Nevil Speer

Professor of Animal Science
Articles by Nevil Speer
annual live to cutout spread
Industry At A Glance: The Live-To-Cutout Spread 6
After peaking in 2003 at around $215/head, the live-to-cutout spread trended down until last year’s -$144/head, the lowest live-to-cutout spread since 1998.
corn planting progress spring 2013
Industry At A Glance: Corn Planting Lags Drastically
Cool, wet spring weather has severely hampered planting progress this spring. As of May 12, corn planting in the U.S. was only 28% complete – almost 40% behind the five-year average (65%).
quality grade trends in beef industry
Industry At A Glance: The Importance Of USDA Quality Grade 1
Will the use of camera technology in the quality grading of beef play a bigger role in producers' genetic and management decisions?
cattle markets wait for warmer weather, cattle price increase
Cattle Market Outlook: Waiting And Hoping
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.
steer heifer harvest mix for choice & prime
Industry At A Glance: The Trends In Beef Quality Grade
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?
cumulative USDA certified beef programs
Industry At A Glance: Growth Of USDA-Certified Beef Programs 1
The skyrocketing growth in certified beef programs portends the arrival of even more intensively managed supply chains requiring specific genetics, management and marketing schemes to participate.
value added beef calf program boosts cattle prices
Industry At A Glance: Program Shows Value-Added Payoff
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?
japenese yen rate beef exports
Industry At A Glance: Japanese Stimulus Worries Marketers
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.
annual feedyard gross margin
Industry At A Glance: The Incredibly Shrinking Feedlot Margin 2
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.
cattle market, cattle prices outlook
Cattle Market Outlook: Economic Indicators Point To Better Days Ahead
The economy is finally beginning to show some signs of vitality. Although there’s a lot of work yet to do, perhaps the consumer may begin to really perk up in the coming months.
stocker cattle inventory change
Industry At A Glance: Stocker Cattle Inventory Shifting To Southeast States
Since 2000, stocker cattle inventories have progressively moved from the northern states to the Southeast. Arkansas, Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky have captured an additional 207,000 head in that time frame, and account for nearly 85% of the geographic
retail super center growth
Beef Industry At A Glance: Growth Of Super Centers
The success of the super center concept hasn’t gone unnoticed in the food world, and thus explains the format’s domination of growth during the past six years. A number of competitors are increasingly trying to introduce similar formats, including Target and K-Mart, while even traditional grocers are expanding their product offering to more closely mimic the super center concept.
weekly fed cattle prices
Beef Industry At A Glance: Cattle Vs. The General Economy 5
Since December the fed cattle market has consistently outperformed the S&P 500 and is now about 15% ahead of the broader stock market index. It’s somewhat surprising that beef values and fed cattle prices have been able to outpace the broader economy – especially in an era of high unemployment and relatively weak consumer confidence.
beef cattle price outlook
Outlook: Beef Demand Really, Really Matters!
The cattle market appears poised to make another run at breaking through overhead resistance at $130+ in the coming months. Once again, the beef complex demonstrates an incredible ability to be resilient and robust even under serious concerns.
beef cattle feed prices, corn vs. hay
Industry At A Glance: TDN Cost Of Hay Vs. Corn 3
Looking at beef cattle feed prices in late 2013, the market is pricing in a significant break for corn prices. Meanwhile, there’s no way to forecast hay costs through futures markets; hence, the most reliable estimate is based on historical relationships.
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