By-product values for cattle have increased dramatically in the past few months.  Hide and offal values, which have generally declined in recent years, bottomed during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020 to the lowest levels since 2009.  In the past 13 months, steer hide and offal value…

The latest monthly trade data shows that July imports of Mexican cattle were down 37.5 percent year over year.  Mexican cattle imports for the first seven months of the year were down 18.7 percent compared to 2020.  Preliminary weekly data from USDA-AMS through the end of August shows that y…

Probably the most frequently asked question I am getting relates to how much the drought is adding to herd liquidation in 2021. It’s a difficult question for several reasons. In the first place, we don’t know what the industry would have done in the absence of drought this year. Having decre…

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August is a tough time for fed cattle markets to move higher, but the market seems poised to break out from the constraints of the first half of the year as we move into the last part of the third quarter. Meanwhile, auction calf and stocker prices have moved counter-seasonally higher in Jul…

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As cattle producers look to increase profits, they may also look to update their cattle rations. At a Kansas State University Beef Field Day in Parsons, Kansas, beef systems specialist Jaymelynn Farney spoke to producers about the use of spices and essential oils to increase gain and reduce pests.

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Current market conditions provide insight into fall and winter stocker grazing prospects. Feeder cattle auction prices show the current value of gain. For the last four weeks, the average price of 450 lb., medium/large no. 1 steers was $186.08/cwt. and the price of 750 pound steers was $156.…

As concerns of a large-scale, foreign animal disease outbreak in the United States grow, cattle producers in Missouri may be looking for ways to better protect and prepare their operations. Rose Massengill, from the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, joined the July Pearls of Prod…

U.S. beef exports have bounced back from the pandemic disruptions last year.  Total beef exports for the January – June period in 2021 are up 21.5 percent over the first six months of 2020.  This includes a 46.2 percent year over year increase for the month of June over the low point last ye…

There is a quote in the 1922 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture I like to refer to…”The cheapest of all feed is pasture because it furnishes a balanced ration at a low cost and the cow does her own harvesting…but, in comparatively few cases is the fullest possible use made of pasture.” There is cu…

Daily slaughter data through July 17, the first 170 days of the year, has a total cattle slaughter of 17.94 million head, compared to 17.07 million head in 2020 and 17.87 million head for the year-to-date in 2019. Yearling (steer + heifer) slaughter makes up 78.5 percent of total cattle slau…

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Cattlemen and soil health specialists convened last week for a grazing workshop and ranch tour on Drexel Atkinson’s Everton, Missouri ranch.

The July USDA Cattle on Feed report shows July feedlot inventories of 11.29 million head, down 1.3 percent from last year and down 1.7 percent compared to 2019. June placements were 1.67 million head, down 7.1 percent from 2020 and down 5.2 percent from June 2019. Feedlot marketings in June …

The Beef Cattle and Forage Field day will be held at the Southeast Research and Extension Center (25092 Ness Rd, Parsons, KS) on August 3, 2021.  Registration will begin at 8:30 am with the educational program beginning at 9 am.  For those that will not be able to attend in person, you may w…

Rising feed prices continue to be reflected in feeder cattle markets.  Market prices for feed grains increase in order to ration feed demand to balance with a limited supply.  High feed prices is a market signal to all feed users to use less grain.  For the pork and poultry industries this i…

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Cattle trade between the U.S., Mexico and Canada is part of the increasingly integrated North American beef and cattle market.  Cattle exports and imports among the three countries consists mostly of feeder and slaughter cattle, along with small numbers of dairy cattle and breeding animals. 

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Wholesale beef prices typically increase in the spring, led by middle meat demand.  Spring restaurant demand reflects several holidays, including Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day at the same time as summer grilling demand ramps up, led by Memorial Day and Independence Day.  The…

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The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report showed a June 1 feedlot inventory of 11.699 million head, almost unchanged year over year from 11.671 million head in 2020; and fractionally lower than the June 1, 2019 level of 11.728 million head. May marketings were 1.87 million head, up 23.4 percent …

What offers refreshment on a hot summer day? Cool water? Resting in the shade? It just so happens that these also provide comfort to livestock. With the recent heat wave in Southeast Kansas, livestock producers should monitor their animals for signs of heat stress and plan their chores accor…

Beef imports were up 1.5 percent year over year in April but are down 7.0 percent for the January to April period compared to last year.  Year to date beef imports are down 4.0 percent compared to the same period in 2019.  Table 1 shows a summary of beef imports in recent years and for the y…

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Just off Route 70, on the edge of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town, there’s an unexpected haven for the cheese lovers of Kansas. Alma Creamery has been providing the Midwest with its cheddar, jacks and all-natural curds since 1946.

