Farm Talk

Front page stories

October 8, 2013

2013 K-State Beef Stocker Days

Parsons, Kansas — The gravel road to Kansas State University’s Beef Stocker Unit filled with dust on Sept. 26 as cattlemen and women from across Kansas and bordering states gathered to listen to industry leaders speak of the future of the beef stocker segment and how to make improvements in their own operations.

“We’re in the midst of several big changes,” KSU Agricultural Economist Glynn Tonser said. “Some will see opportunity, some won’t. That will dictate who comprises the industry moving forward.”

Dwindling national beef cow numbers has been a driving factor in change — something the self described cynic believes will take until 2015 to see improvements on.

A September USDA Cattle on Feed report shows this Sept. 1 feedlot inventory as the smallest September inventory since 2003 — down seven percent from a year ago. With an increase in bunk space availability at feedyards, Tonser believes opportunities await Beef Stocker producers willing to repurpose feedyards.

“There are probably going to be feedyards with low asking prices,” Tonser stated, adding that the open bunk space could be used to background cattle, intensifying the beef stocker segment.

Admitting this investment isn’t for every producer, Tonser said it should be something to consider if the opportunity to buy at a low asking price, locking down a low interest rate, presents itself. This would also help with the limited acreage availability.

“If we intensify the stocker segment, one way is  additional backgrounding on concrete, compared to what we’ve done in the past,” he said.

When it comes to marketing, Tonser believes a forward-looking approach is essential to economic success on the futures market.

“You’re projecting prices at points in the future. If the purchase is three weeks from now and the sale is 16 weeks from now, you have to look at what the world will look like then,” Tonser said. “The futures market gives us a starting point for that.”

Tonser reminded producers consumers control the market and  shared a tweet The Center For Food Integrity (@foodintegrity) from Sept. 4:

“Science tells us if we can do something. Society tells us if we should do it.”

In recent Beef Checkoff Program research, the Beef Demand Determinant Study (http://www.beef tion/ 130612demanddeterminantstudy.asp) was conducted to find what checkoff programs should focus on to drive beef demand forward. Ranking in order of importance was:

1. Food safety

2. Product quality

3. Price

4. Nutrition

5. Health

6. Social aspects

7. Sustainability dimensions.

Tonser reminded producers that no matter what they thought, scientific feasibility was not the same as public acceptance, something Tom Field of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln agreed on.

“We can get it right or we can explain to customers and critics why we didn’t,” Field stated. “If we loose trust with consumers, we will loose market share that we will not recover.”

Text Only
Front page stories
  • shoup_coltrain_0028.jpg Big chill, little damage in SE Kan. corn fields

    Corn seedlings turned brown by recent cold temperatures had growers speed-dialing their crop insurance agents last week.
    For most, though, it may be one of those “not-as-bad-as-it-looks” situations.
    K-State Agronomy Specialist Doug Shoup and Wildcat Extension District agents Josh Coltrain and Keith Martin were out in fields late last week surveying the situation.

    April 22, 2014 5 Photos

  • StockersFP.jpg USDA beefs up production forecast

    In USDA’s latest forecast, total meat production is predicted to be lower in 2014 despite higher beef production and price expectations.
    And on the crop side, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, issued April 9, helped ease fears of lower crop prices.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • el_nino.jpg El Niño return likely but little crop impact expected — for now

    Long-range weather forecasters expect an El Niño return sometime this year but its timing and strength are still beyond the reach of reliable predictability.
    Odds for an El Niño occurrence increase as temperatures warm in the Pacific. Above-average sea surface temperatures are currently being measured over much of the eastern tropical Pacific.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim_McCann_0001.jpg Speaking up for beef

    Jim McCann wants cattlemen to have a seat at the table — and he wants beef to be the main course.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • prescribed_burn.jpg Activity heats up on the prairie when you’re going to grass

    Going to grass is always an exciting time, but getting ready for it is lots of hard work that involves far more than opening a gate.
    And most of it happens well ahead of green-up.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • RoddMoesel_cmyk.jpg Gardens are gateway to agriculture says Okla. Hall of Famer

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Enlow_tractor.jpg Enlows celebrate half-century heritage

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • HF_14_shooter_0161.jpg HorseFest sizzles Springfield with huge trade show, education and entertainment

    Internationally-known horseman Guy McLean set the bar high at last week’s HorseFest in Springfield, Mo., and a full slate of savvy horsemen and women, hot competition and the area’s biggest equine trade show added up to a great weekend for thousands of area equine enthusiasts.

    March 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • KSU-Sylvester.jpg Area families earn ‘Master’ honors

    March 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bradshaw_tractor-025.jpg An answer to a prayer

    “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Applying those words to real life became an answer to a prayer for Carthage, Mo., farmer Larry Peters, and the Fairview Christian Church.

    March 11, 2014 4 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content