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Beef Must Differentiate

Keeping up with the times includes marketing.

A lot can change in half a century. A lot can stay the same.

U.S. feeder cattle illustrate that well, said Mark McCully, vice president of supply for the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand, at the Indiana Beef Cattlemen’s Association annual meeting last month.

“Think of how we are selecting genetics today — the tools and amount of information we have available — versus 50 years ago,” he said. “In many cases, herd bulls are selected with far more precision, and yet we still tend to lump their offspring together with others. We use ‘the eyeball test’ and sell them as a commodity.”

Programs that detail health history have been around for a while, but those are just part of what’s possible in classifying differences, McCully said. One relatively new opportunity is genetic documentation. Read more.

In The Cattle Markets

Is time running out on potential for stronger cattle prices?

Springtime marches on. USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report was quite the surprise. A major moisture event causes flooding in the Southern Plains with concerns of excess moisture up through Nebraska and generous needed snowfall in Colorado. The deadline for filing your income taxes passes. So how about the fundamentals and technical picture in the cattle and beef markets?

The USDA Choice-Select spread posted a bit of a rally through the prior weeks. The spread widened from its seasonal low of about $4 per hundredweight (cwt.) to a little short of $9 per cwt. This change was as anticipated, very comparable to last year and about a month early. It will be worth watching to see if this strength continues or has run its course. Read more.

What’s in a Number?

$6.93 … What’s that number mean to you?

Numbers are everywhere. They matter to a rancher, so they matter to the Certified Angus Beef® (CAB®) brand. A natural progression, CAB’s Black Ink team set out to uncover stories behind both common and irregular numbers that affect a cattleman’s future. From 120 million to -2.26, each one tells a story of how even the seemingly random and only slightly related are intertwined to impact profitability.

Every number has a story — take, for example, $6.93. Read more.

The Angus Report

CattleFax market update.

Measuring herd expansion compared to a year ago, how has growth compared to 2015 thus far? CattleFax Analyst Marcus Brix discusses the indicators for expansion.

Angus TV

The Angus Report, April 18, 2016: CattleFax Market Update


Ginette Gottswiller

The Source

Make bull buying easier with a plan.

Buying bulls can be a dreaded chore for some cattlemen, while others actually enjoy the hunt to find the best bull at the best price.

During a recent bull sale at Spring Cove Ranch, it appeared bull buyers did not dread being there at all. The Butler family pulled out all the stops to make sure their potential buyers were well-fed and well-educated. They invited me to talk one on one with commercial producers about the benefits AngusSource® and quality Angus genetics can offer. Read more.

Justin Sexten

On Target

Compare perspectives from both ends of the supply chain.

This year I’ve had the opportunity to visit with folks from both ends of the beef supply chain: seedstock and commercial ranchers, and foodservice specialists from across the nation. While both are in the beef business, the differing perspectives these groups bring to a beef and cattle conversation is interesting, to say the least.

Our growing beef herd brings the sharpest contrast in opinion. Ranchers are excited to have enough feed and forage to support an expanding cow herd, but they worry the increase in beef supplies will mean lower prices at the ranch gate. Record profitability and favorable weather in many areas since 2014 resulted in a quick million-head expansion in that beef herd. Logic says that many more calves will challenge prices. Read more.

Why Don’t I See More Beef Checkoff Ads?

Marketing aimed at millennial consumers, not cattlemen.

Checkoff-funded consumer market research shows us that the key generation for beef marketing — millennials — practically live on their computer devices. They tell us that they get virtually all of their information online, then use that information to draw conclusions and make important decisions about agriculture and the food they eat.

They use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to get beef recipes and information about beef and the beef industry, the research shows. In addition, they share their thoughts about beef and beef production through these platforms. Plus, they look online for what their fellow consumers are saying about beef, then look online elsewhere to see if the information is scientifically sound. Perhaps, most important for beef producers, they look to social media for quick and convenient recipe ideas to feed their families and help them thrive. Read more.

Angus Calendar

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