Korea Opens To U.S. Beef
Though it seems anticlimactic after almost three years,
Korea's announcement last Thursday to resume importing U.S. beef on a
limited basis is a crucial step in normalizing beef trade. The ban is
lifted on only boneless beef derived from cattle 30 months old or
"While this still doesn't represent a full resumption of trade, it does
provide access to significant value for U.S. producers," say National
Cattlemen's Beef Association officials. "In 2003, the U.S. exported
around $814 million worth of beef to South Korea, and boneless beef cuts
accounted for nearly $450 million of this total."
USDA Secretary Mike Johanns, says, "We look forward to expanding our
access to the Korean market and other export markets to achieve trade
consistent with international guidelines... We're mindful that
significant technical issues exist that must be resolved. We'll continue
to work with Korea to address these matters in the coming days."
Seeing is believing.
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* Not for use in lactating dairy animals. Adverse reactions, including
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respiratory abnormalities, have been reported.
TETRADURE is a trademark of Merial. © 2005 Merial
Limited. All rights reserved.
Mycoplasma Management Reminders --
With the fall run of calves knocking at the door, it
pays to keep in mind management associated with a decreased incidence of
mycoplasma (non-responsive pneumonia and arthritis). As Kansas State
University researchers noted in the mycoplasma survey they conducted
among stockers and backgrounders in 2001, "As mycoplasma appears to be
an opportunist occurring most frequently during times of stress or when
a calf's immune system is weakened, management programs should focus on
procedures that can get calves started in the right direction."
Find more recommendations and survey info at www.beefstockerusa.org
- Watch your cattle buying practices. Are you going to buy
large numbers of cattle and find cattle free of mycoplasma? Probably
not. The organism is too wide spread. As a simple recommendation, know
your order buyer. Cattle represented as cheap and "too good to be true"
probably aren't in the long run. Buying stale, stressed calves increases
the likelihood of having cattle that respond poorly to treatment. A
significant finding from the survey was cattle-buying practices do
increase the risk of having cattle with non-responsive pneumonia and
Yes, there's a difference between lightweight and heavyweight cattle.
Lightweight cattle are at greater risk, but you obviously still must buy
what fits your program and pocketbook. Minimizing the number of states
you buy cattle from or at least sourcing cattle from a single
order-buying facility, regardless of the state or region of origin,
appears to help in reducing loads of affected cattle. This appears
particularly important for cattle brought in during winter months.
- Buy what you can handle. It takes a pretty good workday for
one or two people to feed, check pens for sick calves, and pull and
treat those calves. Add into the mix days when you process a load or
two, and it's not hard to see why everything begins to stack up.
Cattle should be fed and observed for sickness first thing in the
morning. Watching how calves rise and come to the bunk goes a long way
in picking up sick animals. Waiting until later in the day is a problem,
particularly if there's a wide difference in temperature from morning to
afternoon, since most calves will have increased respiratory rates that
can mask signs of early pneumonia.
Additionally, cattle appear to better handle the stress of handling for
treatment and processing earlier in the day than later in the afternoon
or evening (Breazile, 1988). Leaving sick calves for treatment until
everything else is done prolongs the time from when a calf actually gets
sick and when the drugs begin to work. Because mycoplasma is an
opportunist, extensive lung damage resulting from delayed or ineffective
treatment of common pneumonia-causing organisms may increase the
likelihood of mycoplasma invading the lungs.
- Vaccinate for common respiratory pathogens. Again, mycoplasma
is an opportunist. Doing all you can to minimize common respiratory
viruses such as infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), BVD,
Parainfluenza 3 (PI3) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) from
occurring will decrease the likelihood of damage to the respiratory
tract and debilitation.
As clinical cases of BVD have been associated with increased risk to
mycoplasma infection, a BVD vaccine component should be used in the
receiving program. Based on survey results, whether a modified-live or
killed BVD vaccine was used, no particular vaccine program appeared to
have an advantage over another.
Based on the survey results, Pasteurella vaccines are currently being
used in a large number of stocker operations. There was no statistical
difference in the number of operations with affected loads of cattle
using this type of vaccine and those that don't.
