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Thursday, December 31,2009

Kay’s Korner

How many cows do you have?

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Why is it that packers disclose so much information about their business, but beef cattle producers so little? The contrast has fascinated me ever since I started surveying the industry’s largest packers, cattle feeders and cow/calf producers back in the late 1980s. Packers were initially reluctant to provide slaughter capacity or annual slaughter or sales data. But they soon realized

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Friday, December 4,2009

KAYS korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
The authors did not cite meatpacking, but they could have. In 1988, the top three packers (IBP, ConAgra and Excel) shared 67.1 percent of fed steer and heifer slaughter, according to my data. Their market share climbed as high as 73.8 percent in 2001, but then declined and has remained below 70 percent ever since.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY’S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Most folk in the cattle/ beef industry will be happy to see the end of one of the most challenging years in history. You have to go back to 1973, when President Nixon imposed price controls on beef, to find one as challenging. The market was in uproar the rest of the year.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY'S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Next time you pull your boots on, reflect for a moment about how the leather business affects the price of cattle. You might be surprised at how much. That?s because hides, which are turned into all types of leather, make up two-thirds of the value of all the byproducts that come from each animal.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY'S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
US Premium Beef (USPB) remains a remarkable model of how beef producers can work with, not against, packers and put more money in their pockets. USPB began operations in 1997 with a minority ownership in then Farmland National Beef and has gone from strength to strength.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY'S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
The U.S.s shrinking cattle population is becoming a huge concern for the beef industry. The main reason for the declining numbers is lack of profitability. Cattle feeders in particular have lost billions of dollars in equity in the past two years. The main reason for this is high input costs and weak beef demand due to the recession.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY'S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Fed cattle processors enjoyed their best August operating margins since 2003. The real story, though, is that they achieved this not at the expense of cattle feeders. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cattle feeders enjoyed a strong and much-needed rally in prices.

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Friday, November 6,2009

KAY'S korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Go into any supermarket and youll find that most poultry items are branded with a company name. These include Tyson, Perdue and Pilgrims, which is soon to be majority-owned by JBS. Branded beef is much harder to find. There are niche brands such as Harris, Maverick, Lauras Lean and Coleman.

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Friday, July 31,2009

KAYS

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Memo to federal food safety officials: Want to protect consumers by eliminating E.coli O157:H7 from the food supply? Then invest in the commercial use of a vaccine for cattle. Then make its use mandatory, but pay most of the vaccines cost to cattle producers for the first few years.

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Friday, May 29,2009

KAYS korner

by Steve Kay - Contributing Columnist
Paris is a long way culturally and geographically from Amarillo or Omaha. But a meeting in the French capital last week could have an important bearing on the profitability of the U.S. beef industry for the next year or so. Paris played host to the annual meeting of the World Organization for Animal Health (commonly known as OIE).

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