Here are the latest listings of the U.S. beef industry’s top value-based marketing alliances for cattle and calves. This 2012 edition is the 15th annual listing by BEEF magazine and includes a total of 29 programs categorized by consumer-based programs and calf-based programs....More
Chances are that capital requirements will preclude any single entity from ever owning a significant vertically integrated supply chain in the beef industry, says Bill Rupp, president of the JBS U.S. Beef Division (JBS)....More
Running a feedyard is stressful. Always has been. But the last few years have taken on a particularly grim patina as a whirlwind of factors have come to confluence in ways that challenge managers and owners like never before.
And that ratchets up an already stressful job that seems to get one click tighter with every market report that lights up the monitor....More
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.
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made for your ranch? Glenfield, ND, Angus breeders Justin and Nathan Spickler say it’s replacing heat detection with a synchronization program during artificial insemination (AI) – and it happened out of necessity....More
It’s a typical East Texas summer day – about 110° and sticky. But you won’t see any of Bill Travis’ cattle standing in a stock tank to cool off. His Bos indicus cross is built for heat. And their quality tops 80% Choice....More
Once a cow is bred, she should calve about 283 days later. However, sometimes the pregnancy is lost.
Late pregnancy loss is usually visible; you find the aborted fetus or the cow with placental membranes hanging from the vulva. “But with early pregnancy loss, you don’t have a clue,” says Ahmed Tibary, DVM and Washington State University (WSU) professor of theriogenology....More
Fragmentation is both the blessing and curse of the U.S. beef cattle industry.
The equity required for production – land, feed, cattle, etc. – is so steep per head that the odds of any single entity ever owning a significant percentage of the industry, as is the case in pork and poultry, is remote at best....More
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....More
There’s exponentially more vertical cooperation today than there was then, everything from branded beef programs and special feeder cattle sales to a slew of value-based grids for fed cattle. But the current industry is less a series of supply chains sorting out product that doesn’t fit added value programs and more of a central channel sorting in products that do....More
The science of animal welfare is ever-evolving. That’s why a federally legislated approach to animal well being, such as that pushed by United Egg Producers and HSUS in the Senate version of the 2012 farm bill, just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Food producers can be much more responsive to new developments when their progress isn’t impeded by federal mandates....More
How your herd has been performing economically should play a critical role in your drought management plan. Producers need to know the economic performance of their beef cowherd during its last normal year before they formulate their optimal drought strategy for this year....More
As livestock producers we often focus on productivity per cow. But that focus, along with intensive selection for growth, hasn’t done much to improve ranch profitability over the last 40 years. In fact, it could be argued that, in constant dollars or buying power, profit per acre has even decreased. Thus, the real measure should be profit per acre or whole ranch profitability....More
With today’s consumers far removed from first-hand knowledge of the production process, they are increasingly being swayed to the belief that modern agriculture is somehow bad for consumers and/or producers. Thus, the industry must not only develop a more comprehensive strategy to defend valid production practices, but be proactive rather than reactive in the process....More
On the heels of last year’s disastrous drought in the Southwest, a promising spring crop forecast has devolved into a looming disaster as high heat and lack of moisture cook Midwest grain fields....More
Current economic and disease considerations suggest that it’s better for cow-calf producers to cull open cows after the breeding season and replace them with home-raised retained heifers and purchased bred cows....More
Lifetime productivity of a beef cow begins at the conception of her first calf as a heifer. Replacement heifers conceiving earlier in their first breeding season will calve early in subsequent calving seasons and have greater longevity and lifetime productivity than heifers that conceive later in their first breeding season....More