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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TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE SHRINK WHEN WORKING CATTLE
One of the largest overlooked costs for stockmen when selling cattle is shrink. For example, if you are taking calves to a feeder calf sale, to be weighed off the truck and a two percent pencil shrink taken, those calves may have already lost six percent or more of their weight just getting them to market, resulting in at least eight percent shrink deducted from your paycheck.
BE PREPARED TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL CALVING SEASON
The fall calving season has kicked off, but are you really prepared for it? Here are a few of the important things to have handy for a successful calving season.
RESEARCHERS STUDY GENES TO ASSIST IN CATTLE BREEDING
Beef cattle selection may soon be as easy as looking at a cow's genes.
FOCUS ON GOOD MANAGEMENT OF A.I. PROGRAMS
The use of artificial insemination in beef cow operations has never reached anywhere near the acceptance of that of the dairy industry. The reasons for this bear discussion as they typically relate to many of the problems we encounter with A.I. in beef herds.
COMPOSITE BULLS HAVE BECOME POPULAR IN SOME AREAS
Heterosis (hybrid vigor) has proven its value in many agricultural sectorswhether production of hybrid corn, hogs or beef. There are three kinds of heterosis; individual (the calf), maternal, and paternal. Of the three, paternal heterosis has had the least attention.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT - SHRINKING HAY LOSSES
Expanding beef production and looming increased calf numbers continue to pressure cattle prices lower, further and faster than many expected.
LOOK AT ALTERNATIVES THAT CAN REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC DEPENDENCE
The handwriting on the wall has become pretty clear. Justified or not, the use of antibiotics in managing the beef animal, at any stage of production, is becoming more challenging.
IT'S THE PITTS -- YOU NEVER KNOW
The bull business is very competitive and purebred people play to win. Because there's a limited number of buyers, breeders spend a fortune on color ads and hire their own field men to exhort ranchers to come to their sale. I knew one breeder who passed out a hundred dollar bill for every bull a ranch manager bought, and once I even saw a bull breeder buy the county fair show steer that belonged to the granddaughter of a large rancher hoping it would pay off.
MAKE A GOOD INVESTMENT WHEN BUYING BULLS
Are you sifting through stacks of bull sale catalogs looking for your next bull? While bull selection can be a daunting task, your choice will impact your herd for years to come. Thus, taking some time to think about what you need from your next herd sire is important.
ADVANCEMENTS IN EPDS IMPROVE ACCURACY
It was about 40 years ago that the beef industry was introduced to the Expected Progeny Difference (EPD). In the early days, data were limited and based on comparisons with a few reference sires used in designed programs. There has been much progress in the methods used to calculate EPDs, and today most breed associations provide EPDs on all animals in the breed. After 40 years, there is still confusion over how to use these tools.
ANNUAL FOOD PLOTS PROVIDE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
When planting wildlife food plots, which is better: annuals or perennials? Ideally, you should have different plots designated for both cool- and warm-season annuals, as well as perennials.
PLAN VACCINATION PROGRAM BEFORE BREEDING SEASON
Some diseases affect reproduction, in bulls as well as in cows. It's best to try to prevent these diseases by making sure the cows and bulls have adequate immunity before breeding season.
18TH HERDBUILDER REPLACEMENT FEMALE SALE AVERAGES $2,086
The 18th Annual Herdbuilder Replacement Female Sale was held August 26th at Alabama Livestock Auction in Uniontown, Ala.
BREEDING SOUNDNESS EXAM CAN PREVENT FINANCIAL WRECK
The importance of a breeding soundness exam in herd bulls can prevent costly revenue losses, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.
S.E. BRANGUS FIELD DAY HELD IN GEORGIA
The International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA) was represented by five staff members at the Southeastern Brangus Field Day, on Thursday, August 11 through Saturday, August 13, in Grantville, Georgia.