New Year, New Expectations for Beef

– Christine Gelley, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Noble County

If you have consistently, or even occasionally, read my column in 2018, you should be aware that there are changes in store for the beef industry as we ring in 2019.

Some segments of the beef supply chain will expect cattle producers to be certified in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) at the turn of the year. Ohio State Extension has been working with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association and the Ohio Beef Council to provide certification programs for interested producers across the state throughout 2018.

Certification programs will continue to be offered in 2019. Upcoming Ohio BQA training opportunities are listed here. Training can also be Continue reading

Now is the Time to Reflect, and Plan

Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Morgan County

At times I wonder what is worse; a drought like we had in 2012 or 1988, or a wet year like we had this year? As a beef and forage producer, I guess I would rather have a year like this one but it has and still is providing challenges. In 2012, hay and pasture was short but the panic set in when I started to run out of water. We have had plenty of pasture and water this year but making hay was a real challenge. I was able to get some up in May but I still had some first cutting that I did not get in until July.

This is where reflecting and planning can meet. What are the needs of our cattle right now and what type of hay should we feed first? For me, the first hay I fed to my cows was some late cut hay that got rained on. The calves have been weaned and there was still some pasture that could be grazed. Feeding higher quality hay, especially that protected from the elements, can be fed closer to calving.

Do you still have some hay fields that may not have had a last cutting that can be grazed or pastures that still have grass? For many situations, now is a Continue reading

Forage Focus: Rabies in Livestock and Companion Animals

In this month’s Forage Focus podcast, host Christine Gelley, an Extension Educator with The Ohio State University Agriculture & Natural Resources in Noble County, talks with Franklin County ANR Educator Tim McDermott about the risks associated with rabies in livestock and companion animals.

Many diseases can affect animals on pasture. The most difficult ones to stay aware of are the diseases that are uncommon, where the producer or livestock may never encounter the disease. Many diseases that affect livestock have presentation forms that can mimic multiple other diseases that are more common, leading to a delay in veterinary care or producer awareness. One disease that can affect livestock that fits this description, but should stay firmly in a producer’s awareness, is rabies.

Posted in Health

Weekly Livestock Comments for December 21, 2018

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $1 higher compared to last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were mainly $119 while dressed prices were mainly $189 to $190.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $118.76 live, up $1.76 from last week and $189.96 dressed, up $3.45 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $119.94 live and $190.32 dressed.

Finished cattle prices are trading close to steady with year ago prices and are trading at their highest level since the middle of May. Cash prices have increased about $6 in the last five weeks and are about 11 per-cent higher than their summer low in late August and early September. Much of the price escalation in the past month has been Continue reading

Is Your Herd Focused on Meeting Demand?

Stan Smith, OSU Extension PA, Fairfield County (originally published in The Ohio Farmer on-line)

Despite the higher price, consumers want quality, and are willing to pay for it!

To say the least, suggesting it’s been a wild ride on the path to profitability in the cow-calf sector during this decade is an understatement. Beginning in 2009-10 cattlemen saw the most dramatic increase in cattle prices ever. From there prices climbed to the point where we experienced historic highs just four years later. As would be expected, at the same time consumers were experiencing historic high beef prices in the meat case.

What might not have been expected was that while lower overall beef supplies were causing these historically high live cattle and retail meat prices, demand by consumers for premium priced branded beef continued to climb Continue reading

Beef AG NEWS Today, the December Podcast; Outlook for 2019

In this month’s podcast of Beef AG NEWS Today, guest host Patrick Dengel visits with OSU Extension Beef Coordinator John Grimes as he shares his annual beef cattle outlook going into the new year. John discusses inventory, demand, recent and long term market factors, competing meats, and speculates on beef cattle prices for 2019.

Feedlot Management Mistakes that Can be Prevented

Regardless if you’re a “beginner” or an experienced cattle feeder, this recent one hour presentation by Dr. Francis Fluharty provides a comprehensive and fast moving overview of the basics of feedlot management. Many of you will remember Dr. Fluharty as the recently retired Research Professor in the OSU Department of animal Sciences, and currently the Head of the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at the University of Georgia.

Retail Beef Prices Strong Despite Increased Meat Supplies

– Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

November Choice retail beef prices were $5.911/lb., up from $5.840/lb. in October and 1.8 percent above the November 2017 price of $5807/lb. However, the all-fresh beef retail price dropped to $5.603/lb. from the October price of $5.683/lb. The all-fresh price was also down 0.5 percent from the November 2017 price of $5.629/lb. For the year to date, the Choice and all-fresh retail beef prices have averaged 0.2 and 0.7 percent above last year for the same period.

Retail pork prices dropped in November to $3.701/lb. from the October level of $3.727/lb. and were down 2.2 percent from the November price of $3.786/lb. price one year ago. So far this year retail pork prices are down 1.1 percent year over year. The retail broiler composite price in November was $1.853/lb. down from Continue reading

Advantage Packers

– Matthew A. Diersen, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

Anecdotal evidence and supply observations suggest packers have recently had a negotiating advantage over feedlots. Packer margins continue to be wide and the supply of cattle on feed continues to be high. What indicators may be followed to support such assertions and shed light on the situation going forward? Margins, spreads really, and prices can be monitored. Committed and delivered cattle can be analyzed. Forward contract volumes can be scrutinized. Here is a look at each of these categories.

Packer margins are alluded to quite often. Usually analysts are referring to the spread between the sum of the cutout and drop (converted to a standard per-head value) and the price paid for cattle. The LMIC tracks this as the live-to-cutout spread, which has been wider than a year ago for several months. When spreads are very narrow, packers are assumed to be Continue reading

It Is a Matter of Trust

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

Changes on the horizon suggest that simply having the best PRODUCT is no longer enough, merely telling the best STORY is no longer enough, and delivering great CUSTOMER SATISFACTION is no longer enough. We must also elevate consumer TRUST.

Over the past week or so, two of the largest buyers of beef in the U.S. have placed stronger requirements for the beef they will purchase in the future. McDonald’s and Wendy’s have both announced major policies that no doubt have their customers and societal pressures in mind. These policies will surely have an impact on all facets of the beef industry.

McDonald’s has announced that they will be collaborating with suppliers and beef producers to measure and understand the current usage of antibiotics in their top 10 beef sourcing markets. They will establish reduction targets for medically important antibiotics for these markets by the end of 2020. Starting in 2022, McDonald’s will be reporting progress against antibiotic reduction targets across our top 10 beef sourcing markets.

McDonald’s stated overall approach to responsible use of antibiotics focuses on refining Continue reading