Hereford eNews
Hereford Highlights | Market Update | Industry Insight Volume 5, Issue 31
Welcome{IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE ", " END IF} {IF ISEMPTY [Name] THEN "" ELSE [Name] END IF}{IF NOT ISEMPTY [Name] THEN ", " ELSE " " END IF} to Hereford eNews, your source of the most current news affecting Hereford breeders. We aim to focus on newsworthy events pertaining to the Hereford seedstock industry. Sponsored by the American Hereford Association (AHA). Information sent to subscribers comes from material available on or authored by AHA, Hereford World and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC staff.
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Hereford Highlights

Hereford Youth Visit Nation’s Capital

Eighty-five National Junior Hereford Association (NJHA) members visited our nation’s capital, July 31-Aug. 2, during the annual PRIDE Convention. PRIDE (Program for Reaching Individuals Determined to Excel) was hosted in Washington, D.C., where Hereford youth learned about our country’s history and got an up-close look at the White House, the U.S. Capitol, historic national monuments and Arlington Cemetery.

The young leaders stayed at the National 4-H Center and enjoyed a leadership seminar and keynote address from Matt and Andrea Lohr, Broadway, Va. The couple used knowledge from their FFA leadership roles and Matt’s experiences serving in the Virginia State Legislature to deliver a powerful message to the PRIDE delegation. They challenged youth to look for every opportunity to tell the agriculture story, while embracing life with tremendous determination and overcoming whatever obstacles get in the way.

After a tour of Washington, D.C., the group visited local Hereford operations. Mullinix Bros., Woodbine, Md., was the first stop. Gene Mullinix addressed the group, telling them that agriculture is changing, especially on the East coast, and encouraged the young leaders to embrace the changing industry by producing genetics that are efficient in all facets of the beef chain. Katelyn Howes, retired NJHA board member, and her family hosted an evening meal and dance for the youth at their Foggy Bottom Farm, Taneytown, Md.

New Mexico Supermarket Offers CHB®

This summer, John Brooks Supermarket in New Mexico has added Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) Choice to its fresh meat case. Breck Stewart, general manager of John Brooks Supermart, along with his 10 meat department managers, made the decision to make the switch to CHB because of its good quality and good value.

“We have been looking for a beef product which would single us out as the absolute best meat market in the area, and Certified Hereford Beef puts us leagues beyond that,” says Stewart. “Not only do we get the backing of local New Mexico Hereford producers, we also have the guarantee to provide incredible beef which will prove itself on our customers’ family tables and backyard grills.”

John Brooks Supermarket was founded in New Mexico and has always strived to bring the highest quality and largest selection of food items from local and top suppliers. Their fresh fruits and vegetables come straight from the farm and their milk and cheeses come from local dairies, so the freshness and quality is guaranteed.

While many stores have switched to precut and prepackaged meats, John Brooks chooses to maintain the “personal touch” by employing experienced onsite meat managers who can assist customers by cutting the product to individual tastes and specifications or by answering questions. The departments continue to offer the freshest meat products free of chemical tenderizing agents and other additives common in prepackaged meats.

For more information on John Brooks or store locations, visit the John Brooks Web site. For more information on CHB LLC, visit the CHB Web site.

Adcock Wins Supreme at Illinois State Fair

State fair season is in full swing and the Hereford breed took the spotlight at the Illinois State Fair this past week. Tamar Adcock, Assumption, Ill., exhibited the supreme champion female over all breeds in the junior show.

The winning heifer, BH L7 Connor 723 by MSU Lawyer L7, was just recently selected reserve national champion polled owned female at the Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE) in Kansas City. Adcock’s winning did not stop with the supreme heifer, she went on to exhibit the supreme champion cow-calf pair in the junior show. ROF BH Vixen 226S ET and her bull calf sired by NPH Stocker 10H were the winning duo. Congratulations Tamar for reigning supreme with Herefords at the Illinois State Fair!

AHA Annual Meeting Approaches

The 2008 American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Membership Meeting will be Monday, Nov. 3, at the Hilton President Kansas City. To make hotel reservations please call (816) 221-9490 or (800) 445-8667. The reservation cutoff deadline is Sept. 29. Watch for more information in the September and October Hereford World.

