Tag Archives: Beef

U.S. beef exports posted one of the best months on record in November, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. November was also a strong month for pork exports, which already surpassed the full-year volume and value records set in 2019.

November beef exports totaled 115,300 metric tons, up six percent from a year ago and the largest since July 2019. Export value climbed eight percent year-over-year to $707.5 million. November beef muscle cut exports were the third largest on record at 91,300 metric tons, valued at $630 million.

November pork export volume was steady year-over-year at 258,800 metric tons, with value down two percent to $697.5 million. Although China/Hong Kong remained the largest destination for U.S. pork in November, momentum continued to build in other markets, including Japan, Mexico and Central America.

January-November pork exports set new annual records for both volume and value. Pork muscle cut exports also shattered previous annual records, increasing 18 percent year-over-year to 2.29 million metric tons, valued at $6 billion.

A five-part mini-documentary series on raising cattle in America begins on Sunday, January third, and a new episode will debut every Sunday night in January. The series is called “A Rare Breed: Legacies of Excellence,” and it will launch on the Certified Angus Beef Brand Cattlemen Connection YouTube channel.

The new segments premiere at 6 p.m. central time on Sunday nights. Interested people can follow along as the short videos introduce registered cattle breeders, commercial cattlemen, and cattle feeders from Oregon to Texas. It’s a chance to glimpse a little of their family life and cattle philosophy, as well as get new ideas for your operations.

“As we visit with some good cattlemen and women across the country, we often think ‘I wish everyone could see this or hear that,’” says Miranda Reiman, director of producer communications for the Brand. “We get to know their history, their cattle, and their drive, and we hope others will find them to be as entertaining and inspiring as we did.”

To watch the series, people can follow the CAB Cattlemen Connection channels on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, or go to www.CABcattle.com. Families from Kansas, Idaho, Texas, Nebraska, and Oregon make up the January lineup.

A new analysis of independent data for November shows that reported new COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers were more than eight times lower than the general population.

Data from the Food and Environment Reporting Network says the meat and poultry sector reported an average of 5.57 new cases per 10,000 workers daily in November. Infection rates among meat and poultry workers have declined steeply in the last six months while surging across the U.S. The New York Times reports that during the same period, the average new case rate for the U.S. population was 45.36 cases per 100,000 people per day.

The analysis follows a Centers for Disease Control decision this month to prioritize vaccinating frontline meat and poultry workers. Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts says, “This new analysis is encouraging evidence that the more than $1.5 billion in comprehensive protections implemented since the spring have reversed the pandemic’s impact on the selfless men and women who keep America’s refrigerators full and the farm economy working throughout COVID-19.”

This weeks Cattle Call with Brad Kooima talks on the formula price for the cattle market, mid-week movement of bigger cattle & is it a push to year end. We saw boxed beef below 210. Without Christmas gatherings like in years past, what concern does that bring to the market? We also have a cattle on feed report out on Friday.




On December 7, R-CALF USA submitted a motion to file a friend-of-the-court brief and a brief to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to prevent the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) from being interpreted to govern both beef labeling and beef advertising, which the ranch group says would severely limit state’s rights.

According to the ranch group, the FMIA governs beef labeling, not beef advertising. “Our goal is to prevent the court from inadvertently expanding the scope of the FMIA to include advertising, which would render any future claims against the false advertisement of domestic or imported beef all but impossible,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard.

Bullard said the risk of expanding the scope of the FMIA to include advertising claims arose in lawsuits filed earlier this year by New Mexico rancher Michael Lucero and New Mexico consumer Robin Thornton, who each alleged the Big 4 beef packers had violated New Mexico’s Unfair Practices Act by mislabeling beef as a product of the USA when the beef was actually derived from imported cattle.

A federal district court in New Mexico recently dismissed the two lawsuits on grounds that the FMIA administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) preempts any state law that attempts to require labels or advertisements that are different than the labels approved by the USDA.

The court noted that the USDA regulations allow the use of a “Product of USA” label on beef even if the beef is derived from imported cattle. The court determined that because the packers were labeling and advertising beef according to the USDA’s labeling standard, and because federal law preempts states from both labeling or advertising beef in a different manner, the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act did not apply.

On December 1, Lucero and Thornton appealed the dismissal of their cases to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

When R-CALF USA reviewed the dismissal order, it realized something was amiss in the legal interpretation of the FMIA. Although the court ruled that state laws for both the labeling and advertising of beef were preempted by the FMIA, the FMIA does not speak to advertising.

