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Rabobank's Don Close Says Herd Rebuilding Continues in 2016, But Anticipate Slower Progress

Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:29:30 CST

Rabobank's Don Close Says Herd Rebuilding Continues in 2016, But Anticipate Slower Progress

Cattle producers and traders will get a good indicator of herd expansion in the U.S. this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will release the U.S. cattle inventory report on Friday, January 29th. Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays sat down with Rabobank Protein Analyst Don Close at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego, California. Close said this report will show there are a lot more beef cows as of January first, compared to one year ago. In his office, he said in talking with producers there has been strong indications of continued herd expansion. He expects a year from now there will be a lot of first calf heifers and cows in the market place.

The cattle market has seen wild volatility, especially in the second half of 2015. This has led to red ink for feedlots and it hasn’t been a good year for margin operators and the stocker end of the business. While cow-calf operators haven’t been as profitable as last year, Close said they are still profitable. Based on last week’s USDA cattle on feed report, he said there are still a lot of intentions to hold back females. The report showed that heifers and heifer calves accounted for 3.41 million head, down seven percent from 2015. The January first heifers and heifer calves inventory was the lowest percent of total January inventory since the series began in 1996.

“While we expect to see it slow down tremendously from the last two years, but the first level of data on heifers in the feed yard mix suggest that retention is still going on, at least through the first of the year,” Close said.

In getting the nation’s cowherd back to levels seen before the drought in the Southern Plains and Midwest, more females will be needed. According to Rabobank’s latest modeling work, Close said they have lowered their expectations slightly, but they think the 31 to 32 million head beef cow number is still achievable by the end of 2017 or 2018.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Don Close on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

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.

You can hear the complete conversation that Ron and Don had at the 2016 Cattle Industry Convention in San Diego- click here to hear it all.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Don Close of Rabobank
right-click to download mp3


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