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Agricultural News

Strong Cow Prices Present Dilemna of How to Rebuild the US Cow Herd

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 6:12:23 CDT

Strong Cow Prices Present Dilemna of How to Rebuild the US Cow Herd

Cattle and wholesale beef prices are in uncharted, record territory this spring, as the tight supplies that analysts have talked about for a year or longer are squeezing the market and propelling prices skyward. Randy Blach with Cattlefax discussed these extremely strong cattle prices with members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association as their lead speaker in the Sunday General Session of the 134th annual meeting of the group that represents cattle producers in Texas and Oklahoma.

Blach pointed expecially to cow and heifer prices- saying they are like a double edged sword. High prices are great when you get that check for those animals- with many cow cows worth a thousand dollars or more in today's cull cow market. However, those high prices make it harder for producers to look forward and be willing participants in rebuilding their cattle herd- and as a result, the US cattle herd.

Blach points to the weak US dollar as an impact in two directions. First, the supply of lean beef that we would normally be getting from Australia and New Zealand is in shorter supply than normal, since the weak dollar means that ranchers from Down Under effectively get less for their animals and beef from them if they sell into the US market. Their beef is more valuable going into other countries. At the same time, the cheaper dollar means strong US beef export sales, with 2010 beef export sales 19% higher than a year earlier- and year to date export sales for 2011 are up about 40%. That means cows and replacement heifers are worth a whole lot in the marketplace, versus a two to three year time frame before that heifer will have produced a calf that will get into the pipeline.

Today's Beef Buzz segment looks at the "catch 22" that cattle producers are in the middle of when it comes to selling their cows or retaining females to rebuild their beef herd.

Our thanks to Tony St. James with KFLP Radio in Texas sharing the Randy Blach presentation with us from the Sunday General Session of the TSCRA.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the state on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the listen bar below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Randy Blach of Cattlefax on Strong Cow Prices
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