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Agricultural News

From the Summer Business Meeting of the Cattle Industry- Ron Hays and Don Close talk the Unknown Unknowns Impacting Cattle Markets

Thu, 01 Aug 2019 05:56:52 CDT

From the Summer Business Meeting of the Cattle Industry, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays had the opportunity to sit down and talk for a few minutes with one of the leading cattle market economists in the industry- Don Close with Rabo Agrifinance. Close is a senior RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness analyst, responsible for analysing all animal protein sectors, although he specialises in beef.

Close told Hays that we have a tremendous number of "unknown unknowns" in the beef cattle sector today- and he believes that it starts with the protein gap coming from the African Swine Fever disaster in China. He believes that we are looking at up to fifty percent of the sow herd being lost in China- versus the early expectations by Rabo that it would be around 10 to 20%. That level of loss may mean six to ten million metric tons of protein shortfall in global production this year. He concludes someone will do without.

He also told Hays that many healthy sows have likely been rushed to market by China producers who have panicked when they had AFS enter their herd- hoping to salvage something from those healthy animals instead of letting the disease claim them. That makes it just that much harder to rebuild the herd in China and means that we have kep the pipeline fuller than it would have been of pork for the time being in China- but the day of shortfall recokoning will eventually hit and hit hard.

Close says he and his team have spent a lot of time this summer on consideration of what a short corn crop may mean to the US cattle industry this fall and winter. Higher corn prices may mean yearling cattle may be held on pasture longer and then fed fewer days on feed. They have worked on numbers that will be released soon showing where the least pain for cattlemen is from short corn stocks when it comes to the decision of when to move yearling cattle off pasture into the feedlot.

You can listen to the full conversation that Ron Hays had with Don Close by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.



Ron Hays talks with Don Close of Rabo Agrifinance about cattle market impacts
right-click to download mp3


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