USDA Says July 1 Cattle Inventory 2% Higher

The USDA’s July 1 midyear Cattle Report confirmed that heifer retention is going strong and cattle producers are growing their herds as fast as Mother Nature will allow. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that beef replacement heifers, at 4.90 million are up 7% from last year. All cattle and calves in the U.S. as of July 1, 2015 total 98.4 million head, 2% more than on July 1, 2014. The last time all cattle and calves inventory for July 1 increased was 2006.

Dry Australia Beefing up U.S. Burger Market

Australia is suffering through a widespread drought that is sending a near record number of cattle to feedlots as ranchers cull cows. That’s boosting beef exports to an all-time high, including more than a 70 percent surge in shipments to the U.S. Aussie beef shipped to the U.S. is called manufacturing beef, used to make hamburgers. Importers include McDonald’s Corp, Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. (Burger King) and Carl’s Jr.

Nevada Ranch Honored for Stewardship Efforts

The Maggie Creek Ranch, the Searle Family and Ranch Manager, Jon Griggs, were honored Friday with a regional Environmental Stewardship Award Program Award for their outstanding stewardship practices. The Maggie Creek Ranch produces high-quality beef on 198,000 acres of owned and leased public land, while conserving and improving public and private lands. The Searle Family and Griggs have restored over 25 miles of the Susie Creek and tributary streams through fencing and application of prescriptive grazing practices.

USDA Announces Conservation Incentives for Working Grass, Range, and Pastures

Starting September 1, farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while keeping the areas as livestock grazing lands. The CRP-Grasslands initiative will provide participants who establish long-term resource-conserving covers with annual rental payments up to 75 percent of the grazing value of the land. Cost-share assistance is also available. To learn more about participating in the CRP-Grasslands program, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp or consult with the local FSA county office.

Cattle Working, Brush Busters Demonstrations Planned for Beef Cattle Short Course

Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course is scheduled August 3-5 in College Station. Demonstrations will include fence building, live cattle working and brush busters. A beef cattle business management workshop and beef carcass value determination workshop will be held. Participants can earn at least 10 Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide continuing education units if they are already licensed. There will also be an industry trade show. For more information, including registration information, go to www.beefcattleshortcourse.com.

Oklahoma Quality Beef Network Fall Sales Set

The Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN) is preparing for fall sales by helping producers make preconditioning decisions and capturing value of preconditioned calves when it is time to sell them. This organization provides improved communication among producers and allows for increased education while providing tools to improve access to value-added programs. For additional information call Gant Mourer, OQBN Coordinator at 405-744-6060, or go to www.oqbn.okstate.edu.

Growth in Beef Consumption in China Creates Opportunity

Beef consumption has been growing faster in China, than poultry and pork, which are the traditional proteins in that country. China’s beef market has grown 4.8 percent from 1996 to 2014. Chinese beef consumption is expected to continue to rise. In addition, the willingness of consumers to pay more should create opportunities for global beef processors, Rabobank recently reported.

Drought cuts Size of Cattle Herds in Canada

Parts of western Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta have received less than 40 percent of normal rainfall since April 1, causing Canada, the world’s seventh-largest exporter to have its smallest herd in 22 years. Tight cattle supplies in Canada are causing meat plants to run at 74 percent of capacity, a seven-year low, forcing processors to pay a premium for animals to slaughter. That is forcing prices to jump as high as 44 percent for sirloin steak.

Tri-State Beef Conference to be held August 6 in Abingdon

The Eighth Annual Tri-State Beef Cattle conference will be held in Abingdon, Virginia on August 6. Topics will include the beef cattle outlook, extending the grazing season while improving soil health and managing weeds. Classes on hoof conformation and selecting breeding stock will also be presented. There will be virtual tours of operations from each of the three states, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. Additional information about registration is available at http://economics.ag.utk.edu/conferences.html.

NCBA opposes decision on beef imports

USDA APHIS recently released final rules for importing fresh beef from northern Argentina and a region in Brazil. These areas with a known history of Foot-and-Mouth disease would be allowed to begin the inspection process to import fresh and frozen beef products into the U.S. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is opposed to this regulation on the basis of animal health concerns; Foot-and-Mouth disease is a highly contagious and devastating disease.