Sustainability has become a cultural buzzword of late. The trouble is that just about everyone has a different definition of it. To clear the air, and position the beef industry as a leader in the sustainability movement, the beef checkoff is conducting the first-ever, comprehensive, farm-to-fork life cycle analysis of beef.
The U.S. is transitioning from El Niño to La Niña and that, says weatherman Art Douglas, makes any long-term weather forecast dicey at best. But there are a few major weather-making events happening that spell good news for some folks and continued bad news for others. Here’s the CattleFax weatherman’s outlook for spring and summer.
Last week, we looked at how creative destruction can help you look at your ranch from a different perspective. This week, we explore how a systems approach to managing the ranch can help you manage the operation as a whole, rather than as separate pieces.
Conventional wisdom has held that it’s better to delay implanting high-risk calves on arrival at a feedlot until their health status has stabilized. New research, however, shows that implanting high-risk calves on arrival is the better option, both from an economic and performance perspective.
Like a wino with a rich uncle, the federal government continues to drive up the deficit, thanks to Federal Reserve efforts that continue to bail it out. This unmatched debt buying by the Federal Reserve supports and encourages federal overspending and merely postpones an economic reckoning that ultimately will come home to roost.
The future, it’s been said, ain’t what it used to be. While the future never has been very predictable for ranchers, changes in industry structure and dynamics over the past several years have made the future more and more uncertain. Running a ranch in this new era may well mean stepping beyond your comfort zone. In part one of a two-part series, we look at how creative destruction can help put you on a path of strategic planning that will prepare your operation for the future.
Ranchers in arid and semi-arid country are used to dry weather, but the current drought is much, much more than just “dry weather.” And as it spreads into parts of the country that aren’t accustomed to drought management, the lessons that ranchers in the Southwest and Great Plains have learned become applicable on a wider scale.
The grocery store business is changing. While beef is still king, changing consumer dynamics, as well as changes at the ranch and feedyard levels, are forcing changes in how beef is sold in grocery stores. In spite of the uncertainty, however, retail meat marketers remain committed to the beef case.
Will Rogers, in one of his many commentaries on the state of U.S. politics, once lifted his eyes to the heavens in mock seriousness and said: “Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.”
Cargill dropped a major economic bomb this week when it announced Thursday that it will close its Plainview, TX, beef plant. While cattle feeders and economists are still trying to decipher the total impact of the news, the immediate implications are sobering.
With its publication in the Jan. 9 Federal Register, it’s simply a matter of counting the days until USDA’s revamped and repurposed animal disease traceability rule becomes final. Now that it has been published, the rule becomes effective March 11, 2013.
Carcass weights, and therefore retail cuts of beef, have been steadily increasing as the market sends signals for more efficiency and more pounds. Yet, consumers say they want smaller steaks. Is that polarity solvable? Yes, and the industry is searching and adopting new fabrication techniques to address the issue.
A brush-management program isn’t as simple as just spraying a few places. Ranch managers must remember that there’s no such thing as eradication, and it takes time, patience and follow-up to be successful.
Steve Hunt, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Premium Beef (USPB), will step down after 17 years in that position, reports the Kansas Livestock Association’s News and Market Report. Hunt will assume an advisory role after Jan. 28. 2013. The USPB Board of Directors has named Stan Linville, previously the company’s chief operating officer, as the new CEO.
The heartland’s economy found its legs the last few months of 2012 and surged on lower energy prices and higher commodity prices to close out 2012 at a robust level. However, while lower energy prices may give a breath of air to a gasping livestock sector, some ethanol plants may see shutdowns in 2013, bankers say.