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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 …

Breeding season is just around the corner and it’s time to consider our investment in genetics to maximize the profit potential of the calves that will be born next year. With more genetic information and technology available than ever before, we address the process of determining what trait…

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Market lamb and goat projects are a competitive industry whether showmen are exhibiting at a small county fair or on a national stage. For longtime sheep and goat breeder, Bill Mein producing proven winners means settling for nothing less than the absolute best.

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U.S. beef exports totaled 2,566.7 million pounds in 2020, down 2.3 percent from the previous year but still the third largest annual beef export total. The COVID-19 pandemic caused sharp disruptions in beef exports at times during the year with monthly exports down over 30 percent year over …

After the brutal cold weather of mid-February, it’s hard to believe that breeding season is just around the corner. For herds that plan to begin calving next January, breeding season begins in April. With that in mind, it’s time to plan and manage bulls for breeding season. This week we addr…

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In the age of side hustles and diversifying businesses, more  livestock producers in Kansas may be considering the logistics of selling their products directly to consumers.

The February Cattle on Feed report from USDA showed a February 1 feedlot inventory of 12.1 million head, 101.5 percent of one year ago. January placements were 2.017 million head, up 3.2 percent year over year. Placements were higher than the average pre-report estimate but at the top end of…

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A massive and extended winter blast has engulfed the southern plains before spreading across much of the Delta and mid-south then ultimately affecting most of the eastern half of the country. The extended cold temperatures began a week ago with most of Oklahoma already enduring continuous su…

The Livestock Indemnity Program provides assistance to livestock owners and contract growers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality as a direct result of an eligible loss condition. An eligible adverse weather event is one that is not expected to occur during the loss period that…

The extreme cold and snowy weather has arrived at a very unfortunate time for spring calving cow herds. Cows and heifers are beginning the calving season and some newborn calves are certain to be cold stressed after arrival. Getting those cold stressed calves back to normal body temperatures…

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The Cattle inventory report provides lots of information but does not answer one important question: What is the inventory of feeder cattle available to be placed in feedlots for finishing? We calculate an estimate of the supply of feeder cattle by summing the reported inventories of steers …

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Built on a dream of being financially secure, the Dorsey ranch of Pryor, Oklahoma is no stranger to ambition and innovation. Armed with stand-out genetics and a passion for quality beef, the Dorsey family has stepped away from traditional beef marketing to start their direct-to-consumer enterprise.

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The inventory of all cattle and calves in the U.S. was 93.6 million head on January 1, 2021, down fractionally from 93.8 million head one year ago. In the current cattle cycle, the all cattle inventory increased from a low of 88.2 million head in 2014 to a peak of 94.8 million head in 2019 a…

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Recent USDA reports provide a picture of the hay situation across the U.S. December 1 hay stocks were down a scant 0.6 percent year over year for the entire U.S. Table 1 shows the top ten states for hay stocks as well as 2020 all hay, alfalfa hay and other production. Among the top ten state…

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Grain and oilseed prices have risen dramatically in the last three to four months. For example, the weekly cash price of corn reported for Dodge City, Kansas averaged $3.41/bu. from January-September, 2020. The price rose above $4.00/bu. by mid-October and by mid-January 2021 was reported at…

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U.S. beef trade is stabilizing as the ripple effects of the initial COVID-19 disruptions continue to fade. The latest beef trade data for November shows that monthly exports were up 13.2 percent year over year. This brings the year to date total to a cumulative reduction of 3.7 percent year …

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The cattle industry, like everyone else, is more than ready to move past 2020 and into a new year. While the industry will start the year with a new slate, there are numerous factors in place that will shape markets for, at least, the first few months of 2021. Cattle markets face a mix of op…

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Much of 2020 has been preoccupied with daily and weekly slaughter numbers, carcass weights and boxed beef prices, along with monthly cattle on feed dynamics. The intertemporal volatility through the year adds to challenge of assessing what, exactly, is the situation regarding the cattle cycl…

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The December Cattle on Feed report showed that we are back where we started one year ago with December 1 feedlot inventories just equal to last year. November placements were down 8.9 percent from one year ago. November marketings were 98 percent of last year. The report was well anticipated…

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Despite the extraordinary volatility and dynamics of meat industries and food markets in 2020, total meat production for the year is projected just 1.2 percent lower than pre-COVID forecasts. As this year winds down, the pandemic is still raging going into 2021 but with expectations that vac…