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Livestock Industry Opinions

2012 August 3
The weather continues to make life interesting. I am tempted to say the weather makes life difficult. If that were true, life always would be difficult because, as long as the earth spins and continues its rotation around the sun, the weather never will be uninteresting or constant.
2012 July 27
Corn went over $8 a bushel last week, and soy beans were around $17 a bushel. These are new record level prices for these commodities. This situation makes one wonder where the grain markets will end up when it’s time to harvest. I don’t see moisture conditions getting.
2012 July 20
Most individuals who fail to file tax returns, or underreport income or take inflated tax deductions may end up being assessed a “fraud” penalty, which enhances the tax liability but does not proceed into the criminal arena.
2012 July 20
Last week, the markets pulled a fast one that I’m still having a hard time figuring out. Corn moved up the limit, feeder cattle moved up the limit, and fed cattle moved up near the allowable trading limit. When corn goes this high, feeder cattle just aren’t supposed to go limit up.
2012 July 20
I read with great interest last week’s article, “Composites may trade predictability for simplicity” by Miranda Reiman of Certified Angus Beef (CAB). The hypothesis of the article was that using composite (F1) bulls had a number of disadvantages compared to purebred bulls and straightbreeding.
2012 July 13
Last week we prayed for rain and it seemed to work pretty well here in Colorado with a couple inches of the golden material hitting the ground. It also was a godsend for the fires in the area. So far this has to be the most destructive fire season we’ve ever seen in Colorado.
2012 July 6
We may be a ground beef nation but steaks still put the sizzle in wholesale beef prices and underpin fed cattle prices. That’s what occurred this spring, as beef cutout values responded to aggressive retail featuring of steak items for the Memorial Day weekend and throughout June.
by WLJ
2012 July 6
Prices for cattle of all classes and for beef are higher than this time last year. However, cattle market conditions have changed significantly in the past few weeks and most prices have declined recently. The biggest factor is weather which is impacting markets directly and indirectly, both in the immediate short run as well as farther down the road.
2012 July 6
Time to pray for rain, just don’t pray too hard. We certainly don’t want it all at once. Recent weather patterns have been very disturbing. It’s hard to make any kind of feed without water and we’re past the point where we’re going to make any summer pasture that is worth much.
2012 June 29
I’m sure I don’t need to tell most of you about it, because most of you all can feel it, but this dry weather is really becoming a problem. Last year, the dry weather was limited to mostly the south and southwest. We had some hot weather in the Midwest, but it wasn’t the CROW.
by WLJ
2012 June 22
Monday was an excellent day for Ray-Mar Ranches, Oakdale, CA, as they dispersed their entire commercial cowherd through Cattlemen’s Livestock Market (CLM), Galt, CA. The top end of the cows reached $1,900 per head with the full-mouth cows averaging close to $1,600 on almost 400 head.
by WLJ
2012 June 15
The Choice boxed beef cutout value was $197.16/cwt. last week, the second highest weekly average this year and only $1.35/cwt. below the early March peak. Choice values have made a strong rebound after dropping to a weekly low of $177.79/cwt. in mid-April. Currently, Choice boxed beef is 13 percent higher than the same time last year.
2012 June 15
So how does one set goals? Some thoughts at various meetings bring some interesting concepts to the table. For instance, if one wants to market 1,300-pound live-grass steers by 2 years of age, the steers will need to gain 1.7 pounds per day to meet the challenge.
2012 June 15
The first big video sales are getting underway; Superior Livestock Auction held their first two-day sale in Des Moines, IA, last week and it was a good one. Buying feeder cattle this summer is going to take nerves of steel. It appears the heavy cattle will be selling for big money.
by WLJ
2012 June 8
The one recurring theme that we heard over and over again from our tour hosts was regulation. Government agencies are in the hip pocket of every man, women and child that has anything to do with our industry and now the Environmental Protection Agency is using drones to fly over and monitor livestock feedlots in Nebraska and Iowa.
2012 June 8
In recent years, much discussion has been held regarding grass and beef production. The concept of integrating the two production activities seems like a no-brainer. If it was just the cows visiting with each other, that would be true. However, it is inevitable that people will get in the mix and that’s when the no-brainer starts getting complicated.
by WLJ
2012 June 8
Potassium is a key electrolyte that can become deficient particularly in cattle around calving season and during severe illness or chronic anorexia. Other agents, such as calcium, sodium and chloride, can be controlled through metabolic processes—but potassium levels are kept under a more narrow range within the bloodstream.
2012 June 1
I have felt a little out of the loop the past few weeks, not keeping up with cattle markets and issues. A few weeks ago, I had to have major back surgery which took me out of the game for a while. It’s been difficult to stay up with the markets, but I figured it’s time to make some kind of appearance.
2012 June 1
“Those cows can’t catch me now that I don’t have all those heavy coveralls on!” Again, all is good. It has been just more than a year since the Dickinson Research Extension Center initially decided to furlough the bulls for a month by changing bull turnout from early and mid- June to the second week of July.
2012 June 1
Exports are a key contributor to the economic health of the U.S. beef industry. They allow the industry to maximize the value of certain cuts and by-products that have a much lower value at home. And they provide a counter-balance to the domestic market. The result is that exports boost cattle prices.


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