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Friday, February 1,2013

Kay's Korner

Closure won't hurt market

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Plainview was the sixth largest plant on the Southern Plains and its idling causes 4,650 head of daily slaughter capacity to be lost to cattle feeders. But the market grossly over-reacted and Plainview’s absence will have little impact on Southern Plains’ live cattle prices this year.

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Friday, January 4,2013

Kay's Korner

Filling capacity is a big issue

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
It’s startling to realize that the U.S. has lost 14.5 million cattle since 1996. The beef industry has adjusted to the loss of these millions of cattle, notably by improving productivity per animal, better red meat yields and record heavy carcass weights for steers and heifers.

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Saturday, December 1,2012

Kay's Korner

Retailers keep beef affordable

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
The U.S. faces a beef “deficit” in the coming year that will challenge every sector of the beef industry. I use the term “deficit” in that per capita beef consumption will decline relative to how much beef people would like to eat. USDA’s latest forecast is for available beef supplies in 2013 to be 54.

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Friday, November 2,2012

Kay's Korner

Drought persists in places

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Much has already been written about the impact of the 2010-2011 Texas/Oklahoma-based drought and this year’s most widespread drought in 59-plus years. Drought has forced cow/calf operators to cull cows, retain fewer heifers than expected, and thus reduce their herds for another year.

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Friday, September 28,2012

Kay's Korner

Cattle feeding moves north

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
“Corn is King” has been the catch-cry in U.S. agriculture for many years. This was also the case in the beef industry as it moved to grain-finishing more and more cattle.

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Friday, August 31,2012

Kay's Korner

Packer profits under pressure

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
When I first started w r i t i n g about the beef industry 25 years ago, it was fashionable for cattle producers to regard beef processors as “the enemy.” They decried packers for their perceived market power and that they made millions of dollars per year.

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Friday, August 10,2012

Kay's Korner

Quality is even more critical

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Beef producers face the most widespread drought in their lifetimes. This means their drought management options are fewer than in years when droughts might have been just as severe but much more local. Take the historic Texas-Oklahoma drought that finally broke this spring.

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Friday, July 6,2012

Kay's Korner

Steaks fuel cutout strength

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
We may be a ground beef nation but steaks still put the sizzle in wholesale beef prices and underpin fed cattle prices. That’s what occurred this spring, as beef cutout values responded to aggressive retail featuring of steak items for the Memorial Day weekend and throughout June.

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Friday, June 1,2012

Kay's Korner

Stronger dollar hurts imports

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Exports are a key contributor to the economic health of the U.S. beef industry. They allow the industry to maximize the value of certain cuts and by-products that have a much lower value at home. And they provide a counter-balance to the domestic market. The result is that exports boost cattle prices.

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Friday, May 4,2012

Kay's korner

Demand needs grilling boost

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
How much Americans spend on beef and how much they buy is how the industry determines domestic beef demand. Because all wealth to the industry comes from consumers, demand trumps everything else. This will be especially important the next two months as supplies of market-ready cattle start to increase seasonally.

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