Perhaps the best sector right now in terms of profitability is the cattle business. At an ag roundtable in Muscatine, Iowa, Dr. Brandon Koch of Kent Feeds said it’s a fascinating time to be involved in the beef industry from a pure numbers standpoint and an animal weight standpoint.
“We kind of touched a little bit on that whole animal body weight size and where we’re going and really what it all boils down to is the market,” Dr. Koch said. “We saw over a dollar eighty a pound bids in the North and down South they were bidding at over a dollar seventy-nine with zero takers. We’re coming into the October market when prices are usually the lowest they are and it’s still taking north of a dollar eighty to get a live steer bought. How long is that going to hold out in the coming year with the market changes that we’ve seen volatility-wise.”
Dr. Koch said genetics as well as nutrition are the key driving factors.
“If you go back and look at the animal body weight – really 20 years doesn’t even take us back to the year 2000 – so if you go back 30 years, we didn’t used to feed animals with distillers grain and co-products back in the 90’s, and now you can’t hardly find a diet without those in it,” Dr. Koch said.
Dr. Koch added that the animal frames are larger to accommodate the larger harvest weights, and some newer nutritional products also contribute to producing higher quality overall beef.