Cattle on Feed Report

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

The USDA Cattle on Feed Report released last Friday contained some surprises and is notably lacking news that the price trend established through the last half of 2015 would be reversed. Cattle and calf prices may firm up some in early 2016 but it will be because the market has overreacted to the downside and not that there specific good news in the report. The fed cattle and beef markets have shown Continue reading

Is “Fat” a Four-letter Word?

– Dr. Roy Burris, Beef Extension Professor, University of Kentucky

Is fat a bad word? Not necessarily. Simply put, fat is just the body’s storage form of energy. If an animal consumes more energy than it uses, the excess calories will be stored as fat – money in the bank to be used in an energy shortage (think cows calving in late winter). Fat also imparts flavor to food (like a T-bone steak) but it also adds calories. So managing fat can be a delicate issue in Continue reading

January World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and How it Relates to 2016 Cattle Markets

– Brian R. Williams, Assistant Extension Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University

The United States Department of Agriculture released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on Tuesday that give a closer look into beef supplies and price projections for 2016. While the numbers are an update from a month ago, they are still very helpful in formulating expectations for the year ahead. Beef production for 2015 was revised up by Continue reading

Frost Seeding

Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension Educator, Monroe County

The time of the year when frost seedings are most effectively done will be here before long. One can use this method to renovate pastures, improve stands, or alter the species mix within a pasture. Producers should remember however, this is only a means to get the seed in good contact with the soil. If the area you intend to frost seed currently has poor grass/legume growth, the first thing you need to Continue reading

Don’t Get Caught-in, or Caught-between Objects!

Kent McGuire – OSU Ag Safety and Health Coordinator

SkidLoaderCalf

Throughout the year there are a variety of farm tasks that involve working around equipment or livestock. In some instances farmers can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be in a situation to be caught-in or caught-between objects, which can lead to serious injuries. Caught-in or between incidents occur for some of the following reasons: Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Marketing Update

– Dr. Kenny Burdine and Dr. Greg Halich, University of Kentucky

The new year has brought a bit more optimism to feeder cattle markets. Nearby CME© Feeder Cattle futures traded below $150 per cwt early-mid December before seeming to find what looks like a “bottom”. Since, they have pushed well into the $160’s at the time of this writing (January 6, 2015). As often happens, feeder cattle markets seemed to have followed fed cattle markets upward as fed cattle prices pushed back into the $130’s per cwt for the last week of 2015 (see graph below). While this is well below where we were six months ago, things are certainly Continue reading

Interesting Start to 2016 . . .

– Glynn T. Tonsor, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University

Last week Dr. Brooks provided a series of thoughts on how 2016 may shake out for the cattle industry. Given developments in multiple financial markets it is useful to pause and appreciate the broader situation underpinning the start of 2016 “outside” of the cattle markets to further assess possible upcoming changes within the cattle complex.

The Dow Jones Industrial average and broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index were both Continue reading

Hay Quality Determines Supplementation Needs

Jeff Fisher, Chris Bruynis, Jeff Moore, and Steve Boyles, Ohio State University Extension (this article first appeared in the January issue of The Ohio Farmer Magazine)

Rain in the late spring through early summer delayed hay harvest in some areas of the state. Additionally there were some high temperatures that caused an increase in the rate of maturity of forages. For example alfalfa grown at 63°F may take 52 days to reach early bloom but only 21 days at 90°F. As forages mature, there is an increase in cell wall content and a decrease in the digestibility of the cell wall. So for some producers, all these factors came together to create the perfect storm and significantly lowered forage quality.

A group of agents in Pike, Ross and Gallia counties worked with forty-seven livestock producers in obtaining hay sample for nutritional analysis this fall. There were a total of eighty-one hay samples collected. The following are Continue reading