May 2020 CVCA Newsletter
Catawba Valley Cattlemen’s Association – written by Glenn Detweiler, Livestock Agent
(meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month)
This month’s face to face meeting is canceled on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.
Extension’s Livestock Agent will have an “online web” informational meeting for all with phones or a computer.
If you have hay to make, please feel free to skip this meeting. Call and I will be glad to talk. 405-219-1902.
Directions to get in the meeting – questions – call me.
7 p.m. – Join us by phone or by web to discuss the challenges we are facing at this time in the Beef Industry.
Speaker: Ms. Deidre Harmon, Western North Carolina Beef Specialist will discuss the slowdown of the Food Chain and how it is and
will affect us cattle producers. Speaking for 15 minutes and we will answer any questions about other management issues
happening this time of year. Directions to get in the meeting are inside.
7:30 p.m. – we will just visit (practice visiting on this new system, It will be like being on the phone with a lot of people – until all
are ready to quit.
Ø Scholarship committee needs to meet on Thursday. I am not sure if we can meet physically but will find out and do a “Zoom meeting.” If you are on the committee but feel unsafe meeting, please call me to discuss our options. I am not sure how the different schools are handling awards day but will discuss that on Tuesday evening’s educational meeting also.
We are not having a literal face to face meeting but I want to have some fun and education by meeting on the internet /or on your phone. An Extension information meeting is set up for May 12 at 7 p.m. You can get on by internet or phone.
If you have an email and want to use your computer for the meeting: 1) Register by calling me or the Extension office, and we will send you an email with the link to click on.
We will have Deidre Harmon, Western North Carolina Beef Specialist talk to us for 15 minutes on beef and the food chain problems. We will have a Q&A time as well. If you aren’t making hay please try getting on and if you have trouble call me or members of the leadership team. This is not an official Cattlemen’s meeting but an Extension information meeting only.
Beef Cattle & the Food Chain Article Below
To keep people buying beef, the beef cattle industry needs to keep the stream of cattle moving efficiently and steady as possible. The American consumers will be buying other protein sources if we do not. With the COVID-19 pandemic the cattle flow has slowed down for 2 reasons: 1) COVID-19 disease has impacts on the labor force in processing plants, and 2)the extreme disruption of COVID-19 mandates – has caused food-service dealing with beef to move from the restaurant sector to direct sells off the farm and from the grocery store. It does not help that only four major packer/processor groups account for about 85 percent of beef sales in the United States and each of these groups are experiencing temporary plant closures due to COVID-19.
So the question is how we handle our production of beef with the slowing of the food chain. Slowing of the movement of cattle through the market forces stockers and backgrounders to consider keeping their cattle on grass pastures longer, and cow-calf producers must monitor the cattle markets closely to determine a schedule for selling their calves. Beef cattle feeding operations are left with fat cattle ready for market that must be held back.
The feeding sector of the beef cattle industry has recently had to make modifications in rations and management for their cattle in order to hold over finished cattle as well as giving consideration to limit input of new cattle entering onto
feeding operations. Ways the beef cattle industry is slowing the number of cattle moving through the market include: 1) Cattle not yet in the feeding sector can be kept on grass, provided good pasture conditions prevail in the United States. Any occurrence of severe drought across large regions of the United States would restrict this option for the industry. 2) For beef cattle feeding operations, it depends on both the stage of feeding the cattle are at, and the goals of the operation. 3) For cattle at or near market weight, it is often best to try to sell as soon as the opportunity for sale occurs because the cost of maintenance is high at this stage of growth. In general, the process of slowing cattle moving through the market will require more forage to be fed, more cattle grown to larger weights on grass, and fat cattle fed at maintenance and/or sold at cost. With large animals bunk space increases, feed diets must be balanced with care, and acidosis, bloat, and foot health must be monitored closely. Adjustments on any implant program needs to be considered to reduce the negative impact on the quality (meat) grade if lower energy holding rations are fed to cattle within 100 days of harvest. This requires Veterinarian and Nutritionist consultations. Pen management, stocking rates, space density and comfort all need to be within the BQA guidelines. More information on the National Cattle Beef Association website.