In a recent poll of the general public, Investor’s Business Daily asked respondents their attitude on the current tax code. Nearly 40% of respondents say they consider their personal tax bill as being “too high.” As a rancher, with a tax system that looks very different for those filing a Schedule F, how would you answer that question?...More
Toal hay production in the U.S. has declined by more than 32 million tons since 2000,with two regions comprising most of that loss – the Cornbelt and the Great Plains. How does this trend influence the future of the beef industry?...More
I’d forgotten just how tasteless and bland chicken on its own really is. The reason we in the beef industry talk about price so much is because the threat from chicken is on the price front. Chicken, however, certainly can’t compete with beef on the taste front....More
Which comes first when rebuilding – forages or cows? Asked another way, will more forage acreage bring about more cows? Or do more cows ultimately mean more ground committed to forages? Either way, the outcome is the same: more forage ground is necessary to support a larger cowherd over time....More
It looks to me like both sides are committed to playing their losing hands out to the very end. Call me an optimist, but I still believe there could have been a compromise earlier that would have benefited both camps....More
A tight supply of cattle is a perpetual story. And as noted several weeks ago, tight supply is exacerbated in 2014 because of an especially tight supply of cattle in the “other heifers” category. Meanwhile, some of the shortfall in domestic supply has been buffered by increased flow of feeders from Mexico....More
The rate of monthly beef cow slaughter as a percentage of Jan. 1 beef cow inventories clearly increased beginning in earnest in 2006 and continued that way through 2011. Since that time, though, the rates have begun to reverse....More
This week’s Industry-At-A-Glance reflects Jan. 1 heifer inventory by respective category. Consideration of some of the specific inventory trends possesses some important implications.
• The annual inventory of beef replacement heifers has stayed relatively constant over time. That reality underscores the overwhelming contribution of beef cow slaughter (vs. a slowdown in heifer retention) when explaining the declining cow inventory....More
Beef exports are increasingly a significant component to derive value for the U.S. beef complex. Last year’s export value established a new record for the industry – exceeding $6 billion, which garnered an additional $626 million of revenue for U.S. beef producers. That value helped the beef industry maintain a solid footing with respect to net export value (exports less imports). In other words, international trade is providing a boost to the industry....More
The cattle feeding sector has faced many obstacles and challenges during the past several years, including tight supply, volatile feed prices and escalating capital requirements. Across all sorts of industries and businesses, size of operation carries certain economic advantages....More
USDA released its initial crop acreage forecast last week at the USDA Outlook Forum. Overall acreage is largely in line with last year’s planted acres. However, there is a slight rotation out of corn into soybeans.
Note that the chart indicates 2014 forecast corn coverage is down to 92 million acres – a decline of 3 million acres vs. last year. Meanwhile, soybean acres have increased by an equal amount to 79.5 million acres....More
The Chinese use two symbols to simultaneously represent the concept of risk or crisis: one is danger, the other is opportunity. That’s an appropriate characterization of the risk and reward potential inherent in today’s commodity markets....More