Monthly Archives: April 2020

Be careful what you ask for

Be careful what you ask for

Derrell S. Peel


COVID-19 has caused unparalleled and catastrophic impacts on cattle and beef markets along with every other part of the economy. Cattle and beef markets are experiencing devastating shocks and challenges resulting in price changes and market behavior that are, not only unprecedented, but also difficult to understand and confusing to many. The anger and frustration of some cattle producers has turned to accusations and proposals for change that will have long-term implications and unintended consequences for the cattle and beef industry.

Full Story

What to Do with Mold in Feed?

What to Do with Mold in Feed?

Erika Lyon

The Ohio State University

Now that we are getting into the summer months, moldy feed might not be on your mind right now, especially if your livestock are grazing. But now is a great time to be cognizant of the conditions that lead up to moldy feed in the winter months. The conditions that forages are grown and harvested in can have an impact on the risk of mold developing later in storage.

Full Story

New plan would allow Oklahomans to get beef directly from producers

New plan would allow Oklahomans to get beef directly from producers

Erin Beu


Meat processing and packaging plants are closing across the country because of the coronavirus pandemic, creating a problem for cattle producers trying to get food to people’s homes.  The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association has come up with a plan, which is a relatively new idea, of having people getting their meat directly from the beef producer.

Full Story

How Much Meat Can You Expect from a Fed Steer?

How Much Meat Can You Expect from a Fed Steer?

South Dakota State University

The yield of edible meat from a beef carcass often comes as a bit of a surprise, even to those that have had their own meat processed for years. A previous article covered dressing percent—the percent of the live animal weight that becomes carcass weight, which for fed beef is usually around 62-64%. In other words, from a 1200 pound steer, you can expect a 740 – 770 pound carcass.

Full Story

USCA Launches Effort to Secure Minimum Percent of Negotiated Cattle Sales

USCA Launches Effort to Secure Minimum Percent of Negotiated Cattle Sales

United States Cattlemen’s Association

It would require a minimum of 30 percent of each packer processing plant’s weekly volume of beef slaughter to come as a result of purchases made on the open market or spot market, defined as those purchases which fall under Negotiated Purchase Beef cattle purchased on the open or spot market, under the required minimum, would be delivered to the packer not more than 14 days after the date on which the livestock are sold to the packer.
Full Story

COVID-19 Impacts on Pork and Beef – Center for Commercial Agriculture

COVID-19 Impacts on Pork and Beef – Center for Commercial Agriculture

Dr. Jim Mintert

Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture

Processing plant closures sharply reduced livestock slaughter volume for both cattle and hogs in recent weeks. Federally inspected cattle slaughter the week ending April 25th, at 469 thousand head, was down 27% compared both to the first week of 2020 and the same week a year earlier.

Full Story

Suffolk beef cattle farmer adapts as cattle industry expected to lose billions

Suffolk beef cattle farmer adapts as cattle industry expected to lose billions

Erin Miller


Making sure food stays on the table always circles back to farmers. In Virginia and North Carolina, farming is a way of life for many and a big contributor to the economy. Like many other trades, the coronavirus is hitting the cattle industry hard. According to a recent study by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, it’s estimated the cattle industry could lose upwards of $13.6 billion as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full Story

NDSU, SDSU Extension Holding Cattle Mineral Program

NDSU, SDSU Extension Holding Cattle Mineral Program

Todd Ingstad

News Dakota

Minerals are a small but critical component of beef cow diets. “Providing the correct mineral supplement is necessary to ensure optimal health, performance and reproduction,” says Janna Block, Extension livestock systems specialist at North Dakota State University’s Hettinger Research Extension Center.

Full Story

Social distancing doesn’t work for cattle

Social distancing doesn’t work for cattle

Savanna Barksdale

BEEF Magazine

Keeping track of cattle that do not fall under USDA’s mandatory animal disease traceability requirement is not easy. The saying about herding cats? Yeah. It’s kind of like that but I just keep losing them.