- Minimize contact between arriving cattle and sick pen cattle.
Large numbers of mycoplasma organisms are shed from nasal secretions of
sick calves. Exposing new cattle to the unnecessary risk of contact with
the organism should be avoided. Utilize separate sick pens and receiving
or holding pens. Clean and disinfect hospital pen waterers daily.
Moreover, water fountains are a source of infection for calves that are
sick from other causes besides mycoplasma and for incoming cattle being
exposed to the organism through these and common handling facilities.
Since the organism can stay viable in water for extended periods of
time, drain, clean, sanitize and rinse waterers daily. Disinfectant
solutions of peracetic acid and iodophores have been shown to be
effective against mycoplasma ((Pfutzner and Sachse, 1996). These
products are commercially available in the U.S. Hypochlorides tend to be
ineffective because of the prolonged contact time needed to kill the
Weather And Crops
Some Rain -- Finally!
It doesn't change anything for cow-calf operations that
shipped cows months ago, but the rain that fell in some of the most
parched states -- the first measurable precipitation in months -- sure
has some folks thinking about the prospects of fall grazing.
According to the National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), pasture
conditions actually improved in some of the driest states for the first
time since last year. That doesn't mean it's not horrible, just that
it's heading in the right direction.
In part due to remnants of tropical storms Ernesto and John, the folks
at NASS explain, "Light to moderate rainfall across much of the Corn
Belt and Great Plains helped to improve soil-moisture levels and crop
At the risk of being a spoilsport, last summer ended on a wet note, too.
Moisture conditions were more favorable then before the rain set in then
According to NASS, for the week ending Sept. 3:
, compared to 87% at this time last year
and 83% for normal.
- Corn -- 97% is at or beyond the Dough
Stage, compared to 96% last year and 92% for the
five-year average. Doughing was at or ahead of normal in all states.
81% has entered the Dent
Stage, which is 4% ahead of last year and 14% ahead of average. 59% is rated Good or better,
compared to 51% last year.
- Soybeans -- 13% of the acreage was dropping
leaves, the same as last year but 1% ahead of
normal. 59% is rated Good or better; 54% was at the same time last year.
- Spring Wheat -- 97% of the crop is in the
bin, which is 9% ahead of last year and 17% ahead
of the five-year average.
- Barley -- Harvest advanced to 93%
Sorghum -- 94% of the acreage is in the heading
stage, which is 1% behind last year but 2% ahead
of normal. 62% was at or beyond turning
color, 2% ahead of last year but the same as
average. 30% is ranked Good or better, compared to 47% last year.
Pasture -- 24% is rated Good or
Excellent, compared to 34 last year. 24% is rated Poor and 23% is ranked Very Poor, compared to 22% and 12% respectively at the same time last
States with the worst pasture conditions -- at least 40% of the acreage
rated poor or worse -- include: Alabama (67%); Arizona (67%); Arkansas
(49%); California (65%); Colorado
(42%); Georgia (46%); Kansas (50%); Louisiana (45%) ; Mississippi (49%);
Missouri (64%); Montana (48%); Nebraska (65%); Nevada (58%); North Dakota (61%); Oklahoma
(74%); OR (49%); South Dakota (56%); Texas (78%); and Wyoming
States with the lushest pasture conditions -- at least 40% rated good or
better -- include: Florida (40%); Idaho (41%); Illinois (58%); Indiana
(59%); Iowa (50%); Kentucky (60%);
Maine (89%); Michigan (52%); New Mexico (66%); New
York (66%); North Carolina (54%); Ohio (53%); South
Carolina (51%); Utah (47%); Washington (46%); West Virginia (48%); and
An open-and-shut case.
The case for Strategic Parasite Control is stronger than ever.
Especially where liver flukes reduce conception rates, weaning weights
and rate of gain. Reduce the number of open cows. Shut the door on
flukes and other internal and external parasites with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon).
®IVOMEC and the CATTLE HEAD LOGO are registered trademarks of
Merial. © 2005 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All right
Look Hard At DDG Prices Soon
As increased ethanol production grows the supply of
dried distillers grains (DDG), the need to manage the prices of these
feed co-products is also rising.