R-CALF USA’s brief focuses on this specific issue and urges the appellate court to reverse the lower court’s inclusion of false or misleading advertisements as falling within the scope of the FMIA.

National legal advocacy organization Public Justice joined R-CALF USA on the brief out of similar concerns. David Muraskin, Litigation Director for Public Justice’s Food Project explained, “a ruling that advertising claims are preempted by the FMIA would take away an important tool consumers use to ensure corporate meat producers do not mislead the public about their products.”

In 2017 R-CALF USA filed a somewhat similar case but alleged instead that USDA violated the FMIA by allowing beef from cattle slaughtered in a foreign country to be labeled as a product of the USA. While the court found that U.S. cattle producers were harmed by the repeal of the mandatory country of origin labeling law (mCOOL), which triggered the agency’s reimplementation of the challenged labeling standard, it disagreed that USDA was operating outside the scope of the FMIA. The court concluded that because the USDA labeling regulations followed Congress’ clear intent, it is Congress and not the court that possesses the authority to change USDA’s labeling scheme.

“This ruling prompted us to draft proposed legislation for a new mandatory COOL law for beef, which we have distributed to several members of Congress in both the House and Senate,” said Bullard adding, “What we don’t want is for the court to establish a legal precedent that would bar us from enforcing false beef advertisements on into the future.”

MANHATTAN, Kan. — In the midst of the holiday season and the increased access to sweets, many people may be observing a less than ideal change in their personal body conditions.

While people may strive for a skinnier physique, holding a thin body condition over the winter may create deficits for cattle heading into calving season, said the experts at Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute on a recent Cattle Chat podcast.

“Thin cows have a higher maintenance requirement in the winter than cows in adequate condition because they have to work harder to stay warm,” said Bob Weaber, beef cattle specialist and podcast contributor.

To assess the herd, veterinarian Bob Larson suggests ranchers periodically check them and even take pictures of the herd to help monitor changes over time.

“In any group, I expect some variation in the condition, but ideally I want almost all the cows to be in a moderate body condition,” Larson said. “And if they are, then I know that I am managing the group pretty well.”

Larson said if cattle ranchers notice that there are thin cows in the herd, they may need to evaluate the situation further to see if there is a pattern tied to their age or access to feed.

“The number of cows in the herd will creep up if, for example, they are getting pushed out of the feed bunk and not getting the protein supplementation they need,” Larson said.

The experts agree that two feet of bunk space per head is a minimum amount of space needed.

“If you only allocate a foot and a half on a single-sided feed bunk, the big cows will push out the thinner, smaller cows that really need the feed,” Weaber said. He prefers to place the feed bunk in the middle of the pasture so cattle can access the feed from both sides.

Larson added that the amount of bunk space needed will depend on the type of feed provided and how quickly the cattle consume it.

“Big cubes fed on the ground will allow the cattle to have easy access because you can spread it out, but there is more feed waste and sanitation issues that come with that strategy,” veterinarian Brad White said.

Once producers determine why some of the cows are thin, they may need to make culling decisions or form a plan to add condition back on the cows, according to Weaber.

“Identify the commonalities of the problem animals and that will determine the best management strategies to fix it, as well as knowledge for the future,” Weaber said.

White suggested producers look at ways to segregate the thin cows.

“Grouping the thin cows together can be a powerful tool in giving them the extra feed they need ahead of calving season,” White said. The challenge, he added, may lie in where they are located and the ease of separating them for feeding.

Larson said it is important to consider where the cow is in the pregnancy when coming up with the supplementation plan.

“Right now, spring calving cows are midway through their pregnancies and the calves are not pulling that much nutrient demand from them, but as they get closer to calving that demand goes up significantly,” Larson said.

He added: “The cow’s maintenance cost is the lowest it is going to be right now and that makes it a good time to put some weight on her rather than waiting to do it later.”

Weaber advised producers to calculate the days to calving when figuring out the gain needed.

White gave an example: “If I have 100 days, I could target the cows to gain two pounds per day. That will give them about 200 pounds of gain.”

The bottom line, White said, is to “do the math for your herd and then figure out if it is just a couple individuals that need to gain weight or the entire group, because that answer will drastically change the decision you make and what options are available.”

To hear more of the discussion about managing thin cows, listen in to the Cattle Chat podcast online.