Randy Blach of CattleFax Says 2014 Wilder Than ExpectationsTue, 28 Oct 2014 14:22:03 CDT
Earlier this year Cattle Fax CEO Randy Blach and his Cattle Fax team were making predictions as they always do at the Cattle Industry Convention. At that time they were expecting a wild year, but 2014 has even surpassed what he was anticipating. Blach said all of the stars aligned and one aspect that accelerated the move was when mother nature brought much need rains for the plains country.
"We really started to see the reduction in the number of cows going to market," Blach said. "That really set this market on fire and continues to be big driver today."
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Randy Blach about the state of the beef industry. You can hear that conversation by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below. Blach was one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Texas Cattle Feeders Association Annual Convention held this week in Oklahoma City.
There is a speculation on how much herd building is taking place. The US Department of Agriculture will release the next National Cattle Inventory report in January. Blach said it will show growth in several classes.
"We've been retaining heifers in spite of the drought for the last 18 months, so we have been trying to stabilize the herd from the heifer side for some time," Blach said. "Now we're starting to get help from the cow side by reducing cow slaughter. ....beef cow slaughter is down 18 percent year to date, so it's really responding to improved moisture, responding to record profitability we have in the cowcalf segment."
These factors look to reverse the 20 year trend of declining cow numbers. Blach is predicting the US beef cattle herd will be up 300 thousand head on January 1 and up another 750 thousand head by the following year, if the current trend continues. This would another million head back into the herd by January 2016.
"This is what we've needed, if we're going to support our feeding and packing infrastructures in this country, keep beef in the center of the plate, we have to respond to this economic signal as an industry now," Blach said.
The one caveat is the ongoing drought that is expanding over a large amount of acres that would otherwise be occupied by cattle.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region 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.
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