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

Steve Kay, Contributing Columnist

Opinion
Jan 4, 2013
It’s startling to realize that the U.S. has lost 14.5 million cattle since 1996. The beef industry has adjusted to the loss of these millions of cattle, notably by improving productivity per animal, better red meat yields and record heavy carcass weights for steers and heifers.
Opinion
Dec 1, 2012
The U.S. faces a beef “deficit” in the coming year that will challenge every sector of the beef industry. I use the term “deficit” in that per capita beef consumption will decline relative to how much beef people would like to eat. USDA’s latest forecast is for available beef supplies in 2013 to be 54.
Opinion
Nov 2, 2012
Much has already been written about the impact of the 2010-2011 Texas/Oklahoma-based drought and this year’s most widespread drought in 59-plus years. Drought has forced cow/calf operators to cull cows, retain fewer heifers than expected, and thus reduce their herds for another year.
Opinion
Aug 31, 2012
When I first started w r i t i n g about the beef industry 25 years ago, it was fashionable for cattle producers to regard beef processors as “the enemy.” They decried packers for their perceived market power and that they made millions of dollars per year.
Opinion
Aug 10, 2012
Beef producers face the most widespread drought in their lifetimes. This means their drought management options are fewer than in years when droughts might have been just as severe but much more local. Take the historic Texas-Oklahoma drought that finally broke this spring.
Opinion
Jul 6, 2012
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.
Opinion
Jun 1, 2012
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.
Opinion
May 4, 2012
How much Americans spend on beef and how much they buy is how the industry determines domestic beef demand. Because all wealth to the industry comes from consumers, demand trumps everything else. This will be especially important the next two months as supplies of market-ready cattle start to increase seasonally.
Opinion
Mar 30, 2012
The gutter press appears to be alive and well in America. How else can one describe the appalling media disparagement of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and Beef Products, Inc., (BPI) one of the two companies that make it? I’m not a conspiracy theorist.
News
Mar 2, 2012
I ’ m a great fan of Costco, especially the way the warehouse chain sells beef. From the moment I see the giant “USDA Choice” banner above its fresh meat case, my pulse quickens as I anticipate finding a great beef deal. True to form, a visit last week produced not one but two terrific buys (although one wasn’t in the fresh case).
News
Feb 3, 2012
Industry leaders have rightly focused on the shrinking U.S. cattle herd as one of the industry’s biggest issues. While a smaller herd means higher prices for cow/calf producers, it means small or negative margins for everyone else in the beef chain. And it’s not healthy for only one sector to be making money.
News
Dec 30, 2011
Cattle producers the world over are great survivors. The beef industries in most of the major beef-producing countries have endured everything from BSE to drought to floods in the past decade. These and other calamities forced some producers out of the business.
News
Dec 2, 2011
Food safety is the beef industry’s second most critical issue after demand. In fact, the two are inter-connected. So no one will quibble with the need to spend whatever it takes to make beef as safe as possible. But an examination of the years after the Jack-in- Box E.
News
Nov 4, 2011
Americans still love their beef. But they’re not eating anywhere near as much as their parents. This seems a contradiction, but the dramatic decline in per capita beef consumption over the last 35 years has little to do with preference. It’s all about available supplies.
News
Sep 30, 2011
This should be the best of times for beef producers. National herd numbers have fallen each of the past four years, yet domestic and global beef demand has improved steadily since the end of the 2008 recession. The U.S. has reclaimed its position as the world's leading beef exporter.
Opinion
Sep 2, 2011
Cow/calf producers and stocker operators in western and northern states are enjoying one of their best grass seasons for some years. Contrast this with the dire conditions in Texas, Oklahoma, parts of surrounding states and all the way to Florida.
Opinion
Jul 29, 2011
Although we export only 12-14 percent of our production, strong global demand has raised beef prices and has partially offset spluttering demand at home. Exports have significantly raised cattle values. The export boom is adding more than $200 per head to the value of fed cattle.
Opinion
Jul 1, 2011
I recently had the privilege of addressing California beef producers at their midyear meeting. The state has had one of its best spring grass seasons in years, so everyone had a smile on his or her face. I hope what I told them made them feel even better.