LMIC's Jim Robb Says Current Rate of Cow Slaughter Could Translate into More Optimism for FutureFri, 08 Jun 2018 10:56:39 CDT
Based on the data he has seen distributed by the USDA, Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center says he is beginning to see a picture develop of where we are on beef cow herd rebuilding here in 2018. He walked us through his thoughts in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
“On the slaughter side, we had overall cow slaughter up 9,000 head year-over-year. That’s a 9 percent increase, with most of that in beef cow slaughter,” he said. “We had a 12 percent year-over-year increase in the latest data which would be for the week ending May 19th in terms of beef cow slaughter. So, clearly, we have open beef cows, we have drought conditions and we’re increasing beef cow slaughter a little bit more than we anticipated a couple months ago.”
More importantly, however, Robb says heifer slaughter as of last week was up 33,000 head year-over-year which is a 29 percent year-over-year increase - which Robb points out is huge for any statistic in agriculture let alone heifer slaughter. What this tells Robb is that the overall size of the herd is probably growing at an even slower pace than previous thought. If his calculations are correct, Robb predicts we are on track for a January 1, 2019 total cattle herd that is up perhaps a half a percent. Compared to the prior year when growth was nearly 7/10 a percent and the year before at 2 percent - Robb says this indicates a real moderation in the rate of herd growth. Down the road, he says this moderation will be very beneficial from a supply perspective in terms of cattle prices.
“I think in terms of marketing cattle, we don’t want to get caught up especially in ranching country too much with the short term. We want to look to the fourth quarter of this year, because we could have some real gyrations this summer,” he said. “We have several moving parts - politically, with the corn crop, drought conditions, etc. But, focused on cow/calf country and stockers, it’s not too early to start some fundamental business planning looking out a little bit more longer term.”
Listen to Robb and Hays discuss current economic factors that will help producers develop their marketing strategies for the coming year, on today’s Beef Buzz. And remember, you can catch Robb next week at the Texoma Cattlemen’s Conference in Ardmore, Okla. on June 15th for more of his advice.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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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