National Livestock CEO Looks Back at Unprecedented YearWed, 17 Dec 2014 12:20:03 CST
It's been a wild ride for the cattle industry in 2014. National Livestock Credit Corporation President/CEO Robert York looks back at this unprecedented year. Going into the year everyone knew the US had tight cattle supplies and everyone expected higher cattle prices. York said yet no one expected the records that were set this year.
"It is incredible, the market set new highs and they were well beyond the new highs that all of us insiders thought we would see," York said. "When it got to the levels that we thought would be unbelievable, it just surpassed it and kept going higher. It's been a very memorable year in the industry. It's helped a lot of families out, a lot of ranchers out and it's been a year to remember."
With a strong cattle market nationally cattlemen are beginning to hold back heifers. York said he is seeing it in the sale barn receipts with the percentage of heifers sold. In talking with customers he said its a trend that is widespread. York said there has been a lot of heifer retention which will begin to show in production numbers in the next two to three years.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured York on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
Oklahoma ranchers are also beginning to expand their herd. Part can be attributed to having better pasture conditions. Additionally, ranchers this year have received drought assistance through the US Department of Agriculture for the drought years of 2011, 2012 and 2013. In receiving record prices for calves, plus drought assistant, producers are able to invest in growing their cattle herd.
The downside to record prices is the cost of doing business. York said these high cattle prices have increased the amount of capital needed to operate as the lines of credit have had to go up for all individual producers and corporations. Looking ahead he looks for the equity strain to impact producers next year.
"The people that have solid equity that can go out and leverage and get the extra credit that they need," York said. "It will be challenging for those that don't have those resources."
Looking ahead York is hopeful cattlemen can increase their cattle numbers as the beef supply chain is at its lowest level in decades. Herd rebuilding will be especially important in states like Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, among others that had to reduce their herd numbers dramatically during the drought. With more producers retaining heifers for breeding, the nation's beef supply situation will likely get tighter before it can improve, but this growth is needed to feed the nation and the world.
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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