- news, features, articles and disease information for the cattle industry

TheBeefSite Newsletter - 08 October 2015

You are receiving this email as you are a subscriber of
The home of premium international beef news and information.
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Thursday 8th October 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

MSD Animal Health

Cattle Dilemma: To Background or Not to Background?

An ever-growing set of online resources is available to beef producers gauging the prospects of running cattle between weaning and the feedlot.

Understanding what price could be expected in the future and the associated cost of stockering (or backgrounding) a steer are vital components to making a sound economic decision.

As well as number crunching tools, there is growing confidence in the economics of native grasses for supporting backgrounding operations, University of Tennessee grasslands management expert Dr Pat Keyser has noted.

Two values are important - Value of Gain, a metric informed by futures and markets information, and Cost of Gain, an expectation of the cost per head and of liveweight produced, which can be compared online.

And with many US producers able to control costs with native grass, thought to cost around $0.31-0.37/pound of gain (22-24 pence), there are species worth considering, UoT research has found.

Agricultural Economist Professor Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University, has recently recommended to derive estimated margins.

For those with less operation-specific information, the Buy-Sell decision tool on is also worthwhile.

“Given the historically high value for cattle and the associated financial resources at stake, any marginal gain in information and associated improvements in decision making are inherently more valuable than in the past,” he wrote in a recent markets update.

Those looking at grazing stockers this spring are informed that strong weight gains of between 1.75 and 2.12 pounds per day can be achieved on weaned steers starting at weights of 590 pound (276 kilos), which can be as high as 2.7 pounds (1-1.2 kilos) early in the grazing season.

This is according to studies at the UoT Institute of Agriculture, which say higher-end results come from Indian Grass and Big Bluestem, with Switchgrass accounting for lower figures.

One crucial consideration is when to market, and as a general rule Dr Keyser advises that a margin is still there on native grass systems later in the year, even when prices typically decline and the reduced per unit prices of steers, often around 825 pound (374 kilos) in August.

“Economists at UTIA have evaluated the trade-off in holding these steers on native grass pastures versus marketing them after weaning in May,” said Dr Keyser.

“Because the rate of gain is high and the cost of grazing is low with natives, net returns are positive.”

He added that drought tolerance and perennial qualities are further positives to native grasses, ruling out Eastern gamagrass on grounds of low gain. 

OV Digital

Book of the Week

Livestock Handling and Transport

Livestock Handling and Transport

Edited by world-renowned animal scientist Dr.Temple Grandin, this practical book integrates scientific research and industry literature on cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, deer, and horses, in both the developed and developing world, to provide a practical guide to humane handling and minimizing animal stress.

Order Now

Company News

BIOMIN Inaugurates New Global Headquarters in Austria
AUSTRIA - BIOMIN has just opened its new global headquarters in Getzersdorf, Austria.
BIOMIN Opens New Panama Plant
PANAMA - BIOMIN has further expanded its global production network with the opening of a production plant in Panama. The inauguration marks the latest milestone in the firm’s local presence that stretches back nearly two decades. The new plant will allow for growth and quicker delivery to BIOMIN distributors and customers in new and existing markets throughout the Americas.
Market Reports

Australian Rural Commodities Wrap - September 2015
AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 5 October 2015
USDA Bi-Weekly International Meat, Poultry & Egg Review - 1 October 2015

Global Beef Industry News


Australia Cattle Herd Drops from 30 Year High to 20 Year Low


Livestock Sector Buoyed By TPP Agreement
World Grain Yield to Fall Short of Last Year’s Record
Supply Management Survives as Trans-Pacific Partnership Concluded

   Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian Processor Builds Plant With Eye on Turkish Market


China's New Diet Demands a Global Food Chain

   European Union

Bluetongue Gathering Momentum Across Europe
EU Air Quality Policy Will Hit the Livestock Sector Hard


Namibia Gearing up for Three-Fold Markets Boost

   New Zealand

Debate over Chinese Investment in New Zealand Beef and Lamb Giant

   United States

Cattle Outlook: Fed Steer Prices Fall Off Cliff
Millions of Dollars of Funding to Support US Farmers Announced
US Beef Prices Fall Again
US Beef Price Recovery Faces Demand Challenges
Negotiations on TPP Continue Amid Canadian Concern


New Sustainability Guide for Brazil's Livestock Industry Open for Consultation


Norwegian Livestock Antibiotic Use Low but Growing in Pets
MRSA Spreads From Pigs to Cattle on Norwegian Farm

   Viet Nam

Policy Changes Needed to Maintain Viet Nam's Farming Transformation


Unknown Bluetongue Serotype Building Momentum in Hungary

   United Kingdom

BSE Found in Dead Cow in Wales


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
US Sales Manager Wanted - 5m Publishing
Official Veterinarian Conference - Swindon, 22 - 23 October 2015 Book your place now
Biomin - Absolute protection against mycotoxins Video


Life Technologies

Biomin - The Natural Way
More on VIROCID - The Global Disinfectant

The Pig, Poultry, Beef, Fish, Dairy, Meat, Cattle, Crop & Bioenergy Sites From 5M Publishing From 5M Publishing

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences


Seasonal Picks