March 21, 2019 | Vol. 12 : No. 3


Selling Points

Nebraska cowman embraces feeder-cattle program to communicate value to today’s feeder.

The customer has changed, says Nebraska cattleman Chris Vinton, recalling the Illinois farmer-feeders who bought calves from his dad.

“When I was a little kid, I remember them coming out. They’d spend a week with us, look at the cattle, and Dad and them would make a deal,” he recalls. Then they’d truck the cattle clear back to Mount Carroll, Ill.

Repeat customers, it got to the point where they would agree on a price for the cattle over the phone sight-unseen.

In The Cattle Markets

U.S. cattle inventory growth slows.

The USDA Cattle report released in late February showed an estimated 0.5% growth in all cattle and calves for a total of 94.8 million head in the United States Jan. 1, 2019. The U.S. calf crop estimate of 36.4 million head showed 644,500 (1.8%) more calves were born in 2018 than in 2017, which marked the fourth consecutive year of calf-crop increases.

Gains Slip in Winter Weather

Feedyard performance slips as costs rise.

Heavy winter precipitation has continued at intervals spanning December through early March, while brutally cold temperatures added often devastating effects. Sub-zero readings continued into mid-March in many areas. The full effect has yet to be measured in the feedlot sector, but average daily gains and feed conversion ratios on pen closeouts are starting to reveal the trend.

The Source

Changing the image of cattle welfare.

Cattle welfare … haven’t seen any Angus heifers at the grocery store lately buying sweet feed for their offspring with SNAP benefits have you? No wonder when consumers hear the words cattle and welfare the image isn’t always positive, but we can change that!

This industry has producers who are truly passionate about what they do and how they do it each and every day. This past week I visited an operation in Tennessee to walk through the AngusSource® Cattle Care and Handling guidelines that producers can opt to use when they enroll in AngusSource.

What’s Next in the Cattle Cycle?

Insight on the trajectory of the cattle cycle.

The Jan. 1, 2019, inventory of all cattle and calves in the United States grew to 94.76 million, head, up 0.5% from one year ago. This puts the number of cattle in the country just slightly higher than 2009 levels after dropping to a low of 88.53 million head in 2014, with an increase of 6.23 million head in the last five years.

The Link

Marketing instead of selling.

Webster’s Dictionary defines “marketing” as the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product.

Today, margins for cow-calf producers seem to be thinner than ever. That makes the question, “Am I doing all that I can to effectively market my cattle?” an important one.

Export Skepticism Not Warranted

Exposure to risk, export market volatility offset by higher prices and profit potential for producers.

Per capita animal protein consumption in the United States is predicted to climb to an all-time high in 2019, surpassing the previous record set in 2006, prior to the 2008 financial crisis and the run-up in feed costs. However, the animal protein sector is entering a period of transition as four consecutive years of significant domestic consumption growth is now beginning to pressure prices and producers’ bottom lines. Export growth will be key for U.S. beef, pork and chicken producers as growing meat supplies and processing capacity outstrip domestic demand, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division (KED).