Now Is Not The Time To Relax

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

April is an exciting time of the year for cow-calf producers.  The 2017 calf crop is taking shape and breeding season is currently or soon will be underway.  We have begun to emerge from the doldrums of winter to the warmth and new growth of spring.  The drudgery of feeding hay to the herd is coming to an end as pastures begin their early spring flush of growth.  It is certainly a great feeling to see cow-calf pairs turned out to fresh pastures for the first grazing of the season.


However, this is not necessarily a Continue reading

Longevity in the Cow Herd

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

Longevity can be defined many different ways by beef producers. However, I’ll just use the definition – how long a beef cow or bull stays in your herd. They may leave your herd for a variety of reasons but every time it happens it represents a significant expense to your operation. This is generally the difference in their salvage value and what it costs to replace them. However, you could possibly be replacing an inferior animal with one that is more profitable. That is what we hope for.

A cow doesn’t have to be highly productive to stay in the herd. Longevity might simply be due to Continue reading

Kentucky Market Update and Cull Cow Price Seasonality

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

As is often the case, spring has brought some much needed energy to calf markets. At the time of this writing (April 12, 2017), CME© Feeder Cattle Futures have risen more than $10 per cwt from their early March levels. Rising feeder cattle futures and grass growth have supported calf markets as 550 lb steer calves have moved into the $140’s on a state average basis, with several groups breaking into the $150’s. This represents roughly a $20 per cwt increase from the lows set in fall of 2016.

This is the time of year when calf markets typically reach their seasonal highs as Continue reading

More Beef Exports and Less Imports Supports Beef Markets

– Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

U.S. beef exports continue the 2016 trend with additional improvement so far in 2017. February total beef exports were up 19.3 percent and combine with the January total for a year to date increase of 20.1 percent year over year for the first two months of the year. This extends the annual 12.6 percent year over year increase in 2016.

Japan remains the top destination for U.S. beef exports, up Continue reading

Weekly Livestock Comments, April 7, 2017

– Andrew P. Griffith, University of Tennessee

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded was not established at time of publication. Bids ranged from $122 to $124 on a live basis with dressed bids ranging from $196 to $200. Ask prices were $128 and higher. The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $121.71 live, down $6.17 from last week and $197.37 dressed, down $7.97 from a week ago. A year ago prices were Continue reading

Beef Prices Near Sustainable Levels

– Steve Suther, Director, Industry Information, Certified Angus Beef LLC

Depending on which side of the gate you’re on, it was heartening or worrisome to see cattle and beef prices recover coming into spring. Cattle markets are widely reported in farm and ranch media, but beef and competing protein prices underlie it all.

The Choice boxed-beef price recovered nearly 20% from its January low by the end of March, to the neighborhood of $2.20 per pound. Some analysts say that’s Continue reading

Calf Price Rally and a Crop Production Report

– David P. Anderson, Professor and Extension Economist

The Spring rally in fed cattle price, Choice, and Select beef cutout values has extended into the calf and feeder market.  Number 1, 5-600 pound steers in the Southern Plains have crept up from about $148 in early January to over $165 by the end of March.  Calves of these weights typically rise in the Spring.  Much of this seasonal increase is a supply driven phenomenon in that there are fewer Continue reading

Discussions Begin Heating up for the 2018 Farm Bill: What Does it Mean for the Cattle Industry?

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

The 2016 elections are now a distant memory and the transition into a new presidential administration is nearly complete. Only three cabinet picks have yet to be confirmed, one of which is the Secretary of Agriculture whose confirmation hearing is set to begin Thursday. Now that the dust has settled a bit and most of the cabinet picks have been confirmed, talk about the 2018 Farm Bill has begun to heat up. Which programs will be cut, which will be changed, how will the new programs look, and will Continue reading

Rendered Ingredients Significantly Influence Sustainability, Quality and Safety of Pet Food

– Meeker and J. Meisinger, J. Anim. Sci. 2015.93:835–847, condensed by Steve Boyles, OSU Extension Beef Specialist

The United States currently produces, slaughters, and processes approximately 112 million pigs, 32 million cattle, and 8.5 billion chickens annually. The current volume of raw material rendered in the United States and Canada is nearly 25 million tons.  Meat consumption worldwide is expected to increase to about 100 pounds per capita by 2030. This large increase is mostly due to the increase in meat consumption by people in developing countries.

A DESCRIPTION OF RENDERING:  Rendering is one of the Continue reading

Factors Behind the Recent Cattle Market Downturn

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

There continues to be a great deal of discussion surrounding the current cattle market and specifically why prices dropped so much over the course of 2015 and 2016. It is one of the most common questions I am asked when I travel the state and it has been written about in farm and popular press. There is a lot of frustration among those in the industry and also a great deal of misinformation circulating. My motivation for writing this is simply to provide some objective information and answer some questions that are out there. There are multiple factors behind the price drop from 2014 to the present and Continue reading