative impacts of Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

– Dr. Kenny Burdine, Livestock Marketing Specialist, University of Kentucky

The first of the year is typically a good time to review cattle markets and think about the upcoming year. While there will always be debate about which is worse, drought or mud, there was little question about which was the greater issue in 2018. One doesn’t have to drive around rural Kentucky very long to see multiple examples of challenges created by excessive rain. Pasture growth was good well into fall, but muddy conditions brought its own set of challenges. And, winter feeding certainly tends to put those challenges on showcase.

Despite showing a lot of resilience through summer, calf prices fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2018. The state average price for a 550 lbs steer fell by roughly $12 per cwt from August to December, settling in the low $140’s to end the year. This was approximately $8 per cwt lower than December 2017. Figure 1 tells the story best. Calf prices in 2018 actually averaged Continue reading

Continued Supply Concerns into 2019

– Stephen R. Koontz, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

We start the New Year with the federal government 17 days (as of this writing on January 7) into the shutdown. So far, not much appears to be missed in terms of publicly available market information. My regular consumption of AMS reports has not much changed. (Of course, Colorado continues to report no fed cattle prices because of confidentially requirements.) Then again, many commodity markets are inactive over the past two weeks. But that will not be the case as we proceed through week three and for certain into week four of the shutdown. I will miss the monthly WASDE next week, the monthly Cattle on Feed report the week after that, the accumulated weekly livestock slaughter data, and the trade data from Commerce. To date, the substantial volatility that has been seen in the equity markets has not Continue reading

Winter Application of Manure

Glen Arnold, CCA, OSU Extension Field Specialist, Manure Nutrient Management

During winter, solid manure application should be limited to five tons per acre and liquid manure application amounts to 5,000 gallons per acre.

This past fall was particularly tough on livestock producers and commercial manure applicators trying to land apply livestock manure. Weather conditions were warmer and wetter than normal with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) station at South Charleston recording 32 days with measurable rainfall totaling 9.91 inches in November and December. In these same two months the OARDC station at Hoytville recorded 24 days with measurable rainfall totaling 6.04 inches. The wet weather prevented many acres of cover crops being planted and has severely limited the number of days that field conditions were dry enough or frozen enough for manure application equipment to operate.

A substantial number of livestock producers across the state will be Continue reading

Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Short-course

The 2019 Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Short-course is a joint effort of Ohio State University Extension, Michigan State University, and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture to enhance the cattle industry in the Eastern Corn Belt.

The first session of this two part program will deal with early nutrition management, corn silage levels, and health. The second session will include economics and Continue reading

Posted in Events

Calving Seasons of the Mind

– Justin Sexten, Ph.D., Director, CAB Supply Development

Winter came early for much of cow-calf country, and now calving season is at the gate. Even those who call it “spring calving” often start in January, but if you’re not out checking a heifer, this is a good time of year to catch up on reading. Calving dates and “housing” options for the herd were explored in a 2019 Nebraska Beef Report article by Terry Klopfenstein and others, who evaluated March, June, or August calving dates on the range, or two July calving systems in year-round confinement or in semi-confinement with grazed corn stalks from fall to April weaning. Even if none of these models fit your operation, the production and cost principles they illustrate can help develop a system that does match your resources.

Confinement for beef cows ranges from enclosed buildings to a more extensive dry-lot model, with greatly varying costs based on capital investments. Confinement in an open dry lot costs less, but if you have to deal with inclement weather, heat, cold, rain or snow, the added shelter may be worth the added investment.

Either of the confinement options could also make sense where expansion on range or pasture is limited by land availability. Confinement models can increase ranch stocking rates by using use forage resources more efficiently, with options for strategic supplementation and preventing overgrazing.

The top concern for any herd management system may be Continue reading

Cattle Prices and Profitability in 2019

– Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee

As the livestock economist for Extension at the University of Tennessee, opportunities to forecast cattle prices are never in short supply. Thus, there is always a demand for high quality and accurate cattle price projections. The primary problem is with the supply side, and the problem is that the price forecast changes from one day to the next and even more so from week-to-week or month-to-month.

Given that this article is often written a couple of weeks before it is published, any and all cattle price projections may be of little use by the time it reaches the mailbox or the inbox. However, cattle prices are not the only factor impacting profitability. It may also be beneficial to discuss the 2019 University of Tennessee Extension beef cattle budget and expected costs.

Given the variability and seasonal trends of cattle prices throughout the year, it is necessary to supply an expected annual average cattle price based on given heifer, steer and slaughter cow weights. Based on the 2019 budget, slaughter cows (1,200 pounds) are expected to average $50 per hundredweight, while 550 pounds steers and 520 heifers are expected to average Continue reading

Beef Cattle Market: 2018 in Review and a Look Ahead

– Josh Maples, Assistant Professor & Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

Large supplies, record exports, and trade concerns are just a few of the topics that dominated the beef headlines in 2018. Amidst all of these factors, U.S. calf and yearling prices have showed relatively consistent strength throughout the year. 2019 will likely bring a mostly flat year for national herd growth which will position the industry at a pivotal point for supplies and prices moving forward. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper into a few key drivers to watch in 2019.

Cattle and Calf Supplies

Cattle and beef supplies have been growing since the price peak in 2014-2015 and this continues to be the primary headwind to higher prices. The 2018 U.S. calf crop was about 8.5% larger than it was in 2014 – that is nearly 3 million more calves on the ground. However, that growth has been Continue reading