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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 27 February 2013

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Wednesday 27th February 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Feedlot Fears Confirmed In Government Report

Industry expectations were met last Friday when a six per cent feedlot drop was confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture 2013 cattle on feed report.

Leaving feedlot numbers at 11.1 million head the report showed the legacy of the summer drought impacts.

Feed prices rose to historic highs after crops failed. US Corn growers planted 5.22 million more acres of corn last year but suffered a drop in grain yield of 1579.31 million fewer bushels, according to government data.

In September wheat prices reached $9.35 a bushel and corn broke records at $8.16 a bushel forcing a glut of cattle to be marketed lighter and younger.

Record cattle futures prices of 150.83 ¢/lb lwt for feeder cattle and 128.05 ¢/lb lwt for choice steer price followed in the New Year as a bullish market reacted to tightening supplies.

Offering a state of play look at the industry, the cattle on feed report includes feedlots of more than a thousand cattle, which accounted for around 88 per cent of all fed cattle in 2011 and 2012, with the biggest decrease in yardings being seen in South Dakota (-13 per cent), Colorado (-11 per cent) and Texas (-10 per cent).

However, upturn was seen in feedlot placements for January, reversing an eight month decline by increasing two per cent on the previous January to 1.88 million.

Tim Petry, Livestock Economist at North Dakota State University revealed that the increase in placements occurred in heavy weight categories with animals over 800lbs increasing by 54,000 head whereas 600-699lbs animals decreased by 35,000 head and cattle below 600lb flat lined.

Monthly beef production figures were mirrored by greater placements as January slaughter rose four per cent year-on–year to 2.8 million a head. This is due to costs of production rising.

Increases were also observed in veal, pork, lamb and mutton production by the USDA. Veal production totalled 10.5 million pounds and cattle slaughter rose 2.83 million, up four per cent from January 2012.

The supply outlook for the coming weeks and into spring remains tight. The five area average for liveweight cattle lifted $1.01 per hundredweight to $123.82.

Oklahoma and Kansas feedlots have experienced snow and storms which has slowed weight gain and made cattle sales and transportation difficult and have lowered futures short term.

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This Weeks Articles and Analysis

Control of Liver Fluke and Rumen Fluke Infection in Sheep and Cattle in Northern Ireland
A summary of Liver Fluke is given by the Agri-Food and BioSciences Institute. The last few summers have provided good conditions for the parasite to grow and attention to the condition must be afforded to avoid losses.

Measuring Greener Pastures
A bird’s eye view of what pastures are growing in southern Australia will provide insights into future research for the livestock industry.

Schmallenberg Virus Pathogenesis, Tropism and Interaction with the Innate Immune System of the Host
In an effort to reduce the effects of the schmallenberg virus, researchers have engineered the genome of the virus in a form that can be easily introduced and replicated in cultured cells.

Defining the Grazing Season of Restored Natural Grassland
Grazing and land management schemes can deliver both production and conservation benefits according to Chris Troendle, Tolif Hunt and Mary Wiedenhoeft at the Leopold Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

A Sacramento Study of Sample Costs For Finishing Beef Cattle on Grass
Production decisions, potential returns, budgets and production loans are considered in a cost analysis of grass finished beef systems by the University of California in light of recent demand shifts to value added, grass fed beef products.

Company News Now Available in Hungarian
HUNGARY - BIOMIN has now launched a Hungarian version of the corporate website (
Merck Animal Health Talks Focus, Top-of-Mind Producer Topics
ANALYSIS - Dr. Rick Sibbel, Merck Animal Health Director, addresses US and global areas of focus as well as top-of-mind topics that his team spoke to cattlemen about at the National Cattleman's Beef Association (NCBA) meeting held in Tampa, Florida, USA in early February.
Market Reports

USDA Outlook for US Agricultural Trade - February 2012
UK Slaughter Statistics - February 2013
USDA Livestock Slaughter - February 2013
USDA Cattle on Feed - 22 February 2013
Irish CSO: Livestock Slaughterings January 2013 - February 2013
QMS (Quality Meat Scotland) 25 February 2013

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