Tag Archives: livestock

Thursday brought about another strong day of gains in the grain market. Soybeans continue to hold well over the $10 mark. Looking at a continuous chart that puts soybeans back towards highs not seen since early 2018 before the US China trade war kicked off. Kyle Bumsted with Allendale Inc. believes this now give farmers a unique opportunity to go back and visit their marketing strategy. 2019 has been a year that farmers have seen plenty of government payments, but now the market seems to be giving opportunity to market at a profitable level.

Bumsted also gives strong insight into why the feeder cattle corn spread may be nearing it’s useful end. Rather feeders are looking at the cash difference between the fats getting on the truck and the lightweights coming off the truck. Finally there is the lean hog market that really caught fire on Thursday. Could it be starting to get top heavy or is there more room to go higher?

You can hear all of Bumstead’s comments here:

Performance Livestock Analytics, a part of Zoetis, today welcomed U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig for a site visit in Ames, Iowa. Leaders from Performance Livestock Analytics and Zoetis participated in an outdoor event to discuss and demonstrate the value of digital innovation and data analytics to improve the health of animals and sustainability of livestock operations. The visit was part of a tour hosted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship.

Dane Kuper, co-founder of Performance Livestock Analytics and global Performance Beef strategy and platform lead at Zoetis, and Dustin Balsley, co-founder of Performance Livestock Analytics and global Performance Beef product lead at Zoetis, demonstrated how Performance Beef combines cloud-based technology with automated on-farm data collection to provide powerful analytics that help cattle producers make better decisions across financials, nutrition and animal health. The new animal health component of the software was showcased, providing a view of how the digital tool helps producers easily track and monitor health data by group or individual animal to make better data-driven decisions related to the diagnosis and treatment.

Scott McGregor, a fourth-generation cattle producer from Nashua, Iowa, also participated in the event and shared his perspective on the importance of innovative technologies to improve livestock operations’ efficiency. “Performance Beef does the work for us. It’s adaptable and easy to use, automating data entry. Over the three years I’ve been using Performance Beef, it has helped me make better nutrition and inventory decisions. I am instantly tracking how the cattle are doing,” said McGregor.

“We’ve changed how livestock producers manage their business,” said Kuper. “The real-time data at their fingertips allows them to be more proactive, efficient and accurate.”

A growing segment of livestock producers are adopting Performance Beef and relying on their smart phones or tablets every day to make decisions. Technology like this requires enhanced rural broadband access to deliver real-time data without delay. “For connected devices, a stronger rural broadband connection means quicker response and a seamless experience for the user,” said Kuper.

“At Zoetis, we’re committed to providing technology and data analytics tools to help livestock producers and veterinarians solve animal health and welfare, productivity, and sustainability challenges,” said Tim Bettington, executive vice president and president of U.S. Operations for Zoetis. “To meet these challenges, we appreciate the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s commitment to enhancing rural broadband capabilities, strengthening livestock disease prevention measures, and advancing trade opportunities.”

TOPEKA, Kan. — In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Task Force has approved more than $130 million in relief funding for economic development and connectivity in the state. These federally provided dollars are being awarded in the form of grants to eligible businesses through the Kansas Department of Commerce. Two of these grant programs may be of interest to KLA members.

The Securing Local Food Systems grant program was created to support small meat processing facilities, food processors, food banks, local direct-to-consumer producers and retail outlets to address supply chain disruptions as a result of the pandemic. The program is based on the need to increase capacity of local food systems. Specifically, small meat processors can apply for a grant to fund expansion of cold storage, equipment upgrades and updates or expansion of processing areas. KLA made clear the need for assisting small processors in discussions earlier this year with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Grant applications should be made for capacity-related improvements since March 1, 2020, through December 30, 2020.

In addition, businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply for Small Business Working Capital grants. Funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, insurance, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, inventory and more. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

For a list of eligibility requirements for each of these grants or to apply, click here.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The beef cattle industry has already experienced three big “shocks” this year and the effects are ongoing, but have been blunted to some extent, according to a Kansas State University agricultural economist.

The first jolt came in mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic sparked stay-at-home orders in most states.

“That had big implications for food consumption,” said Glynn Tonsor, a livestock market specialist with K-State Research and Extension. Those implications included restaurant and school closures – two large outlets for U.S. beef. As that happened, demand for beef shifted to grocery stores which were allowed to stay open. The actions disrupted the long-established flow of the beef supply chain.

