CAB's Paul Dykstra talks About What Sets Premium Quality Cattle Above the AverageTue, 28 May 2019 16:57:25 CDT
The Quality Cattle Difference
What sets premium quality cattle above the average, and how those differences affect the bottom line.
Within the beef cattle industry, average quality keeps improving year by year.
“In the past decade we have seen the percentage of Choice carcasses go from around 55% to currently just under 75% with an additional 8% of Prime carcasses today which not so long ago was 2-3% for a number of years," said Paul Dykstra, Beef Cattle Specialist with the Certified Angus Beef brand. "So we have seen this decade’s improvement that has been dramatic. So the averages have increased from that standpoint, so we need to beat thise numberes which are more elevated than before."
Watch a short video-clip featuring Paul Dykstra, Beef Cattle Specialist with the Certified Angus Beef brand, shares his thoughts on what sets the premium quality cattle above the rest, by clicking or tapping the PLAYBOX in the window below.
That increase in quality has also been a game changer for the Certified Angus Beef brand.
“Currently the average of all of the eligible cattle, the predominant black-hided animals that are eligible for the brand, about 33% of those today are making it into the brand under our 10 specifications," Dykstra said. "Well it wasn’t so many years ago that we used to give out awards to feedyards that had a load of steers or heifers that would achieve 30%, so it’s dramatic improvement—and that just raises the bar though for everybody in terms of what we have to do to achieve premiums, because premiums aren’t paid with cattle that are below average”
But premiums ARE paid for every C-A-B and Prime, and discounts for too much fat or other issues—that’s how packers send signals that help producers select genetics that are more on target.
“The terminal traits are fairly easy to identify and also those traits are very heritable so we can move toward them rather rapidly and we can in one and two generation moves, so we can pursue that endpoint if that is our goal, and we made up our mind to do that," he said.
Just like everything else, market timing is crucial with high-quality cattle—even the month you sell can make a big difference.
“If we are merchandising cattle in April, May and June, those spreads tend to be wider at that time than in July. So if we have a pen of finished cattle that isn’t ready until July but they are high-quality cattle, we won’t be rewarded nearly as much as we would like to be because of timing alone," he added.
Source: Certified Angus Beef
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