"Spot market purchase volumes may be limited due to storage
considerations (particularly for wetter products), but buyers could talk
with their suppliers about locking in prices for the future for routine
deliveries," says Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) ag
economist, in the most recent "In the Cattle Markets" newsletter
published by UNL and Kansas State University. "Additionally, new
research is exploring ways to store distiller's grains that may make
stockpiling supplies more feasible.
"The seasonal trend is for DDG prices to peak in mid-April and decline
throughout the summer. Seasonal lows typically occur in August at about
80% of the annual average. DDG prices then increase through the fall and
early winter months to peak in December and January close to 20% higher
than their annual average."
According to Mark, this is based on seasonal price index of DDG using
USDA Ag Marketing Service weekly reported prices for Nebraska from
2003-2005. He stresses that long series of price data on wet and dry
distiller's grains to analyze are limited, and prices that are available
may be thinly traded or not necessarily representative of actual trades
made between ethanol plants and cattle feeders or feed buyers. Still, he
says it's useful to consider trends in these feed products.
Further, Mark explains, "As ethanol production continues to rapidly
increase, the availability of DDG and wet distillers grains will
increase. Thus, co-product feed prices may not see as large a seasonal
increase in the third and fourth quarter of upcoming years as suggested
in the table. In fact, the DDG price increase was much smaller for 2004
and 2005 than for 2003.
So, in this ever-changing co-product market, prices may not increase in
late 2006 as much as the historical trend suggests. But, this will
likely differ greatly across localized markets depending upon the
relative supply and demand for the distillers grain products."
For some added perspective on ethanol growth, a recent visit to North
Dakota revealed to us: currently there are two ethanol plants in the
state producing approximately 35 million gals. of ethanol; within 18
months current construction calls for a total of six or seven plants
producing 10 times that much!
You can find Mark's complete report at www.lmic.info/memberspublic/InTheCattleMarket/CattleMktsframe.html
Sign Up Now For BEEF Quality
Summit, Nov. 14-15
Sign up now at www.beef-mag.com for BEEF magazine's 2006
BEEF Quality Summit. The Nov. 14-15 workshop in Oklahoma City's
Clarion Hotel aims to provide attendees with the background, tools and
the environment to make the connections for involvement, and the
potential rewards offered, in the new beef-value chain.
The first day's program is devoted to outlining the opportunity
available in the new beef-value chain, the second to how to link your
production into that chain. Among the topics to be discussed are:
For more detail, visit www.beef-mag.com and click on the "BEEF
Quality Summit" box in the top right corner of the opening page.
- How U.S. beef consumers define quality.
- Quality, profit and the cattle cycle.
- International competition and opportunities for U.S. quality
- Current international beef-trade opportunities.
- Producers will discuss how they're paid for quality.
- Selecting a marketing partner.
- Evaluating costs, trade-offs and risks of various markets
- Linking up with a marketing partner -- an opportunity to meet with
participating marketing channel reps.
Sept. 28 -- Kansas State University (KSU) Beef
Stocker Conference, KSU Beef Stocker Unit, Manhattan, KS. For more
information contact 785-532-1267.
Oct. 11-13 -- Texas Cattle Feeders Association Annual Convention,
Amarillo Civic Center, Amarillo, TX. For registration information, log
on to www.tcfa.org, e-mail TCFA at email@example.com or call (806)
Feb. 13-14 -- Mid-South Stocker Conference, Cave City, KY,
presented by the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee.
For more information, visit www.midsouthstocker.org. You can also contact Dr.
Jim Neel (865-974-7294; firstname.lastname@example.org), John Bartee
(931-648-5725; email@example.com) or Dr. John T.
Johns (859-257-2853; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preconditioned calves are in demand. MERIAL® SUREHEALTH®
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It's backed by the Merial SUREHEALTH limited health warranty and
now offers optional source and age verification. SUREHEALTH is a
USDA-approved Quality Systems Assessment (QSA) program. Click here
for more information.
