Feed Lot

NOV 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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You've seen the headlines. You've decided you want to pro- duce cattle for the Chinese export market. But what's next? Accord- ing to Doug Stanton, vice president of sales and customer develop- ment with IMI Global, you need to talk to your packer. If you're a cow- calf producer, you need to talk to your feeder. Stanton spoke on market oppor- tunities at the Feeding Quality Fo- rum last August. Not surprisingly, China was one of the biggest of those opportunities. The fastest-growing beef market in the world, Stanton noted, "Chi- na's middle class alone is already as large as the entire U.S. popula- tion. When combined with Hong Kong and Vietnam, the region is the largest importer in the world. Fastest growing, too. Stanton said China's imports broke records in 2016, up 56% in a year-long period. While the coun- try's top suppliers are Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Argentina and Canada, the U.S. had been out of the market for the last 12 years. That may change since the U.S. Ex- port Verification Program was fi- nalized June 17. While source verification — from birth to slaughter — is a re- quirement, age verification is not. However, Stanton said, age verifi- cation "is an opportunity" and does allow the carcasses to bypass den- tition and physiological checks for age at the packer. He noted elec- tronic identification (EID) tags must be applied to cattle before they leave the ranch they were born on, as China does not allow back verification. An animal's shipping certificate moves with it throughout the supply chain, and EID tags are allocated in the IMI Global online tag lookup sys- tem, Stanton explained. China bans all hormonal growth promotants and tests for synthetic hormones and beta-agonists upon import ar- rival. That's why many packers are currently utilizing Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) and Verified Natural Beef program cattle. Think your cattle meet the crite- ria? Stanton said it pays to make sure. "If you want to get involved in China, I would be talking to the packer or packers you're market- ing product to and see what their requirements are going to be be- fore you make any buying deci- sions," he said. "We've had people who are go- ing out and buying cattle that are source-and-age verified, and so they feel like they are in that mar- ket and they're ready to go to Chi- na. But they have not talked to the packer buyers yet to find out what those requirements will be, or what their expectations are," Stanton noted. "We don't want anyone to get into that kind of situation. My best advice is to talk to the guys you're dealing with and see what they think you ought to do." Beyond China, Stanton dis- cussed other market opportunities, and they all have one thing in com- mon — documentation. He said if you're doing something to differ- entiate your cattle from others, you're going to have to keep track of it if you want to get paid. For more information on the meetings, visit www.feedingquali- tyforum.com. FL 20 FEED•LOT  November 2017 KNOW Before They Go Want To Produce Cattle For China? Communication, Information Key. FEEDLOT FOCUS By KATRINA HUFFSTUTLER

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