Still No Free LunchKentucky researcher explains the disconnect between academic idea and cow herd application.
Common sense makes it clear: simplicity rules. However, ranching profitability is a model of complexity.
"Conventional wisdom says crossbreeding equals extra pounds and more revenue at sale time, but those assumptions are often too simplistic," says animal scientist Nevil Speer. The Western Kentucky University professor recently authored a research paper titled "Crossbreeding: a free lunch, but at what cost?" Speer's analysis points to incremental changes in marketing, capital and cost management, and increasingly accurate genetic tools to help explain why long-established research that supports crossbreeding has failed to make a case for profitability. Read more.
In the Cattle Markets
Japanese beef import restrictions: possible changes and implicationsThe beef industry took full note of media releases the first week of November indicating Japan may soon relax the current restriction of imported U.S. beef being from animals younger than 21 months of age. The expected, yet to be officially confirmed, adjustment to raise the limit to animals younger than 30 months of age would have notable effects. While industry optimism is warranted, a few points of clarification and comments regarding plausible effects are in order. Read more.
What they thought they knew that just ain't true.
I'll admit it. Some myths are of our own making. We throw around terms like "CAB-licensed" when talking about everything from restaurants to packers to feedlots.
So what exactly does that mean? Well, various things on various levels. Ultra-simplified, it's a close working relationship with the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand. It is the right to advertise and sell CAB burgers or have those third-party government graders stamp carcasses as accepted. When it comes to the feedlot sector, I can tell you what it doesn't mean as I debunk this puzzler. Read more.
2011 Korea-U.S. International Summit focuses on future beef demand, enhancing production.
Producing high-quality beef and meeting future global demand was the focus of the 4th Korea-U.S. International Joint Symposium hosted recently at Texas A&M University in College Station. The two-day symposium featured a number of experts from the beef industry and abroad.
"The beef industry is going to have to meet demands of a growing global population and expanding economies in the Asian markets," said Stephen Smith, Texas AgriLife Research meat scientist and summit organizer. "This summit brought together several experts both domestically and internationally to discuss the future of breeding and production systems used to produce high-quality beef." Read more to learn what they had to say.
Taiwan Beef Promotions
Beef promotions increase sales
and regain trust.
While the marketing environment for beef products in Taiwan has been more challenging this year since their government began testing for growth promotant residues, the beef checkoff, through its contractor the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Taiwan, has continued to work to regain the confidence of retailers and consumers.
Recent promotions with hypermarket chain RT-Mart and supermarket chain Taiwan Fresh show those efforts are paying off. A top-three chain in Taiwan, RT-Mart with its 26 outlets has been a long-term partner with the beef checkoff, so it recently agreed to a two-week joint promotion on U.S. beef. Under the theme of "U.S. Beef Festival," the promotion featured boneless short ribs, top blade muscle, chuck short ribs and short plate. As an incentive for shoppers, a sea salt gift was added for each purchase greater than 699 Taiwan dollars (about $23). The promotion provided desired short-term results: a 17% increase over pre-promotion sales levels, reaching 136,400 pounds. Click here to learn more.
Exports on Record Pace
China, Mexico help drive torrid red meat export pace.
Led by a record-breaking month for pork exports to China and the continued rebound of beef exports to Mexico, 2011 remains on pace to set new annual records for the value of beef, pork and lamb exports, according to statistics released by the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
September results show pork exports up 23.6% in volume and 40.5% in value from last year, while beef exports rose 27.3% in volume and 35.9% in value. Not to be left out, U.S. lamb exports soared 113% in volume over September 2010, while the value of those exports jumped 83.9%.
"This year has presented opportunities for the U.S. red meat industry to expand exports, and the industry has worked aggressively to capitalize on those opportunities," said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. "The premiums that international buyers pay for U.S. beef, pork and lamb are critical to the bottom line of U.S. producers." Read more.
Retain Ownership, Reap Rewards
Retaining ownership in the feedlot gives cow-calf producers the chance to learn more about their cattle and earn premiums for the investments they've made in genetics and management. Listen to this 2-minute clip: