Feed Lot

APR-MAY 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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A ccording to an Agri News re- port out of Minnesota, at a recent livestock auction at Central Live- stock in Zumbrota, Minnesota, fed Holstein steers sold for about $30 less than fed beef steers. Similar reports emerged through- out the region, as Tyson Foods ceased buying Holstein cattle, leav- ing two plants, American Foods and JBS Packer Land, to absorb the intake in an area of Minnesota and Northwest Iowa known for a high volume of dairy-influenced beef. Tyson Public Relations External Communications Spokesman Car- oline Ahn says of the move, "We continue to harvest Holstein cattle from existing long term supply agreements. Meanwhile, customer d emand continues to drive the di- rection of our procurement needs." Kevin Good, Senior Market Analyst with Cattle-Fax, says the move is likely part of a trend to- ward more retail shelf space dedi- cated to branded product. "Where we are in the cattle cycle and the big picture economic factors are driving the behavior of the ma- jor packers," says Good. Tight supply brought more dairy cattle into the market to utilize capacity a n d m e e t d e m a n d . N o w, w i t h supplies expanding, Good says, "There is more to choose from as packers meet the demands of their retail contracts." He cites numbers that put dairy cattle breeds at 15 percent of the f ed marketings from 2000-2010. As the beef herd declined in number from 2006-2014, dairy slaughter numbers increased to fill the gap peaking at around 21 percent in 2015 before reversing. Cary Wimmer is a cattle feeder in Deerfield, Kansas. Deerfield Feeders' 15,000 head dairy heifer development arm funnels a sub- stantial number of Holstein calves into the feedlot, which sells them to the Tyson plant five miles away. "We always have heifers that won't breed, whose only purpose in life is to become a hamburger [or steak]," says Wimmer. He's one of those long-term con- tract holders still supplying the an- imals to Tyson. He says he's had no 6 FEED•LOT  April/May 2017 FEEDLOT FOCUS By tErrI qUEcK-matzIE

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