Conditions during the past several years have provided the market with the luxury of being able to “borrow” early-harvested corn to provide some supply buffer. However, that luxury may not be so easy this year, given the planting delays and cool, wet weather for crop establishment.
A beef checkoff-funded survey of the millennial generation (born from 1980-2000) indicates that this U.S. population segment prefers serving chicken to their families over beef. The reasons cited are a taste preference by their children for chicken, and the parents’ lack of preparation skills for beef.
The cattle market has proven to be relatively stubborn of late, refusing to offer any surprises to the upside. Now we’re headed into the throes of summer, and the window for better beef prices has likely closed.
A number of factors in combination have seemingly turned leverage in the feeder market away from the seller toward the buyer. That doesn’t ease the pain with current sales, but does improve the outlook for at least some semblance of relief in the feedyard sector.
In recent years, beef producers have been increasingly incentivized to utilize genetics, establish breeding systems, and implement management strategies to ensure cattle hit higher USDA Quality Grade (QG) targets. Where do see the industry’s QG trend headed in the future?
The payoff of value-added calf programs varies across regions, depending upon local market dynamics, distance from key feeding regions, etc. But would you be willing to give up some marketing independence to receive the rewards of participating in such a program?
Japan’s move to jump start its economy with a $1.4-trillion stimulus could raise the potential for retaliation by its trading partners, including the U.S. beef industry. U.S. beef exports might be hindered because of Japan's stimulus plan.
Feedyard gross margin (fed steer less yearling steer) in 1996 averaged about $350/head, while total yearling steer investment was just slightly over $450/head. That gap has consistently (and unfavorably) widened ever since. Gross margin in 2012 was only about $60-65 more compared to the 1996 mark, but the investment required to obtain that margin has surged nearly 10 times that amount, as yearling steer costs have jumped $665 to average $1,125/head in 2012.