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How Beef Can Compete

Higher prices bring higher expectations.

Eleven-to-one. Those were the odds the beef industry was up against for two decades.

“We got $10 in new spending over that 20 years, meanwhile our pork and poultry competitors got $110,” said Nevil Speer, an animal scientist at Western Kentucky University. “You can’t grow an industry without new revenue coming in, and we basically worked in a stagnant industry for 20 years.”

Speer presented as part of the Harlan Ritchie Beef Symposium during the Midwest American Society of Animal Science meetings in Des Moines, Iowa, in March.

Beef struggled with health perception issues, convenience woes and the challenge of being the most expensive protein in the meatcase, he said.

Then, the independent sector orientation began to adjust for mutual good. Read more.

Glynn Tonsor

In The Cattle Markets

Pasture conditions and breeding herd dynamics.

Crop and livestock producers alike are understandably anxious for some resolution to the weather uncertainty, with a particular current focus on corn planting. The first week of May, the USDA released information that is also heavily weather-influenced and of elevated interest to cattle producers. [Table 1 was derived to present a summary of regional range and pasture conditions. This table also shows how current conditions compare to the past two years, as well as the relative predominance of beef cows and retained heifers regionally.]

A key point to note is that nationally 53% of beef cows reside in states with at least 40% poor or very poor pasture and range conditions. Noting that last year only 20% of cows were in this situation quickly highlights the scope of ongoing challenges many cow-calf operators are facing regarding forage and water supplies. Read more.

Cattle Outlook

So far, the May 1 feedlot inventory is down, while April placements
were up 15%.

The May 17 Cattle on Feed report indicates the number of cattle in large feedlots at the start of May was down 3.4% from a year ago. April placements were up 15.1%, and April marketings were up 2.2% due to one extra slaughter day.

The average price of Choice beef at retail was $5.264 per pound (lb.) in April. That was down 3.6¢ cents from March, but up 27.8¢ from April 2012. The average retail price for all fresh beef was $4.853 per lb. in April, up 23¢ from a year earlier. During the last 24 months, the average price of Choice beef at retail has increased 9.2%. The average retail price for all fresh beef is also up 9.2%. This implies the demand for Choice beef is as strong as for Select and ground beef. Read more.

Beef Producers Weigh Options on Buying Replacement Cattle

A 32% decline in Texas beef cattle has many pointing to drought as the main culprit, but there are other factors that have chipped away at inventory levels during the past couple of years, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.

Stan Bevers told beef producers at the Blackland Income Growth Conference that not only has drought forced large sell-offs of cattle down to the point of Texas inventory levels of 1959, but land fragmentation continually is taking away potential beef cattle production. Read more.

0513mk-day-in-the-lifeA Day in the Life

Before the sun comes up, Debbie Lyons-Blythe is preparing for processing day on their Kansas ranch. In New York, a foodservice distributor has checked her messages and arranged to pick up some items her customers ran out of overnight. By daybreak, an Ohio meat cutter has been at work for hours, already fixing a computer problem and restocking the meatcase. In Kansas City, a chef entertains his son’s wrestling team before rushing into a jam-packed Saturday of back-to-back cooking for crowds.

It takes a heap of work, coordination and planning to raise cattle. It takes more of the same to get beef from processor to plate. In honor of Beef Month, the Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) team checked in with the people who devote their life’s work to producing, delivering and cooking delectable beef products for hungry consumers.

The Black Ink Blog “Day in the Life” series shadows this rancher, distributor, retail meat cutter and chef through their busy days. To catch a glimpse of a day in their shoes, check out the series here.

AngusSourceThe Source

Not the new kid in school anymore.

Do you remember the new kid in school? He was from another state, so he sounded different and didn’t dress like everyone else. Everyone tried to be nice, but wasn’t really sure about him. It took time to get to know and trust him. Now, he is your best friend.

Do you remember Fall 2003? AngusSource® was introduced as a marketing program to add value to commercial calves. Producers could go online or call the American Angus Association to enroll calves that were sired by a registered-Angus bull or the maternal grandsire could have been registered Angus. A white visual ear tag was ordered for each enrolled calf that was still on the original owners’ operation. When it was time to sell the calves, producers could add health and management information to create an online marketing document. Read more.

Checkoff Launches New Consumer
Advertising Campaign

Thought-provoking campaign sizzles with new voice.

0513mk-whats4dinnerThe new “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” consumer advertising campaign is premiering this month, bringing the recognizable tagline to older millennials and Gen-Xers. The new campaign, funded by the beef checkoff, will feature sizzling beef recipes, juicy details about essential nutrients and the voice of one of Hollywood’s most promising new talents.

“This campaign builds upon the core benefits that only beef offers — its great taste and 10 essential nutrients. While most folks just look at beef for its sizzle or great flavor, it’s made up of more than that. Its nutrients are what make it the most powerful protein and what makes beef above all else,” says Cevin Jones, chair of the checkoff’s Domestic Consumer Preference Committee and producer from Eden, Idaho. “It doesn’t hurt that the voice delivering the message on the other side of the radio epitomizes health and sizzle, too.” Read more.

Delaware Fueled with Beef for First State’s Marathon

The beef checkoff gave folks a running start at the 10th Annual Christiana Care Health System Delaware Marathon May 11-12 at the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park in Wilmington, Del. The checkoff’s Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) sponsored Dane Rauschenberg to run the half marathon on May 12 and exhibited at the event to share messages about the nutritional benefits of beef to runners and supporters. Nearly perfect running conditions brought out more than 3,000 runners on race day and another 5,000 spectators to help cheer them on.

Rauschenberg is an extreme athlete who made his mark as a man who ran 52 marathons in 52 consecutive weekends. He has since run a 202-mile relay solo and completed a 350-mile run up the coast of Oregon. Rauschenberg united with the Beef Checkoff to help educate expo attendees on the nutrition profile of beef and, more specifically, how it helps him fuel for the finish. The running community also had the opportunity to purchase and receive a signed copy of Rauschenberg’s second book, 138,336 Feet to Pure Bliss. Read more.

Angus Calendar

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

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