Tag Archives: Beef

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released its proposal over the weekend for voluntary cattle market price discovery. In a letter to NCBA members, NCBA President Marty Smith says the proposal “lays out a plan to increase negotiated trade and incentivize each of the major packers’ participation in such negotiated trade.”

An NCBA working group came up with the report, “A Voluntary Framework to Achieve Price Discovery in the Fed Cattle Market.” The framework explains in detail what the organization calls the “75 Percent Plan,” which is designed to provide negotiated trade and packer participation benchmarks for the industry to strive toward.

Smith says the plan seeks to achieve no less than 75 percent of the weekly negotiated trade volume that current academic literature indicates is necessary for “robust” price discovery in a specific region, among other thresholds. In the event that defined triggers are tripped in any two out of four rolling quarters, the Subgroup will recommend that NCBA pursue a legislative or regulatory solution to compel robust price discovery.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Feed cost is often one of the most expensive inputs when trying to balance the beef cattle budget. To help reduce that expense, midwestern producers will sometimes look to alternative feed products such as wet corn gluten, corn dried distillers’ grain with solubles (DDGS) or soy hulls, to name a few.

“Often alternative feeds are a by-product of some other production system,” said Brad White, Kansas State University veterinarian and director of the Beef Cattle Institute. Factors to consider when looking to feed by-products was the topic of discussion on a recent BCI Cattle Chat podcast.

In the spring, some ethanol plants changed their production to COVID-19-related work such as producing industrial alcohol for hand-sanitizer leading, to a concern that typical feed alternatives for the fall would not be available or price competitive, according to Bob Weaber, K-State beef cattle extension specialist.

“Ethanol production has come back and it appears that there is availability and a reasonable cost structure in the marketplace for DDGS, so that is good news for cattle producers,” Weaber said.

When selecting the co-product to feed, veterinarian Bob Larson recommends producers look at their feeding mechanisms.

“A lot of these by-product feeds don’t flow well through the augers and chutes because some can be really dusty while others are wet,” Larson said. “They can also be harder to handle because wet products will have a shorter storage life and dry products tend to blow away more easily.”

Weaber added there can also be differences in the quality of the alternative feed depending on where it is sourced.

“Some plants will separate the oil fraction off the distillers’ products, impacting the energy content of the feedstuff, while there can also be a variation in the dry matter content,” Weaber said. For that reason, he advises producers obtain or conduct a nutrient analysis of the feedstuffs when possible.

Larson cautioned producers to look at their total feeding system or risk severe consequences.

“Some products have potential toxicities associated with them such as a high amount of sulfur in some distillers’ grains or corn gluten feed,” Larson said.

The experts agreed that the main motivation for considering alternative feed sources is price.

“Feeding co-products can be extra work and producers need to be aware of the potential for negative health outcomes, but if they can manage for those factors, alternative feeds can offer a price advantage helping to increase the profit margins,” White said.

To hear the full discussion on alternative feeds, listen to the BCI Cattle Chat podcast.

Doing right by their customers means raising the best cattle they can. For the Perrier family of Eureka, Kansas, that’s a philosophy, business model and family code all wrapped into one.

Matt, Amy and their children, along with his parents Tom and Carolyn Perrier operate Dalebanks Angus. The designation traces back to ancestors who kept a bit of their English heritage alive with their farm name when they settled the Kansas plains.

“Our breeding philosophies are generations deep,” Matt Perrier says. His great-grandpa saw these “unique” cattle at the American Royal in 1903, and brought the first Angus to their ranch the next year. Then his grandpa crafted a simple phrase, which the family has further distilled to the tagline for their whole program: “Practical, profitable genetics.”

The Perriers say strength in their customers’ bottom line means strength in their own, and profitability has to happen at every step along the beef chain.

Dalebanks Angus recently earned the 2020 Seedstock Commitment to Excellence Award from the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB®) brand.

 

Always improving

As a boy, Perrier remembers concerns with lower beef demand and a fledgling high-quality Angus beef brand. Anyone who thought CAB was a real target?

“They got laughed at,” he says. “When I see that logo, I see folks who believed there was a reason to breed cattle that met consumers’ demand. I see folks who shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘I don’t care that the rest of the industry is telling us to go the exact opposite way.’”

Yet, it took an entire shift in the industry before it made sense to everyone.

“We needed a way for cattle—that were more desirable for our consumer—to get rewarded for that kind of production. It wasn’t happening in the ’80s and early ’90s,” his father says. “Now it has accomplished what it set out to do…and I’m glad that we’ve been a little part of that.”

It’s one of the reasons his son carries on the tradition of keeping cattle consistent, moderate in size and balanced for all traits, while making improvements on multiple fronts.

“We know we could breed cattle that are fancier, but we also know through the centuries, our customers have looked to us, not just for prettier cattle or cattle that excel in one trait, but that are profitable for them,” Perrier says.

The sale book is full of cattle that bear the Targeting the Brand logo, signifying bulls with a higher likelihood of siring calves that reach 50% CAB brand acceptance or better. The 2019 book featured 109 bulls with the mark, or 73% of their offering.

“Hopefully that proves, even though we breed for bulls and females that are of exceptional maternal value, we’re making simultaneous improvement in both of those areas,” he says.

