May 14, 2018
Beef exports helping cattle markets
By Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist
U.S. beef exports for the first three months of the year are up 12.2 percent with March up 11.4 percent. So far in 2018, the U.S. has exported beef to 100 different countries. However, 85 of those countries only account for 5.9 percent of year to date beef exports. The top fifteen beef export markets represent 94.1 percent of exports with the top six markets accounting for 86.5 percent of total beef exports.
The number seven to fifteen export markets account for 7.6 percent of beef exports. Most of these are small markets with
Among those top fifteen markets
Historically, China has been isolated from global beef markets with consumption matching domestic production. However, in the past six years, Chinese beef consumption has sharply outpaced domestic production and Chinese beef imports have grown rapidly. By 2016, China was the second largest beef importing country, behind the U.S. Current projections by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service include Chinese beef imports still second to the U.S. but jumping from 72 percent of U.S. import levels in 2017 to 87 percent of U.S. beef imports in 2018.
The implication is that China could well be the largest beef importing country in the world in the next year or two. The U.S. clearly wants to increase market share in this rapidly growing market.
Among the top six beef export markets, Japan remains number one, with January to March imports of U.S, beef fractionally lower year over year. Number two South Korea continues to be a very strong market and is up 28.8 percent for the year to date. Number three Mexico is up modestly by 3.1 percent compared to last year. Hong Kong is the fourth largest beef exports up 33.7 percent year over year. Beef exports to number five Canada are down 9.6 percent compared to last year. Taiwan is the number six beef export market and is up 36.7 percent year over year.
Beef exports continue to support cattle and beef markets with six strong major markets plus a number of smaller markets including lots of
Cow disposition affects pregnancy rate
by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension animal scientist
Now we have another good excuse to cull cows due to bad temperament. Producers that routinely breed cows artificially realize that cows that are unruly and nervous are less likely to conceive to artificial insemination. Presumably the lowered conception rates were because they have been stressed as they are passed through the working facilities and restrained while being synchronized and inseminated. Elevated core body temperature could be one reason that conception rates of agitated cows after artificial insemination are lowered. Now it seems that, even in the serenity of a natural breeding pasture, cows with bad dispositions are less likely to conceive when mated with bulls.
University of Florida animal scientists recorded disposition scores over two years on 160
Cows were scored as 1= calm, no movement to 5=violent and continuous struggling while in the working chute. Also, a pen score assessment was assigned as 1=unalarmed and unexcited to 5=very excited and aggressive toward technician. An exit velocity speed score was measured as the cows exited the working chute as 1=slowest and 5=fastest.
An overall temperament index score was calculated by averaging the chute score, pen score
These results suggest that excitable temperament and the consequent elevated cortisol concentrations are detrimental to the reproductive function of cows. These authors concluded that management strategies that improve cow disposition, enhance their immune status, and maintain the cow herd at adequate levels of nutrition are required for optimal reproductive performance. Source: Cooke and co-workers. 2009 Florida Beef Research Report.
In addition to the danger that wild, crazy cows create for cattle producers, the wear and tear on equipment and fences, reduced likelihood of reproductive success is another good reason to cull poor disposition from the herd.