® MERIAL, SUREHEALTH, and the SUREHEALTH and CATTLEHEAD LOGOS
are all registered trademarks of Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All
It's Both A Sellers And Buyers
One thing you have to love about high calf markets and
scarce forage -- at least they're opening up some value propositions on
the buy side.
"Cow-Calf producers from Missouri, northern Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming,
Nebraska and the Dakotas are selling their calves early and at lighter
weights in an attempt to salvage enough forage for their mothers," say
Ag Marketing Service (AMS) reporters. "Many of these calves possess less
added-value than normal, with producers weaning en route to the sale
barn. Also, a larger percentage of the smaller operators are leaving
bulls uncut and shots un-given. The feeder market is hard for sellers to
resist, with handsome prices for calves and near record levels for
In round numbers, feeder and stocker cattle sold firm to $3 higher last
week, boosted by fed-cattle prices the prior week that surpassed $90 for
the first time since February. Added strength came with recent moisture
in parts of wheat-pasture country, and the psychological lift of South
Korea agreeing to resume importing U.S. beef.
According to AMS, "Ample recent moisture in the hard red winter-wheat
regions has backgrounders excited about early grazing as farmers are
hustling to sow fields. Orders increased for 250- to 450-lb. calves
bound for southern Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle starter yards
for a quick 30-day warm up."
As for the fed-cattle market, gains in boxed-beef prices helped feeders
hold pat last week, refusing packer bids they deemed too low.
"Late Friday, managers of mostly current feedlots continued to refuse
lower packer bids and significant trading appeared doubtful with October
CME contracts settling $1.40 lower at $92.35," say AMS analysts.
The summary below reflects the week ended Sept. 8 for Medium and Large 1
-- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb. feeder heifers
and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is arranged in descending
order by auction volume and represents sales reported in the weekly USDA
National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs. || 600-650 lbs.
|| 700-750 lbs.
|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. |
| TX ||24,700 || $119.90 || $113.41 || $107.04 || $114.22 ||
$105.74 || $102.10 |
| MO || 21,300 || $135.91 || $132.53 || $125.60 || $123.04 || $119.15 || $117.28 |
| KY* ||15,300 || $119-129 ||
$109-118 || $105-1145 || $108-118 || $100-110 || $95-1055 |
| OK || 14,300 || $130.60 || $120.87 || $123.42 || $118.74 || $115.53 || $111.47 |
| AL ||12,700 || $118-126 ||
$110-117 || $100-1075 || $104-112 || $98-107 || $92-98 |
| WY* ||12,500 || $136.21 ||$125.97
|| $121.10 || $121.83 ||$124.00 || $115.18 |
| TN* ||9,100 || $122.29 ||$114.02 || $108.53 || $111.27 ||$103.44 || $102.834 |
| Dakotas ||8,700 |
| MS* ||7,900 || $110-1201 || $100-1103 || ** ||
||$95-105 || $90-954 |
||7,700 || $103-129 ||
$100-117.25 || $96-105 || $90-117 || $95-108 || $86-99.50
| AR ||7,400
|| $116.24 || $111.30 || $114.94 ||
107.39 || $102.66 |
| IA ||6,500
|| $134.33 || $130.53 || $133.67 ||
$120.39 || $116.65 |
| FL* ||6,100 || $105-124
|| $97-112 ||
|| $95-106 || $95-1034 |
| LA* ||5,500 || $113-123 ||
** || $105-116 ||
$101-111 || **
| NE ||5,000 || $138.83 ||$137.152
|| $119.512 || $118.27 |
| CO ||4,000
||$128.302 || **
||$119.642 || ** |
| NM* ||3,500 || $122.56 ||
** || $116.38 ||$109.57 || ** |
||2,700 || $107-128 ||
$100-1153 || $94-1065 || $100-113 || $94-1063 || $85-99.505 |
| VA ||1,600
|| $121.192 ||$113.76 || $108.10 || $111.352
||$104.56 || ** |
| WA* ||1,500 || $126.28
|| ** || **
| MT ||1,400
||** || $112.97
| KS ||800
|| ** || ** ||
||** || $113.38 |
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at email@example.com
Joe Roybal, Editor, BEEF magazine, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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