Home / Articles / by Steve Kay, Contributing Columnist
Search: in Authors List
 

Steve Kay, Contributing Columnist

Opinion
Sep 2, 2016
Labor Day historically marks the start of the transition for beef from the summer grilling season to the Christmas holiday season. So it’s instructive to look back as well as forward to see how beef has performed and might fare the rest of the year. The latter will be crucial for the direction of live cattle prices the rest of the year.

Opinion
Jul 29, 2016
Upper Iowa Beef in Lime Springs designed a traceability system that would allow consumers who bought its beef in a retail store or ordered it in a restaurant to use their smart phones to scan a QR (Quick Response) code to find out about the beef’s origins.
Opinion
Jul 1, 2016
The aberrant behavior of the futures m a r k e t continues to play havoc with the live cattle market and cattle feeders’ ability to hedge cattle. Its irrationality and volatility have caused producers to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in the past 18 months.


Opinion
Jun 3, 2016
The second most important holiday week/weekend for retail beef sales is now behind us. But how sales went over the Memorial Day week will be vital for the wholesale beef and live cattle markets this month. Retail sales over the holiday week last year were a bust.


Opinion
Apr 29, 2016
They must also be clearly and fairly regulated by a body outside the industry that produces those goods. Only then can market participants trust that the market mechanisms are working properly and not, even unwittingly, favoring one group over another.


Opinion
Apr 4, 2016
The result was The Strategic Alliances Field Study, published in August 1993. This seminal work laid the foundation for the valuebased marketing of fed cattle. At the time though, such was the outrage at the suggestion of producers working with packers that one would have thought NCA had signed a pact with the Devil.
Opinion
Jan 4, 2016
This past year taught the beef industry some painful lessons. Cattle feeders discovered that the money always runs out before the cattle. Risk managers realized that market volatility can wreck the best hedging plans. Cattle feeders and packers realized that the shrinking cash live cattle market demands urgent action or it will disappear.


Opinion
Dec 4, 2015
I was talking with a California cattle feeder last week and asked him how he prices his cattle. “Off the Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico market” was his reply. Then he added that the prior week, the price was based on cash or negotiated grid sales of less than 250 head.


Opinion
Oct 30, 2015
Close your eyes and imagine this scene. Prehistoric man has just discovered how to make fire. As the flames flicker, he accidentally drops into the fire the raw meat of a creature he was gnawing on. It takes him a few minutes to retrieve the meat. Then he starts eating again and lets out a roar.


Opinion
Oct 2, 2015
Cattle feeders came into 2015 knowing the year would be completely different from the previous 18 months. After all, it’s in the nature of cattle feeding to go from boom to bust in terms of feeding profits. But the speed with which this occurred took many by surprise.


Opinion
Sep 4, 2015
USDA currently forecasts that beef production next year will total 24.835 billion pounds, up 4.5 percent or just over one billion pounds from this year. That’s quite a hefty year-on-year increase, which will bring the total back above the 2014 total. USDA also forecasts that exports next year will increase slightly and imports will decline sharply.


Opinion
Jul 31, 2015
Back in the early 2000s , when the battle to introduce mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) was raging, California rancher Carolyn Carey quietly took the issue into her own hands. Rather than supporting mandatory COOL, she introduced a “Born and Raised in the USA” program and label that was approved for most meat and poultry species.



Opinion
Jul 2, 2015
Who would have believed the discovery of live cattle prices would change so much in a decade? Or that the public cries in the 1990s over “captive supply” would be replaced by a public silence about the disappearing cash market and the preponderance...


Opinion
May 29, 2015
All wealth to the industry comes from consumers so it’s important to monitor retail and foodservice beef sales. There are divergent feelings among analysts about whether beef demand has gotten stronger or weaker in the past year, and I’ll leave it to them to fight it out.


Opinion
May 1, 2015
The grilling season has finally begun and the beef industry is cautiously optimistic that Americans will show their love of a good steak. But how much beef gets put on the grill this month will depend on two factors: how aggressively retailers want to build their beef sales; and what consumers are willing to keep paying for beef throughout the month.


Opinion
Apr 3, 2015
One look at annual cattle feeding returns since 1975 would make one wonder why anyone would want to feed cattle or own a feedlot. On the surface, the numbers suggest only 17 profitable years and 23 loss years. But the numbers (from the Livestock Marketing Information Center; LMIC) are averages based on a 750-pound steer fed on the Southern Plains.
Opinion
Apr 3, 2015
One look at annual cattle feeding returns since 1975 would make one wonder why anyone would want to feed cattle or own a feedlot. On the surface, the numbers suggest only 17 profitable years and 23 loss years. But the numbers (from the Livestock Marketing Information Center; LMIC) are averages based on a 750-pound steer fed on the Southern Plains.
Opinion
Mar 3, 2015
Cattle producers, from the ranch to the feedlot, continue to focus on producing the highest quality cattle they can. That’s because they know that producing the finest grain-fed beef in the world is the big advantage the U.S. has over every other beef producing nation.
Opinion
Mar 3, 2015
Cattle producers, from the ranch to the feedlot, continue to focus on producing the highest quality cattle they can. That’s because they know that producing the finest grain-fed beef in the world is the big advantage the U.S. has over every other beef producing nation.


Sales Calendar


Goto live view to see the calendar