The Kansas beef industry represents a major economic activity in the
Kansas economy. In terms of gross cash receipts, the $4.07 billion of
cattle marketings represents 58 percent of all agricultural marketings
and 89 percent of livestock and poultry marketings for the most currently
available year. These percentages have remained relatively stable over
the past decade as crop prices and production levels in Kansas have
not fluctuated very dramatically. In recent years, levels of profitability
in the Kansas agricultural economy have been directly related to performance
in the livestock sector.
Although the beef feedlot industry is continuing to consolidate into
fewer and larger operations, the cow-calf sector remains quite dispersed.
The cow herd tends to locate near the low cost forages. The larger supplies
and lower prices associated with the cattle cycle point to a period
in which the less efficient producers may not survive and more efficient
operations will dominate the industry. While many inputs (feed, labor,
utilities, trucking, etc.) will still be provided locally, less will
be needed per unit of output. Because cattle production units will be
larger on average than they are today, total economic activity may remain
stable or increase for regions that have production units.
The beef industry is also slowly transforming from a commodity to
a production orientation with increased interest in value based marketing
and retained ownership. These trends will place greater value on superior
cattle and on information systems that will accurately relate value
through the marketing channel. New products will have to meet the requirements
for fresh, processed, HRI (Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutions), retail,
and international markets. As a result, the different segments of the
marketing channel will communicate more closely with one another. This
communication, either formal via specification contracts or informal,
will coordinate to deliver cattle with specific characteristics for
a given product line and synchronize production flow to more efficiently
utilize processing capacity. The additional handling and processing
associated with these new markets will mean additional value-added jobs
in Kansas' agri- industries.
The beef industry is also quickly evolving to an integrated forage
and beef system approach to production. Once the market place identifies
the genetic characteristics of cattle to fill a particular market niche,
the genetics will determine the needed nutrition, grazing and feeding
program. Using this system approach to beef production, Kansas producers
will remain competitive in the cattle industry and the global protein
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EARLY WEANING BENEFITS FIRST-CALF COWS
Summer heat can be hard on pastures, cows and calves, especially first-calf cows. These cows are in a special class as they are still trying to maintain body condition, actively grow, support reproduction by gestating with her second calf, and lactating.
PRODUCT HANDLING IS CRITICAL TO HERD HEALTH SUCCESS
The cow-calf production unit is the basis for the entire beef industry. The production of quality calves requires strict attention to the health of all calves, cows and bulls in the facility.
HYDRAULIC CALF TABLES MAKE LIVESTOCK HANDLING EASIER
Chutes and calf tables have made livestock handling easieron the animals, and for the people doing the job, whether branding, castrating, dehorning, implanting calves, etc.
IT'S THE PITTS -- RATTLED
Despite having lived in, or near, rattlesnake country my entire life I've never known anyone who actually got bit by one, let alone got bit and lived to tell the tale. Until now, that is.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE BUYING BULLS
As the bull-buying season gets underway, commercial cattlemen should do their homework to help ensure the bull(s) they purchase this year meet their needs.
PREWEANING CALF MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ADD VALUE TO FEEDERS
The concept of a value added calf (VAC) program is not new today, but in the late 1980's it was thought to have little value in some circles.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- NO WORSTER
LeRoy was ancient. The lines in his face looked deep enough to hide in. His hair, mostly silver now, was still thick; his black eyes continued to sparkle with mischief.
DO HOMEWORK BEFORE HEADING INTO BULL BUYING SEASON
When it comes to genetics, bull selection is the most important decision the cow-calf producer has to make.
BLACK INK -- WEIGHING PREVENTION
Sometimes it only takes a couple of 2-cc subcutaneous shots to head off problems down the line. Sometimes it takes a few tons of steel, careful planning and focused construction.
WEANING IS CRITICAL TIME IN CALF'S LIFE
As we enter the fall months, weaning time is at hand for most spring calving herds. This is the exciting time of year when producers are able to reap the benefits of a year's worth of work and planning.
FALL CALVING SEASON MAY YIELD HIGHER RETURNS FOR S.E. PRODUCERS
The vast majority of cow-calf producers in Tennessee and the Southeast using a defined calving season have long favored spring calving; however, researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have evaluated the risk and returns for a fall calving season, proving once again that timing is everything.
HAVING A VACCINATION PLAN IS IMPORTANT TO HERD HEALTH
To begin, I do not believe it is appropriate to recommend "cookie cutter" vaccination programs. Your vaccine program must be developed with your risks and expectations in mind.
PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS TO KEEP COWS PREGNANT
Getting cows bred is only part of the story. Keeping them bred, especially through the summer months, also takes attention to detail.
START PLANNING FOR HEIFER DEVELOPMENT
Even in this current, somewhat depressed, cattle market, replacement females for the Florida commercial cow herd are an annual expense of approximately $400 million. Development and selection of the best females to join a productive herd is one of the most challenging aspects of a beef operation, and two of the keys for success, not surprisingly, are: 1) start early and 2) have a plan. Weaning time is not far off.
HAVE A PLAN WHEN MAKING CULLING DECISIONS
When culling cows, it is important to have a plan, and this should include pregnancy testing and closely evaluating every cow.