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Livestock Industry Opinions

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
2011 March 25
It’s starting to appear that some ranches are thinking about expanding their herds. If individual production sales are any indication of herd expansion, then it’s starting to happen. Our team of field men have been busy attending the sales and most of the road talk isn’t about what someone’s bulls averaged or the
by WLJ
2011 March 18
Whether or not we think we might need a National Animal Identification System (NAIS), it seems government officials are determined to give us one. For years after the first U.S. case of BSE, it appeared the livestock industry was on the path to some sort of voluntary NAIS program. Despite the fact that most
2011 March 11
Fed cattle markets have .been trading for over $1 for 13 weeks. Cash fed cattle traded between $117-119 live and $190 in northern Plains dressed trade last week. It’s hard to imagine this market trading much higher, but all the signals point to a higher market this fall. Trading cattle at this level looks
2011 March 3
The ethanol business has been a burr under the saddle of livestock producers ever since the government made the decision to pursue biofuels. The corn markets have been good for the farming business, but not livestock feeding. It’s an interesting relationship since many folks raise both. The current spending
2011 February 25
Fed cattle markets remain extremely good. I’ve lost track of how many weeks fed cattle have traded for over $100. The market has been so good that it has a lot of folks perplexed. The cash market traded at $109-$110 two weeks ago and was expected to trade a couple dollars higher last
2011 February 18
Looking ahead, we have August feeder cattle futures showing us $133.45 last Thursday, a new contract high. Fall cattle prices are as strong as ever and it forces me to ask the question: How many ranchers will sell in the fall on the cash market? I still contend that there are more reasons for the market to go down

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