Perrier spent seven years as a Regional Manager and later Director of Commercial Programs for the American Angus Association and Tom served on the board in the ’80s—they both know programs only work with participants and advancements in breed only happen when the data informs tools.

“We still have to recognize that Mother Nature and the environment we’re in is either a pretty powerful ally or enemy,” Perrier says. “If we try to use technology and overcome her completely and feed our way out of ‘problem cattle’ to cover up an issue in the genetics that should have been allowed to show, then we get ourselves in trouble.”

So he’s honest with himself and the cattle are honest with him. They learn to walk to water and travel on the rocks and hills, or they don’t stay.

But the family that came back to the ranch? They’re here for the long haul.

“I watched my mom and dad fight through the ’80s and keep the thing together. I heard stories about my grandmother and others in the family keeping it together though the Depression and a couple of world wars and everything else,” Perrier says. “There was a certain amount of duty that I felt, that I had to make sure it didn’t end with my generation.”

Ava was a baby when they made the move back home. Now 17, she’s a big help on the ranch, along with her siblings Lyle (14), Hannah (11), Henry (9) and Hope (1½).

There’s plenty of opportunities for teaching and observing, both technical skill and the value of hard work. It’s proven a great place to learn about life.

“We try to be constant learners and get better every day in whatever we’re doing. With our faith, with our sports and activities, with our school and learning and with our work around here,” Perrier says. “We try to make ourselves and those around us better every day.”

            CAB recognized its 2020 honorees at the brand’s virtual annual conference on September 23 and 24.

Cash cattle to go higher

Box beef to go down

We might finally be caught up

Will we rally after October 1?

A little bit of sales earlier in the week

Big margins for the packers

LINCOLN, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) has released the findings and policy recommendations of its Cattle Markets Task Force. The task force was charged with examining current Farm Bureau policy, providing policy recommendations, and providing input on what NEFB’s role should be in addressing concerns regarding cattle markets.

“Nebraska’s cattle industry is the largest segment of Nebraska agriculture and it’s critical to the economic well-being of our state. Listening to the concerns of our cattle producers regarding the challenges in the beef industry, we felt it was vital that we put together a group to do a deep dive on the issues surrounding cattle markets and develop a resource to aid our members in developing our organizational policy,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

Over the course of five months, the NEFB Cattle Markets Task Force met online and in person with agriculture economists, cattle organizations, auction barn owners, feedlot managers, restaurant owners, and consultants in order to gain a better understanding of the entire beef supply chain and to develop recommendations for consideration by members as part of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s policy development process.

The group ultimately centered its work around six topics, including fed cattle markets, the Livestock Market Reporting Act, small and medium-sized packing facilities, beef packer market power, risk management and value-added programs, and mandatory country of origin labeling.

“The Nebraska Farm Bureau Cattle Markets Task Force members are to be commended for their work in giving careful and thoughtful consideration to many challenging issues facing the beef industry. We look forward to the delegate discussions on these issues during our annual meeting in December and subsequently the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in January where our official organizational policies will be determined,” said Nelson.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Cattle Markets Task Force report summarizing the group’s findings and recommendations is available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at www.nefb.org.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest approximately $39,380,000 into programs designed for beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing, and producer communications during the Fiscal Year 2021.

At the end of its September meeting, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee approved checkoff funding for a total of 13 “Authorization Requests,” also known as grant proposals, brought by nine contractors. Those nine contractors brought a total of more than $47,700,000 worth of funding requests to the BPOC, almost $8 million more than what’s available in the budget.

In the end, the BPOC approved proposals from eight national beef organizations for funding through the FY 21 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows:
  • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture – $670,996
  • Cattlemen’s Beef Board – $1,689,915
  • Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education – $646,144
  • Meat Import Council of America / Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative – $497,037
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – $26,442,207
  • National Institute for Animal Agriculture – $89,466
  • North American Meat Institute – $994,068
  • United States Meat Export Federation – $8,350,170
Broken out by budget component – as outlined by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 – the Fiscal Year 2021 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board budget includes:
  • $9.8 million for promotion programs, including continuation of the checkoff’s consumer digital advertising program, as well as veal promotion
  • $8.9 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including pre- and post-harvest beef safety research, product quality research, human nutrition research and scientific affairs, market research, and beef and culinary innovations
  • $7.3 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative; national consumer public relations, including nutrition-influencer relations and work with primary- and secondary-school curriculum directors nationwide to get accurate information about the beef industry into classrooms of today’s youth
  • $3.3 million for industry information programs, comprising dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, as well as funding for checkoff participation in a fifth annual national industrywide symposium focused on discussion and dissemination of information about antibiotic use
  • $8.4 million for foreign marketing and education in 80 countries in the following regions: ASEAN region, Caribbean, Central America/Dominican Republic, China/Hong Kong, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Middle East, Russia/Greater Russian Region, South America, Taiwan and new markets
  • $1.7 million for producer communications, which includes investor outreach using national communications and direct communications to producers and importers about checkoff results, as well as development and utilization of a publishing strategy and platform and a state beef council content hub.

 

“Producers drive all the decisions that the BPOC makes during these meetings,” says CBB and BPOC Chair Jared Brackett. “Cattlemen and women from across the country and importers carefully consider every proposal to determine where we should send these checkoff dollars.”

With every decision they make, Brackett says the members’ main goal is to increase beef demand. The committee consists of ten producers from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils.