New research presented last month by Washington State University’s Jude Capper provides an eye-opening perspective on how modern technology in beef production not only feeds the world more efficiently but boosts the environment.
Too much work, too little time, not enough help – that’s the workaday life on a U.S. cattle operation. With no shortage of tasks that require pushing, pulling, lifting and digging, utility tractors are indispensible workhorses. Here’s a rundown of some of the units available for 2012.
Government estimates on U.S. pasture and range conditions for the week ending July 22 indicate a slight deterioration compared to the prior week. Overall, in 48 states for the week ending July 22, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NAAS) reports that 26% of U.S. pasture and rangeland was graded as Very Poor, while 29% were regarded as Poor, and 27% as Fair. Pasture and rangeland categorized as Good and Excellent were 16% and 2%, respectively.
Lean finely textured beef (LFTB) is too valuable to the U.S. consumer to be lost to the industry and will recover its position in the human food chain gradually over the next 2-3 years. That’s the estimation of researchers at Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group, a global team of more than 80 analysts who monitor and evaluate global market events that affect agriculture worldwide.
The latest USDA report on pasture and range conditions reveals continued deterioration of America’s grazing lands. Overall, in 48 states for the week ending July 8, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service reports that 21% of states reported conditions as Very Poor, while 29% were regarded as Poor, and 29% as Fair. States categorized as Good and Excellent were 18% and 3%, respectively.
Last week, 17% of acreage was categorized as Very Poor, 26% as Poor, 32% as Fair, 22% as Good, and 3% as Excellent.
When cartoonist Leigh Rubin, whose Rubes® cartoon appears regularly in BEEF magazine, saw his son’s electric guitar, its shape reminded him of a cow’s head, and a cow’s behind. Rubin turned his inspiration into a “Moosic Man” guitar, an homage and a takeoff to the iconic creation of the Ernie Ball Music Man Company.
This issue is important to U.S. beef producers because it’s important to every American. Higher-priced energy leads to higher-priced goods and services. That not only raises production costs, but suppresses demand for a lot of goods and services, not the least of which is beef.
The social media frenzy that led to a retailer pullback on lean finely textured beef is reversible, says Temple Grandin. But the experience offers a lesson on the need for more transparency in how livestock producers operate and how protein is processed, the noted animal handling expert says.
Readers responding to BEEF magazine’s latest state-of-the-industry survey appear hungry for a change in administration. A majority of respondents say the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, and almost 75% say they intend to cast their November votes for the Republican Party.
One of the industry’s biggest success stories in carcass utilization – lean finely textured beef – falls victim to a consumer boycott based on misinformation and sensationalism. With demand for LFTB languishing in the aftermath of the “pink slime” debacle, Beef Products, Inc. announces the permanent closure of three of its four plants on May 25.
Jim Donald built a reputation early on as a turnaround specialist of failing companies. His senior management experience includes such firms as Starbucks, Pathmark Stores, WalMart and Albertsons. During the recent 4C Summit in Seattle, Donald passed on to attendees his six dance steps for leaders to succeed in business.
What effect will the negative publicity on lean finely textured beef (LFTB) have on consumer demand? It’s always hard to speculate how consumers will respond to specific issues, but writers for a daily newsletter for the CME Group believe it’s fair to assume that the longer the issue percolates in the press, the more significant the impact on demand.
Australia is ready and willing to supply the lean product needed to fill the supply shortfall if the negative publicity of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) can’t be overcome in the U.S. In fact, the Australian beef industry estimates are that Australian beef exports could potentially increase by 60% in the next 12-18 months as Australian beef is used to fill the void in meat supply left by LFTB.