2015 Winter Update

January 16, 2015

As I begin filling in the dates of upcoming events and activities on the 2015 calendar it’s hard not to look back on what made 2014 so successful. What a banner year for the cattle industry. One of the few times that there was good profit margins in all sectors of the beef supply chain, from the cow calf producer to the retail counter.

In the RAAA strategic planning session in Denver last week, we heard Mr. John Butler who is COO of Beef Marking Group LLC, explain the factors that led up to the perfect storm that caused record high profits in the industry.

  1. Exports hit an all time high as beef demand increased worldwide and the high quality US beef led the markets with our choice and prime USDA Grades.
  2. Ground beef and boxed beef demand within the US saw a large increase as consumers continue to prefer beef in the fast food industry.
  3. Pork supply dropped off sharply due to their problem with disease which limited the supply of weaner pigs.
  4. Chicken had a similar problem as the rooster population and egg fertilization rate dropped dramatically.

Mr. Butler also suggested that as competition for market share increases in 2015 the cattle industry must remain focused on the quality of our product as beef production also begins to increase. He indicated the challenge that we, “the cattle producers” will be faced with, as the US cow herd begins to rebuild, is breeding the genetic traits that will maintain profitability in the beef supply chain.

Not only does the future cow herd need to be more energy efficient to keep the cow calf man in business but the feeder calves we produce must have the genetic components bred into them to be feed efficient and high converters resulting in carcasses that will grade with a high percentage choice and prime.

Red Angus is poised to meet these challenges as the predictability of our cattle continues to exceed the rest of the industry. Through THR and continued implementation of genomic information, the new Red Angus Indices, and multi breed EPD’s, all contribute to,  the largest data base in the industry. Red Angus feeder cattle continue to gain acceptance in the markets and the FCCP Yellow Tag is recognized nationwide, both for feeder cattle and replacement females.

As you plan your 2015 breeding season and make decisions on bull strategies, be sure to utilize all the selection tools available to help make an informed and accurate decision on what bulls best fit your environment and cow herd management.

This year we will be offering 50+ yearling Red Angus 1A, 1B and cat.3 HybRED bulls and seven 2 year olds. Twenty nine of these bulls are high growth carcass bulls to add power and quality to your calf crop. The other 26 are calving ease bulls with higher herd builder indices for use with replacement heifers and cow herd building traits.

Both of these strategies have a high correlation with marbling. It has been shown that marbling has a major contribution to ERT’s in the cowherd and it has never been more important to increase the marbling potential in our feeder cattle as it is a major component in quality grade.

Our breeding philosophies here at the V – X have concentrated to a large degree on marbling since 1978 when Steve & Louise Wood began marketing V – X cattle on the rail. Those philosophies have increased through the years as more and more selection pressure has been put toward marbling. The utilization of ultrasound and in more recent years carcass EPD’s have played a large role in selection criteria. We have also tried to avoid extremes in any one trait maintaining a balance in all genetic traits.

Beef Schools and Producer Meetings:

We have helped organize a series of Red Angus producer meetings around the area. With the addition of two new staff members to the RAAA Marketing team this last fall, they now have enough people to get out into the country more often. Barrett Carlisle , Red Angus Association of America Marketing Specialist,  will be joining us to present current information from RAAA.  All three meetings are free of charge so please join us for dinner, conversation and R A updates.

The first meeting will be in Air Way Heights at Northern Quest Resort and Casino on Feb. 10, 2015, meal served at 6:00 pm, Rooms available at a discounted rate for Feb.10, 2015.

The 2nd meeting is at Memories Diner in Ritzville WA. On Feb. 11, 2015. Meal served at 5:30 pm in conjunction with Cattle Producers of Washington (CPOW) meeting. All guests are welcome to stay for the CPOW meeting at 6:30 pm

The 3rd meeting is in Omak, WA. at the Riverside Grange Hall on Feb. 12, 2015. Meal served at 6:00 pm and co-hosted with the Okanogan County Cattleman’s Association. Meal prepared by Mick Koehn and friends of Pine Ridge Red Angus.

Barrett will go over Red Angus’s marketing tools and the FCCP yellow tag program and how they fit into the new choice + premium grids with Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.  Please RSVP to Barrett Carlisle at barrett@redangus.org or call 800-252-0880 by Feb. 6, 2015. I also want to thank Don Dashiell, Willard Wolf, Jim Hutton, Mick Koehn and of course Barrett, for helping organize these meetings.

Another very good source of information is the Bonner/Boundary Cattle Association Beef School. It will be held on Feb.7, 2015 at the Sandpoint Elks Lodge in Ponderay.  Meeting starts at 9:00 am and concludes around 3:00pm. lunch is provided in the registration fee, and the public is welcome.

Good Luck Calving and as always, if we can be of assistance please call or e mail.

The Wood’s

Leonard, Naomi, Ben, and Dana

Office/ Naomi:  208-263- 5246, Leonard: 208-290-7782, Ben: 208-255-6025, Dana:208 290 1527