The second shock happened soon after when clusters of COVID-19 cases began cropping up among employees in meat processing facilities, forcing some to shut down temporarily to control the spread of the virus, said Tonsor, presenting his Beef Cattle Outlook at the recent virtual 2020 K-State Risk & Profit Conference.

That left market-ready cattle and other livestock in some areas with no market to go to. The effect was a bottleneck, with a backlog of market-ready animals growing for a time, but fewer processing facilities to handle them. Tonsor estimated that cattle and hog processing dropped by as much as 40% during the spring.

As that bottleneck was developing, so too were disruptions to export channels, which have become increasingly important to the beef industry in recent years. The worst of the “pinch point,” Tonsor said, was the last week in April.

Though some characterized that time as a developing meat shortage, Tonsor said that’s not accurate: “There was no shortage of animals. There was a disruption in the flow and at times the variety of products that consumers could get. But for the calendar year, we not only expect beef production to be higher, but also domestic beef consumption to be up.”

The third shock stemmed from the first two. When consumers knew they would be staying at home and limited in their movements and also learned of meat processing slowdowns, some bought up large quantities of beef and other food and goods, which was characterized as a hoarding situation.

“The shift to more at-home consumption highlighted that not all meat is equal,” Tonsor said, noting that demand for ground beef products strengthened while demand for steaks and related cuts – those normally sold to restaurants – weakened.

Despite disruptions to beef exports, overall international trade has helped temper the negative effects of the pandemic on the U.S. beef industry, Tonsor said, warning that a growing protectionism sentiment in the United States will work against the marketing of beef exports.

As of June 1, Tonsor said there were about 1 million head of cattle backed up in the supply chain because of packing plant closures and marketing chain disruptions. By Labor Day, however, he believes much of the backlog will be processed.

“We’re getting much more current,” he said, but cautioned, “these plants have been running quite hard. We can’t take labor availability for granted. I don’t anticipate another situation where we have a 40% decline in production like we did in April, but we could still have some dips.”

He shared the most recent live cattle price outlook released by the Livestock Marketing Information Center which estimated the average slaughter steer price for the third quarter this year at $99 to $102 per hundredweight (cwt), which would be down 7.1% from a year ago.

Fourth quarter prices are expected to average $108 to $112 per cwt, down 7.5% from a year earlier, partly owing to heavier cattle and more beef as a result of working through the backlog. The overall average price for 2020 was estimated at $107 to $109, a decrease of 7.5% from 2019.

LMIC projections for next year indicate an increase in prices, with first quarter 2021 steer prices averaging $113 to $118; second quarter averaging $116 to $122; third quarter at $114 to $121 and fourth quarter at $117 to $125. Prices for 2021 overall were estimated at $117-$120, which would be 9.7% higher than 2020.

Tonsor encouraged cattle market watchers to access agmanager.info and beefbasis.com for more information on the beef market.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Educational sessions for the August 18 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near Uniontown will include a panel discussion on the utilization of cover crop grazing systems, an outlook on the markets and the factors that affect them, optimizing cowherd efficiency and combating ag stress. The event will be hosted by G-Three Cattle Company, owned by the George family, in honor of Darrel George.

K-State extension beef systems specialist Jaymelynn Farney and Jared Pollock and Gale George, both of G-Three Cattle Company, will discuss the management considerations of utilizing annual forages as a grazing source and how to implement and incorporate these systems. Tanner Ehmke, CoBank manager of knowledge exchange, will talk about market trends and provide an outlook based on his team’s research. K-State extension beef breeding and genetics specialist Bob Weaber will discuss what criteria to consider in determining an ideal mature cow weight. Kelsey Olson, deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture, will highlight resources to assist farmers and ranchers in managing stress, financial and legal challenges and more.

The field day will begin with registration at 3:00 p.m. and include a free beef dinner at 6:45 p.m. The event will be set up to accommodate social distancing protocol. Masks will be available and hand sanitizer will be provided to each attendee.
The first field day will be held this Thursday (8/13) near Smith Center at W & S Ranch, owned by the Weltmer family. Both events are sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas and Bayer Animal Health. For more information and directions, click here. The educational sessions from each field day will be recorded and posted on the KLA website.