NAHMS Beef 2017 Study

Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

Next month the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) will launch Beef 2017, its fourth national study of U.S. beef cow-calf operations. Beef 2017 will take an in-depth look at U.S. beef cow-calf operations and provide the industry with new Continue reading

The Value of Preconditioning Calves

– Brenda Boetel, Professor and Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Preconditioning is a generic term that means different things to different people and encompasses the different operating procedures that may be applied to a calf prior to shipping. Preconditioning activities may include weaning, vaccinations, dehorning, castration, and starting calves on a high energy diet. Several reasons exist for the cow/calf producer to precondition their calves, but the underlying goal is to increase the value of the calf being sold or the Continue reading

Perspective on the Cull Cow Market

– Livestock Market Information Center

The bulk of U.S. beef cattle operations wean calves in the fall months, and that is also when they select cows for culling and begin to sell them. Many cow-calf operations in the drought impacted northern High Plains states have already pregnancy checked their cows, which is earlier than normal. Most of those cows already have or will soon be sent to market.

Over a cattle inventory cycle (typically 10 to 11 years), seasonally cull cow prices typically are lowest in the fourth (fall) quarter of the calendar year (usually November and sometimes October or December). The long-term average decline in cull cow price is about Continue reading

Kentucky Beef Cattle Market Update

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

Following up from last month, the feeder cattle market has not pushed much higher, but has managed to hold its ground. At the time of this writing (September 8, 2017), most all CME© Feeder Cattle futures contracts were trading in the mid-$140’s. Fed cattle prices, which didn’t reach their annual lows last year until mid-October, still haven’t found a bottom for 2017. Slightly lower grain prices have Continue reading

Latest USDA Supply and Demand Estimates Lower U.S. Beef Production

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

The USDA released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) on Tuesday morning, which should prove to be neutral to slightly bullish. U.S. beef production for 2017 was lowered by 140 million pounds from 26.699 billion pounds to 26.559 billion pounds while 2018 production was lowered by 85 million pounds to 27.275 billion pounds. There are likely a few things driving this reduction in beef production. One driver is Continue reading

September Cattle Market Update

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

Feeder cattle prices in Oklahoma are currently about 10 percent higher than this time last year. Calf and feeder prices peaked in June, a later than usual seasonal peak for the calves and earlier than typical for the heavy feeders. Calf prices will likely decline a bit more to a seasonal low in October but are expected to remain higher year over year through the fourth quarter. Strong stocker demand for fall and winter grazing may limit Continue reading

Summer Doldrums Continue As Expected

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

It looks likely that the cattle and beef markets will show typical seasonal weakness through much of the fall. There is some good news but much of what we observe have the potential to hold prices down. The Cattle on Feed report – as Katelyn reported – was rather bullish. Placements and on-feed numbers were surprisingly low relative to expectations and futures prices rallied the following trading day. But the underlying fundamentals that this report has revealed all spring and most of the summer clearly suggests Continue reading

PRF: A “Crop Insurance” Program from RMA for Forage Growers

Billy Fanning, Silveus Southeast

Hay and pasture producers, are you frustrated with the limited attributes of the NAP program?  Are you looking for something to better cover your risk with hay and pasture acres?  If so, you really need to look at the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) program available from the Risk Management Agency (RMA).

PRF is a federally subsidized product offered through RMA to producers in all 48 lower states.  The PRF program is designed to provide insurance coverage on your pasture and/or forage acres.  This innovative program is based on a precipitation Rainfall Index.  PRF gives you the ability to Continue reading

Cattle on Feed, Drought and Floods

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

The August USDA Cattle on Feed report shows an August 1 feedlot inventory of 10.604 million head, 104.3 percent of last year. This is the largest August feedlot inventory since 2012.  July marketings were 104.1 percent of one year ago and the largest since 2014.  Placements in July were up 2.7 percent year over year, the largest since 2013.  This report was close to Continue reading

The Benefits of Pregnancy Diagnosis

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

We are entering an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers.  They have started or soon will be weaning their spring-born calves.  Weaning is an excellent time to prepare the calf crop to become herd replacements or for future marketing opportunities by implementing health programs and transitioning to feed rations.  It is also a great time to determine the pregnancy status of the breeding herd.  Management practices for both these groups can go a long way to determine the ultimate profitability of herd.

The factor that should ultimately sort a female to the keep or cull pen is pregnancy status.  The three primary methods used Continue reading