Full Story

How COVID-19 affects cattle harvest

How COVID-19 affects cattle harvest

Jeremy Ford


he food industry is seeing a loss of meat production due to the coronavirus pandemic, which could lead to a shortage of beef at your dinner table. “Hopefully this is a short-term issue that we can work through. But unfortunately, it’s going to take more time,” said Bruce Mershon, owner of Mershon Cattle in Kansas City, Mo. He said the cattle harvest industry is taking a significant loss due to COVID-19.

Full Story

Mark Parker:  The Top 10 farmer rumor mill topics

Mark Parker:  The Top 10 farmer rumor mill topics


#10. So-and-so is flat broke and will be selling out soon.

#9. The same so-and-so just bought a new combine — cash.

Full Story

What to do when grass grows faster than you can graze it.

What to do when grass grows faster than you can graze it.

Greg Judy Regenerative Rancher

What to do when grass grows faster than you can graze it. Check out my book Comeback Farms on our website: for more grazing tips that add profit to your farm. When you hit the spring flush growth of grass, speed up your rotation dramatically.

Hundreds of USDA Meat Inspectors Are Getting Sick

Hundreds of USDA Meat Inspectors Are Getting Sick

Dan Nosowitz

Modern Farmer

A vital part of the American food system is the inspectors sent out by the USDA to meatpacking plants. Those inspectors, which are part of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), are tasked with ensuring worker and product safety at these plants. They’ve been declared essential workers, and as such are still working, but new reports indicate that efforts to protect them from COVID-19 are not adequate.

Full Story

Trump orders meat and poultry processing plants to stay open during coronavirus

Trump orders meat and poultry processing plants to stay open during coronavirus

David Jackson


Faced with worries of a meat shortage caused by the coronavirus, President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered beef, pork and poultry processing plants to remain open despite safety concerns.

Full Story

More Meat Market Madness

More Meat Market Madness

Jayson Lusk

Plant closures and slow-downs from COVID-19 have reached such levels that it will be impossible for consumers not to notice effects on meat prices or availability in the coming weeks. If the full page ad in the New York Times wasn’t enough to convince you, below is some updated data on animal processing numbers and wholesale beef and pork prices.

Full Story

Strategies for slowing feedlot cattle growth

Strategies for slowing feedlot cattle growth

William Halfman

Wisconsin State Farmer

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt cattle markets. Cash sales for the week of April 13-17 were depressed as packing plants operated at reduced capacity or shuttered their doors due to labor issues spurred by the pandemic. Having a market that will take finished cattle at a suitable date has become a concern. In addition, the current live market prices, and limited sale opportunities for fat steers have left many cattle feeders searching for solutions to reduce their economic loss.

Full Story

Breeding success strategies for beef cattle

Breeding success strategies for beef cattle

Lisa Moser

High Plains Journal

Bulls are often the focus when cattle producers are thinking about the breeding season, but experts at Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute said it is important to prepare the females as well. “Achieving a successful breeding season starts long before the cows are turned out with a bull,” said Bob Larson, Kansas State University veterinarian. “What happened last year or the year before has a big impact on how this season will go.”

Full Story

Local cattle producers selling beef straight from the farm as more plants shutt

Local cattle producers selling beef straight from the farm as more plants shutter

Rebecca Pryor


As more meat processing and packaging plants shutter due to COVID-19, cattle producers worry that means less beef will be found in stores. Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Michael Kelsey says, “The pressure is mounting. We’re really slowing down meat production and that causes some trouble.”

Full Story

Leasing ground for hay production

Leasing ground for hay production

Stillwater News Press

Over the past week or so I have received multiple calls, from landowners, about leasing their ground for hay production. The motivation for the distinction between a normal annual cash pasture lease and just a hay lease seems to have ramped up this year. Even though I have some ideas, I do not pretend to know the motivation behind this.

Full Story

AgriLife offering Beef Cattle Conference online in May

AgriLife offering Beef Cattle Conference online in May

Jayme Lozano

Amarillo Globe News

As a way to adjust to the Coronavirus spread, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for the north region will still offer the conference through six segments that start May 5. The sessions will be delivered through Zoom from 6-9 p.m. The first two sessions cover health and reproduction, and the second session is on May 7.

Full Story