BEEF bits

Aug 20, 2010
by WLJ

Charolais excel feedlot test

The Charolais breed is known for their exceptional carcass characteristics. It was recently proven at the 28th Annual Sandhills Cattle Association Educational, Performance & Carcass Contest. Last fall, 190 head of cattle representing numerous breeds and cross breds were started on feed at Cottonwood Feeders LLC of Stuart, NE. There were 50 head of heifers and 140 head of steers in the feeding contest. Registered Charolais breeder Ibach Quarter Circle Ranch of Ansley, NE, entered both steers and heif- ers in this feeding contest and ended up with very positive results, garnering the following awards: first place in the carcass division of heifers out of 50 head of heifers. first place in the best of three head carcass division out of 190 head; second place in Carcass Division of Steers out of 140 steers.

Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit

The next Oklahoma Beef Quality Summit classes are scheduled for Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 27-29, and Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) campus in Stillwater, OK. The program begins at 4:00 pm on the first day and concludes at 1:00 pm the last day. Using the National Beef Quality Audit as the foundation, the Beef Quality Summit course offers participants the opportunity to see the causes and results of quality challenges facing the beef industry. Summit attendees, from ranchers to processors, evaluate live cattle in an effort to predict quality and yield and then follow the cattle through the harvest and grading process. As an attendee, you will actually fabricate a beef carcass into wholesale meat cuts. If you haven’t been to this outstanding educational event hosted by the Oklahoma Beef Council, OSU, and the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agriculture Product Center, now is the time to do so. Registration is free for cattlemen. For more information, visit or call the Oklahoma Beef Council at 405/840-3777.

Cargill posts profit

Cargill reported net earnings of $691 million in the fiscal 2010 fourth quarter, ended May 31, compared with $327 million in the same period a year ago, on revenues of $28.1 billion, an 11 percent increase from the year-ago period. The privately-held food giant said excluding earnings from its majority investment in The Mosaic Company, fourth-quarter earnings rose 87 percent to $433 million. For the full fiscal year, Cargill earned $2.6 billion, a 22 percent decrease from $3.33 billion in the prior year. Excluding Mosaic, Cargill’s earnings rose 14 percent to $2.07 billion. Full-year revenues were $107.9 billion compared with $115.1 billion a year ago. Cash flow from operations was $4.6 billion compared with last year’s $6.7 billion.

Canadian packer closes plant

XL Foods announced last week that it is closing its beef packing plant in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, which has been shuttered since March of last year. The move will take effect within 90 days. The company said in April 2009 that it would temporarily halt production at the plant as a result of dwindling cattle supplies in the region and ongoing labor problems stemming from a contract dispute with union employees at the plant. “The market conditions and the fact that we cannot get a viable collective bargaining agreement to allow us to operate the facility have caused us to make this decision,” XL Chief Executive Officer Brian Nilsson said in a statement.

JBS profits fall

JBS S.A. said last week that its second quarter net profits fell to $2.09 million U.S. compared to $70.5 million U.S. in the same quarter last year despite rising revenues. “Net income was not where I would have liked it to be,” said JBS CEO Joesley Mendonca Batista in a statement accompanying the results. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 163 percent compared to last year’s second quarter to reach $560 million. For JBS USA Beef (including Australia), net sales increased 15 percent from the year ago quarter to $3.33 billion, reflecting a 3 percent increase in volume and a 12 percent increase in prices, despite a 17 percent appreciation of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar. EBITDA increased 86 percent to $195 million in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.

USDA cuts meat production estimate

USDA slightly reduced its U.S. meat production forecasts for 2010 and 2011 from a month ago, but left price forecasts largely unchanged in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. Beef production for 2010 was reduced on slightly lower estimated second quarter output and expected lighter average carcass weights in the third quarter that more than offset slightly higher slaughter. For 2011, beef production is unchanged but is shifted between quarters as more cattle are expected to be marketed in the first part of the year. Beef imports were raised for 2010 based on the current pace of imports and weakening domestic cow slaughter. Pork production in late 2010 and 2011 was reduced on lower expected imports of live swine from Canada.