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Livestock Industry Opinions

2011 June 17
For us, this has been a rugged winter. I know this because I have my tractor mechanic’s phone number memorized. This is not speed dial—we’re talking memorized and available at a moment’s notice. In my old age, I might forget my own phone number, but his is burned in my memory. One day, he and I were sipping coffee at a restaurant in town and discussing options for my aged backhoe.
2011 June 16
The big summer video sales are around the corner and they are usually the market setters. Cattle markets have been in a decline over the past six to eight weeks, but appear to have stabilized for now. Cash fed cattle seemed to have drawn a line at $104, but that is far from what unhedged feeders will require to
2011 June 9
In just a few weeks, the summer beef industry conference will be held in Orlando, FL. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Federation of State Beef Councils, state cattlemen’s associations and just about anyone else connected to the beef industry will meet to set policy and
2011 June 3
There have been quite a few political issues on the front burner lately that have a huge effect on the cattle and beef industry. The political winds appear to be shifting, and a pro-business environment seems to be slowly developing. It seems that lawmakers are at least acting serious
by WLJ
2011 June 3
This week (May 30-June 3, 2011), we are honoring two engines in our nations diverse economy: trade and the American beef industry. These two engines at first look may not seem like a natural fit. However, it is telling that World Trade Week occurs during American Beef Month.
2011 May 27
The fed cattle markets have been ugly the past month, down $19 in seven weeks. Many market analysts were expecting a decline going into the summer and forecast a typical seasonal decline around 15 percent by July. This average decline would have placed the market in the neighborhood of $105 from
2011 May 27
When you breed or turn out bulls with heifers or cows, you have certain expectations. Ideally, you want each of them to become pregnant, deliver an unassisted, healthy calf, and raise it to half its mommas weight six months later.
2011 May 27
The beef business hit some positive returns, according to the North Dakota Farm and Ranch Business Management Education Program (www.ndfarmmanagement. com) and FINBIN (www. finbin.umn.edu/) farm financial database from the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota.
2011 May 20
There has been a lot of talk about the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO, making a move over the past few weeks. The idea of the 105-year-old livestock show moving to a new location has been in the works for the past 10 years and it appears there is some real traction behind the effort. At the NWSS annual board
2011 May 20
Numbers are sketchy, but perhaps that remains at the heart of the many issues in the beef business. Granted, there are numbers by the truckload for markets and feedlots. These numbers are utilized daily and help guide those involved in some portions of the beef industry.
2011 May 20
Its not commonly known in all parts of the country, but yours truly takes photographs. Ive spent years chasing around the Pacific Northwest taking pictures of rural and agricultural people in all sorts of situationssome dire, others, proud and happy.
2011 May 13
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is an interesting organization. It seems that cattle people either love them, hate them, don’t trust them, or don’t care about them. I suppose that every trade group could be viewed this way because no one can agree on everything. Last week, I was following up on a story
2011 May 6
It has been interesting watching all the debate about the issues concerning the beef checkoff and the turf war between National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board over the past several months. The debate essentially revolves around NCBA handling most of the money and
2011 April 28
Cattle markets were a bit softer last week, but recovered somewhat by the week’s end. We’ve all been wondering when this market would get a bit softer and it looks like we’re starting to see it. We’re approaching the high-demand summer grilling season and slaughter rates should start to pick up and keep the larger cattle inventory moving, barring any
by WLJ
2011 April 22
There is an important task facing the beef industry in the months ahead. Convincing consumers to pay more for beef is going to be job one this summer. If you’ve been grocery shopping lately, you have probably noticed that people have become much more price-aware than at any time in the recent past. Consumers have been showing
2011 April 15
The bull sales have been awfully good this spring and there is a great deal of optimism in the cow/calf sector of this business. All classes of breeding stock are trading 30 percent higher than a year ago. Many of the bull sales are producing $500 to $800 more per bull than a year ago. Some outfits have seen their bull sale average
2011 April 7
Boxed beef may have peaked for a while at $191 two weeks ago; packers lost $5.60 per head on an average buy of $121.29 for last week’s purchases of cattle. Typically, we would see beef production slow down in response to a negative cut out value. However, packers processed an additional 8,000 head last
2011 March 31
It’s a perfect world when prices and production go up at the same time and that’s what we’re seeing in the cattle and meat business right now. Year-to-date beef production is up 1.1 percent from a year ago and prices are up some 30 percent. Unfortunately, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul in this situation because we certainly won’t have enough

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