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Friday, October 24,2014

Black Ink

Fixer uppers: profiting from cull cows

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Decades of using at least breed-average bulls in the pasture and artificial insemination (AI) on the top half moved their progeny up from 10 percent premium Choice to eight times that. I would not want to start over with any other cows now, but it’s still easy to find a bottom 20 percent in these.

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Friday, August 15,2014

Black Ink

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
The homestretch is a term borrowed from horse racetracks in the 1800s to describe the final phase of any endeavor. Applying it to calves now suggests weaning is the finish line, although in the big picture we have to realize this is just one of several laps on the track of beef production.

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Friday, April 18,2014

Black Ink

Good news, bad news

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Sometimes people complain that all they ever read or hear in the news is bad. They may blame the messenger: “Why can’t they tell us about all the good things that happened today?” The news people are just doing their job. Things are supposed to go right, so it is only news when they go awry.

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Friday, March 14,2014

Black Ink

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Of course, reputation is still part of it, as information is shared and stored very quickly. Oftentimes those buyers may know more about the post-weaning performance of your calves than you do. You want to do all you can to ensure what they know is good news; such a reputation is bound to help your sustainability in the market.

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Friday, December 20,2013

Black Ink

Planning, reality and planning

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
The first calves are supposed to share my birthday in early February, and that means they are supposed to wait until I get back from NCBA. That’s short for the Cattle Industry Annual Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Tradeshow, held in Nashville, TN, this winter.

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Friday, October 25,2013

Black Ink

Prime the pump

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Any intact male will provide some variety of calves, all worth more than ever. If they make it through the finishing phase, consumers will eat them all, even though the beef will cost more than ever. If they are disappointed, will they go back to that well?.

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Friday, August 30,2013

Feeding forum preps for change

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Notwithstanding shortterm bullish corrections as heat and drought still pummeled the market, Basse said the long-term outlook pulls corn prices down because of accumulating stocks. Next year, corn may trade as low as $3.25 per bushel, and not exceed $6 for a decade.

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Friday, August 16,2013

Black Ink

Retaining an interest

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
Some were all about buying low, selling high and happiest when they beat both their supplier and buyer. But in the mid 1990s, more feeders made new commitments to customer service, reaching out into the country. They wanted “relationships” with producers.

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Friday, June 21,2013

Black Ink

No brainer?

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
You’ve heard it many times, maybe even said it: “Oh yeah, that’s a no-brainer.” But how can that be when that assessment and comment took conscious thought? I submit there are very few legitimate no-brainers except autonomous functions like breathing..

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Friday, April 19,2013

Black Ink

by Steve Suther, Certified Angus Beef
I’m sure I was supposed to learn responsibility through chicken chores, but I probably needed more motivation. A few pep talks, a bonus of staying up late if the chickens laid 75 percent or more. Maybe even the explanation that this was Mom’s discretionary fund and I could help her.

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