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Cattle Industry Shifts

Ag Census shows a shifting of cattle away from Southern Plains into the Upper Midwest.

Several news reports the week of May 12 indicate Cargill will close another Texas feedlot in the coming year. The company announced last year that it would close its Lockney yard. Now it appears the lot near Dalhart will close some time in 2015. These closures come on the heels of the company’s shuttering of its Plainview, Texas, beef slaughter plant last year.

It is clear that the Southern Plains cattle-feeding sector that emerged in the late 1950s and 1960s is, at least to some degree, on the decline. Recent information from USDA helps us see that decline quite clearly. Read more.

In the Cattle Markets

Summer stocker cattle returns.

A look back at past price relationships during May sheds some light on the gross margin of grazing stockers. This spring, gross margin and feed costs have again changed, suggesting implications for several different prices. In May a stocker can be purchased in South Dakota and turned out on grass or fed to gain 200 pounds (lb.) during a 4.5-month period. The sale value would be as a feeder sold in September or the September feeder-cattle futures price observed in May plus the basis for South Dakota. This May-to-September scenario is one of several followed to assess risk and rewards in the cattle complex. Read more.

From ‘Happy Accidents’ to Intentional Beef Quality

Higher-producing cattle require a more specialized approach to feeding.

Doing more with less. In the cattle business, that’s more than a nice idea; it’s the new survival plan.

“In any manufacturing system, if the number of units is reduced, the revenue per unit must increase,” said Pete Anderson, director of research for Midwest PMS, a U.S. livestock feed company. “The cattle industry must focus on maximizing revenue from each animal produced.”

Larger carcasses? Certainly, he said, but also increasing the value of each pound sold. Read more.

angussource-genetic-logo.pngThe Source

Marketing with DNA.

GeneMax (GMX) and AngusSource® Genetic are teaming up to provide producers the opportunity to take their marketing program to a new level with DNA technology.

GeneMax Focus and GeneMax Advantage are multi-faceted tools that can be used to market and manage your commercial-Angus herd at an affordable price. The GMX suite of genomic tests was developed in collaboration by Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) and Zoetis for commercial cattle producers to identify superior replacement heifers or to sort Angus feeder cattle that have the highest gain and grade potential. Both GMX and AngusSource Genetic are tools for progressive commercial cattlemen who have high-percentage, Angus-based genetics. Read more.

Mexico Removes Import Restrictions on U.S. Beef

Mexico will now import beef from U.S. cattle older than 30 months of age.

The Mexican government is in the process of making regulatory changes that allow for import of U.S. beef and beef products derived from cattle of any age. This important development lifts the 30-month cattle age limit for U.S. beef and effectively removes the last of Mexico’s bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)-related restrictions.

“This is an issue that USMEF (U.S. Meat Export Federation) has been working on for a number of years, and resolving it has been a lengthy process,” said Chad Russell, USMEF regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, contractor to the beef checkoff. “We received excellent support on this issue from FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA) officials at the U.S. embassy in Mexico, who always made sure that it was front-and-center whenever U.S.-Mexico trade issues were being discussed at high levels. Though it took some time, these efforts have now paid off.” Read more.

Did You Know?

Industry structure gets beef onto consumer plates.

This year has ushered in cattle prices exceeding the expectations of most analysts and cattle producers. The question on everyone’s mind: Will beef demand stay strong enough to maintain these 2014 price levels?

So far consumers have continued to buy beef, although we are seeing shifts in what they buy (more ground beef), and portion sizes at both retail and restaurants are shrinking. We’re even selling beef at retail by the serving rather than by the pound, a good marketing strategy for our times. Read more.

An Evolution of Lean Beef

In the mid-1980s the beef industry started a “War on Fat.” Today, the meatcase is a “sea of red.”

Responding to its market, the beef industry began making important changes in both perceived and actual nutritional properties of its products nearly 40 years ago. Those changes and the resulting impact they have had in marketing beef are more significant than most producers realize.

The industry’s first wake-up call came in 1977 when the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs released the Dietary Goals for the American People. Among other things, that document recommended Americans decrease consumption of red meat in favor of poultry and fish. Read more.

Angus Calendar

To view the Angus Calendar, a complete list of Angus sales, click here.

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