The April trade data shows that beef exports for the month were up 22.1 percent year over year and up 18.0 percent compared to 2019. Year to date total beef exports for the first four months of the year were up 7.9 percent year over year and 14.9 percent over the same period in 2019.

Cattle markets are never dull but periods of relative calm and stability are sometimes interrupted by a few weeks of unusual daily and weekly dynamics that require constant attention. The past two years, however, have been more like a James Bond movie with a relentless series of unusual and …

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Protein markets are red hot. With the economy opening up and growing rapidly, meat markets of all types are enjoying strong demand. In numerous cases, wholesale prices for specific meat products are at record levels, exceeding the levels provoked by the pandemic disruptions one year ago; and…

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The latest USDA Cattle on Feed report pegs May 1 feedlot inventories at 11.725 million head, 104.7 percent of last year. A more useful comparison is to 2019 levels with the 2021 May 1 total down 0.7 percent from May 2019. After a February feedlot inventory that was the highest of any month s…

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Drought conditions continue to be historically bad for this time of year and recent USDA data confirms that the situation is critical for the beef cattle industry.  USDA reports pasture and range conditions from May through October and the initial reports this year show that U.S. pasture con…

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Most of the U.S. beef packing infrastructure was built in the 1980s.  Cattle inventories in the decade of the 1980s averaged 108.3 million head, 15 percent greater than the 92.1 million head average of the past decade.  The industry was characterized by excess capacity for many years as catt…

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Fed cattle markets rallied early in April but have stalled again and pulled back below $120/cwt. the last week of April. Ample supplies of fed cattle continue to hang over the market as feedlots struggle to get more current. Meanwhile boxed beef has pushed upward with Choice values at $296.5…

Calves with respiratory problems, cows that naturally terminate calves early, deformed calves and scours are just a few of the signs that a cow-calf producer may have Bovine Viral Diarrhea circulating in the herd. Though diarrhea is part of the name, BVD presents itself in many ways. This un…

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The April USDA Cattle on Feed report requires careful interpretation.  The typical year to year comparisons are mostly meaningless because of the pandemic disruptions affecting markets one year ago.  Comparisons to 2019 are more helpful to correctly understand the implications of this report…

Rural landowners are often interested in raising livestock to slaughter for personal consumption, local marketing or for normal commodity markets. There are several options producers can use to finish cattle, ranging from finishing completely on forages to conventional drylot programs using …

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For producers growing fescue, toxic or harmful endophyte infections can be a common issue. In a University of Missouri Forage and Livestock Town Hall, retired University of Georgia professor and Agrinostics Ltd. representative Nick Hill covered the basics of why, how and when to test endophy…

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The latest Drought Monitor shows that drought is significantly worse now than at the same time last year with 63 percent of the country now in D0-D4 categories. These drought categories can be combined into a single numerical measure of drought known as the Drought Severity and Coverage Inde…

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For many sheep and goat producers, vaccinations are an important, but expensive, part of their animal husbandry. Proper storage and handling of vaccines can ensure producers get the most out of their vaccines, therefore improving their bottom line. Kansas State University Extension livestock…

Beef exports have evolved significantly in recent years in a very dynamic environment of global politics and trade policies; direct and indirect impacts of animal disease outbreaks; and growing beef preferences and consumption. Compared to five years ago, total beef exports in 2020 were up b…

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USDA-NASS released two reports last week that added more fuel to red-hot grain and oilseed markets. The information about current and future corn markets has significant implications for cattle markets. The quarterly stocks estimate for corn was lower than expected, indicating that strong do…

No doubt, most cattle producers have had to work out a situation with a calf that is no longer able to nurse its mama. Possibly, the dam has died or maybe a rejected twin. Regardless, feeding a bottle multiple times a day can be rigorous at best.

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by Derrell S. Peel As April arrives, the current drought situation looms larger and potential impacts on cattle markets are increasing with each passing week. The latest Drought Monitor shows that 43.55 percent of the continental U.S. is in some degree of drought (D1-D4), including 18.06 per…

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Fed cattle markets have been unable to put together any sort of spring rally this year with cash markets trading in a narrow range for several weeks. The 5-market fed cattle price has averaged $113.81/cwt. for the past six weeks with weekly averages ranging from $113.62/cwt. to $114.07/cwt. …

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March is a typically bi-polar weather time with indications of spring mixed with lingering winter blasts. This past week included a big winter storm and heavy snow from the Colorado Rockies across the Front Range and east from the northern plains into the upper Midwest. Meanwhile, tornadoes …