Dec. 10, 2018
Meat trade buffers record U.S. meat production
by Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist
The latest meat trade data shows that meat exports are continuing to help offset record meat production in 2018. Each of the major meats – beef, pork and poultry – are projected to reach record levels in 2018 and will combine to push total U.S meat production to a record level of 102.3 billion pounds, up 2.6 percent year over year.
However, 2018 per capita meat consumption in the U.S. is projected at 218.7 pounds, up 1.0 percent year over year. The smaller increase in meat consumption compared to production is largely due to the net movement of meat offshore through meat exports. Thus far in 2018 (January – October), total meat exports of 13.3 billion pounds consist of broiler (44.0 percent); pork (36.3 percent); and beef (19.7 percent).
Broiler exports in October were up 4.2 percent year over year in October and are up 3.9 percent for the year to date. Mexico accounts for 20.1 percent of broiler exports thus far in 2018 with October exports up 15.3 percent and 2018 year to date exports up 7.6 percent. The Caribbean collectively is the second largest market accounting for 9.0 percent of total broiler exports thus far in 2018. However, broiler exports to the Caribbean were down 35.3 percent year over year in October and are down 6.1 percent for the first ten months of 2018. Angola is the third largest market for broiler exports and was up 56.1 percent in October and is up 19.7 percent for the year to date in 2018. Angola accounted for 7.1 percent of total broiler exports through October. Canada and Hong Kong round out the top five broiler export markets, with each accounting for less than five percent of total exports and both down thus far in 2018. The top five broiler export markets account for about 45 percent of broiler exports with the remaining 55 percent spread over more than 150 other countries.
Pork exports were up 1.5 percent year over year in October and are up 5.4 percent for the year to date. Mexico is the largest pork export destination accounting for 30.8 percent of total pork exports thus far in 2018. Pork exports to Mexico were down 3.9 percent year over year in October but are up 1.1 percent for the year to date. Japan accounts for 21.0 percent of pork export thus far in 2018 and was up 8.9 percent year over year in October and is fractionally higher by 0.7 percent for the year to date. Number three pork export market South Korea represents 11.9 percent of year to date exports. Pork exports to South Korea were up 25.8 percent year over year in October and are up 39.0 percent so far this year. Pork exports to Canada were down in October and are down for the year to date. Canada represents 9.0 percent of pork exports so far this year.
Beef exports continued strong for 2018 with October up 4.6 percent year over year and total exports up 12.3 percent thus far in 2018. Japan accounts for 28.4 percent of beef exports thus far in 2018 and were up 10.8 percent in October, adding to a 6.7 percent year to date increase. Beef exports to South Korea were up 17.1 percent year over year in October and are up 39.9 percent for the year to date. South Korea accounts for 20.4 percent of total beef exports thus far in 2018. Beef exports to number three Mexico were up 3.0 percent year over year in October and are up 8.1 percent for the year to date. Mexico accounts for 14.2 percent of beef exports thus far in 2018. Canada and Hong Kong are the fourth and fifth largest beef export markets, each accounting for just under 10 percent of total beef exports. Beef exports to both Canada and Hong Kong were down in October and are down for the year to date. Total beef imports were down 4.8 percent in October and are down fractionally so far this year.
Meat exports are forecast to increase in 2019 while total meat imports are forecast to decrease. Continued improvements in the net trade balance will be critical to partially offset total 2019 meat production forecast at 103.7 billion pounds, up 1.4 percent year over year and another record level. Domestic per capita total meat consumption is forecast to hold steady in 2019.
It is time to begin the early evening feeding of the spring-calving cows
by Glenn Selk,Oklahoma State University Emeritus Extension animal scientist
Each year in December, it is time for a reminder to change the feeding schedule for part, if not all of the spring-calving cow herd.
It is generally accepted that adequate supervision at calving has a significant impact on reducing calf mortality. Adequate supervision has been of increasing importance with the higher price of live calves at sale time. On most ranching operations, supervision of the first calf heifers will be best accomplished in daylight hours and the poorest observation takes place in the middle of the night.
The easiest and most practical method of inhibiting nighttime calving at present is by feeding cows at night; the physiological mechanism is unknown, but some hormonal effect may be involved. Rumen motility studies indicate the frequency of rumen contractions falls a few hours before parturition. Intraruminal pressure begins to fall in the last 2 weeks of gestation, with a more rapid decline during calving. It has been suggested that night feeding causes intraruminal pressures to rise at night and decline in the daytime.
The concept is called the Konefal method. A Canadian rancher, Gus Konefal reported his observations in the 1970’s. In a follow-up Canadian study of 104 Hereford cows, 38.4 percent of a group fed at 8:00 am and again at 3:00 pm delivered calves during the day, whereas 79.6 percent of a group fed at 11:00 am and 9:00 pm actually calved during daylight hours. In a more convincing study, 1331 cows on 15 farms in Iowa were fed once daily at dusk, 85 percent of the calves were born between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Kansas State University scientists recorded data on 5 consecutive years in a herd of spring-calving crossbred cows at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at Hays, Kansas. They recorded the time of calving (to within the nearest one-half hour). Births that could not be estimated within an hour of occurrence were excluded. Cows were fed forage sorghum hay daily between 4:00 and 6:00 pm. For statistical purposes,the day was divided into four-hour periods.
|Between 6:00 and 10:00 am, 34.23 percent of the calves were born;|
|Between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, 21.23 percent of the calves were born;|
|Between 2:00 and 6:00 pm 29.83 percent of the calves were born;|
|Between 6:00 and 10:00 pm, 8.41 percent of the calves were born|
|Between 10:00 pm and 2:00 am, 4.4 percent of the calves were born|
|Between 2:00 am and 6 am, 1.91 percent of the calves were born|
It is interesting to note that 85.28 percent of the calves were born between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm. This is very similar to Iowa data when cows were fed at dusk. Feeding the forage in the early evening hours undoubtedly influenced the percentage of cows calving in daylight hours. (Jaeger and co-workers. Abstracts 2002 Western Section of American Society of Animal Science.)
At Oklahoma State University, with cows that had round-the-clock access to big round bales, but the supplement was fed at dusk, 70 percent of the calves came in daylight hours. Some producers choose to put the big bales of hay inside a fenced pasture or lot. The gate to the hay area is opened in the evening to allow cows access to the hay bale(s), then the cows are herded out of haying area to another pasture the following morning to graze throughout the day.
Although the Konefal method does not let us completely skip the middle of the night heifer checks, this strategy should help us save more calves that need help at delivery and shortly thereafter.