The Importance of Exports

John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

The subject of trade seems to be a daily topic in the national and agricultural media in recent weeks. The President appears to be determined to create an environment for “fairer” trade between the U.S. and many of our trading partners. Thus far, negotiations between the U.S. and other countries have yielded few results, tough talk, and the threat of tariffs.

Much of the uncertainty surrounding the issue of trade has created a level of anxiety within several U.S. industries. Agriculture is certainly one of those industries. Many agricultural commodities play an important role in our overall trade balance. The beef industry is greatly impacted by exports across the globe.

Annual U.S. beef exports have risen significantly over the past decade according to statistical data from the U.S. Meat Export Federation. In 2008, the U.S. exported 984,712 metric tons of beef at a total value $3.619 billion dollars. In 2017, U.S. beef exports were at Continue reading The Importance of Exports

“Preg” Check and Cull Replacement Heifers Early

– Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University

Many ranchers choose to breed the replacement heifers about a month ahead of the mature cows in the herd. In addition, they like to use a shortened 45 to 60-day breeding season for the replacement heifers. The next logical step is to determine which of these heifers failed to conceive in their first breeding season. This is more important today than ever before.

As the bulls are being removed from the replacement heifers, this would be an ideal time to call and make arrangements with your local veterinarian to have those heifers evaluated for pregnancy in about 60 days. In two months, experienced palpaters should have no difficulty identifying which heifers are pregnant and which heifers are not pregnant (open). Those heifers that are Continue reading “Preg” Check and Cull Replacement Heifers Early

The Cost of Keeping One Open Cow Can Pay to Have the Herd Pregnancy Checked

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

Recently the topic of pregnancy checking was discussed. There are several producers who use palpation, ultrasound, or blood test to determine the pregnancy status of cows in the herd. However, there are more producers who use either the eye test or fail to pregnancy check at all.

Regardless of what one may think, every producer is faced with the cost of pregnancy diagnosis. On average, pregnancy diagnosis immediately following the breeding season using palpation, ultrasound, or blood test will cost Continue reading The Cost of Keeping One Open Cow Can Pay to Have the Herd Pregnancy Checked

Beef Supply and Demand Challenges Continue

– Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension

As expected, supply pressures continue to build in beef markets. Beef production so far this year is up 3.6 percent on larger cattle slaughter and increased carcass weights. Year to date cattle slaughter is up 3.8 percent driven by increases in female slaughter. Heifer slaughter is up 8.0 percent year over year and cow slaughter is up 8.1 percent so far this year. Beef cow slaughter is up 12.2 percent and dairy cow slaughter is 4.5 percent more than last year. Steer slaughter is up a scant 0.1 percent year over year.

Cattle carcass weights are up year over year after dropping sharply in 2017. Overall carcass weights are up about 5 pounds for the year. Steer carcass weights are up nearly 7 pounds while heifer carcass weights are up over 8 pounds year over year for the year to date. Cow carcass weights are also Continue reading Beef Supply and Demand Challenges Continue

Corn and Feeder Cattle Prices

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

Corn prices have been on a sharp downtrend since late May due primarily to a combination of trade uncertainty and a strong start to the growing season. Both nearby and new crop corn futures prices have tumbled by over 40 cents or approximately ten percent. The December 2018 corn futures contract price hit $4.26 on May 23rd – its highest level since July 2017. Just 18 trading days later, it closed Monday at a contract low of $3.77.

Corn price is assumed to have an inverse relationship with feeder cattle prices. In other words, as the price of corn decreases, the price of feeder cattle increases. This relationship assumes that all other factors that affect price remain constant such as other feeding costs and live cattle price. The inverse relationship exists because corn (feed) and feeder cattle are the two major inputs into the production of fed cattle. As the price of corn (i.e. cost of gain) declines, the price of the Continue reading Corn and Feeder Cattle Prices

Weekly Livestock Comments for June 22, 2018

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

FED CATTLE: Fed cattle traded $2 to $3 lower than last week on a live basis. Prices on a live basis were mainly $109 to $110 while dressed prices were mainly $172 to $173.

The 5-area weighted average prices thru Thursday were $109.67 live, down $1.14 from last week and $176.83 dressed, down $1.11 from a week ago. A year ago prices were $121.51 live and $193.80 dressed.

Lower finished cattle prices have pushed cattle feeders into the red on closeouts, and it is doubtful much relief is going to come from finished cattle prices in the next couple of months. One bright spot for cattle feeders is lower feed costs as corn futures are 40 to 50 cents per bushel lower than they were one month ago and soybean meal is nearly $50 per ton lower. There remains a legion of cattle on feed that will be coming to market in the next few months which will keep fed cattle prices in check. It will be important for cattle feeders to Continue reading Weekly Livestock Comments for June 22, 2018

Celebrate National Forage Week, June 17-23, 2018

This is National Forage Week. In the video embedded below, OSU Extension Educator Christine Gelley and retired Ohio NRCS State Grasslands Conservationist Bob Hendershot discuss the impact forages have on Ohio farms and in our environment.

Considerations for Harvesting High Quality Stored Forages

On a recent show from WQKT Farm Hour Radio, OSU Extension Educator Rory Lewandowski discussed a number of different considerations for getting the highest quality forages placed into storage. You can find that 9 minute conversation embedded below.

Don’t Trip on Triple-19

– Jimmy Henning, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky (modified from Forage Doctor column, The Farmers Pride – Nov.16, 2017)

There are wrong ways to do right things. Repeated use of products like triple-10 (10-10-10) or triple-19 (19-19-19) on hay fields can ultimately make that field unresponsive to the fertilizer that is applied. Don’t get me wrong, fertilizing is a ‘right’ thing. People that fertilize their pasture and hay fields have a special place in my heart. But here is why triple-19 can trip you up.

The nutrients in a hay crop are 100% removed from the field, unless that hay is fed back in the same field. It takes 18 pounds of P2O5 and 50 pounds of K2O fertilizer to replace the nutrients in one ton of grass hay (Table 1). Using triple-10 or triple-19 alone to replace these nutrients is guaranteed to over-fertilize with P or under supply K.

Soils have very different abilities to supply Continue reading Don’t Trip on Triple-19

Preparing for Pinkeye 2018

– Michelle Arnold, DVM (Ruminant Extension Veterinarian, UKVDL), University of Kentucky

Figure 1: Corneal ulceration in the early stages of pinkeye. Photo from Veterinary Clinics of North America, Food Animal Practice 26 (2010), page 489.

Infectious Bovine Keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or “Pinkeye” is a costly and exasperating disease for the beef producer and industry. A field trial published in 2009 found an average weaning weight difference of 18 pounds less (range 9-27 lbs) in calves that experienced pinkeye versus those that did not. Calves with corneal scars are often discounted at sale, further increasing the economic cost of IBK to producers. A recent study found continued impact in the beef industry from pinkeye on production traits. Yearlings that had pinkeye as young calves pre-weaning had less 12th rib fat depth, ribeye area, and body weight than did yearlings without evidence of pinkeye. Despite the well-known economic impact of disease, adequate and timely treatment of cases is challenging because cattle are grazed far away from facilities during peak occurrence in summer months. Preventing the disease has proven difficult because Continue reading Preparing for Pinkeye 2018

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