Scholarship Applications Due Sept. 1

Applications for Hereford Youth Foundation of America (HYFA) scholarships are due Sept. 1. Seven $2,500 scholarships and two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to NJHA members to assist in financing their college education.

These scholarships are made possible to NJHA members by Bill and Jo Ellard, EE Ranches Inc.; Bob and Dolores Call, CBY Herefords; Lloyd Whitehead, Whitehead Ranches; Bob Kube, Fauquier Farms; foundation female donors and also through contributions to the HYFA by numerous Hereford breeders.

The Bud Snidow Award and the Gary Bishop Memorial Scholarship applications are also due Sept. 1. Two $1,500 scholarships are available to NJHA members.

Order JNHE Pictures Online

To view and purchase JNHE photos taken by AHA and Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) staff, visit the Hereford Photo Shop Web site. Here you’ll find pictures of show and award winners taken at JNHE events throughout the week.

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Market Update

Cattle Outlook
Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain, University of Missouri-Columbia

Grimes and Plain offer market updates for the week past each Friday afternoon. To view this information, visit the University of Missouri AgEBB Web site.

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Industry Insight

Changing Times: Management Considerations for
Cow-Calf Producers

Scott Greiner, Virginia Tech

Without question, the landscape of the beef business has changed. All of us are fully aware of the impact of rising feed, fuel and fertilizer prices, and much discussion has taken place (and will continue to take place) on how energy, economic and many other policies and factors will affect our industry. “How will this impact us in Virginia?” is a primary topic of discussion amongst all of us with a vested interest in Virginia’s beef industry.

While none of us have a crystal ball, the hard facts tell us that annual production costs are up $100-150 per cow for many Virginia producers. As we work through the many external factors that will shape our industry’s future here in the Commonwealth, dealing with the realities of production costs and today’s market are most imperative. Following are a few factors to evaluate that relate to both production costs and gross income. While none are silver bullets, they represent fundamental approaches to controlling costs and optimizing value, which are key in today’s beef business climate.

Maximize Forage Utilization

Our ability to grow and utilize forage has long been the strength and foundation of our cattle industry. The price of grain and supplemental feed dictate that we make prudent use of our forage resources. Evaluate your stocking rate and carrying capacity of your pastures and forage system, and make use of grazing and forage management systems that maximize the utilization of forage resources. Stockpiling for fall-winter grazing, pasture rotation, and proper soil/forage plant management are examples, which have stood the test of time and proven to be effective and economically sound. From an economic perspective, running a few less cows on the available forage system may be advantageous to a larger herd size that requires more purchased supplemental feed. Simply put, forage is our cheapest and best resource, maximize the use of it.

Make Winter Feed Plans Now

Compared to a year ago, most areas of Virginia are in much better shape regarding hay inventory. Now is the time to inventory both the quantity and quality of your hay on hand. Hay yields were high in many areas, although due to weather conditions some hay may not have been put up optimally, thereby impacting quality. Work with your local Extension agent to sample your hay to assess its quality. Quality will impact the need for more expensive supplements this winter and next spring, depending on the production stage of the cows. Proper inventory of hay quantity and quality will allow for more accurate planning of supplement purchases that will be needed to compliment the forage. Don’t forget to account for stockpiled forage that may be available in the fall-winter as well potential changes in cow herd size. Once a plan is put together, begin the process of looking for opportunities to acquire necessary supplements/grain. All indications are that the grain markets will continue to be very volatile through fall harvest. Watch these markets closely and work with suppliers to acquire what is needed at an optimum time.

Add Value to the Calf Crop

Annual feeder calf sales represent the majority of the income for most cow-calf operations. There is substantial evidence to support there are several strategies that enhance returns on these calves. Programs such as the Virginia Quality Assured (VQA) program, which documents and verifies a management program (vaccinations, weaning, genetics) and offers cattle in load lots, provide an opportunity to enhance value of the calf crop. While these programs do require additional input costs labor, these additional costs are offset by the additional value received for the calf. In recent years, the value difference has grown between calves sold through programs such as VQA compared to freshly weaned calves with no reputation. With the increased costs of gain and tight margins being experienced by feedyard operators, many expect the value differentiation for feeder cattle to be even stronger.
Additionally, there is speculation that feedyards will be increasingly interested in placing heavier calves. For certain, there will be a premium on cattle that will stay healthy and have a reputation.

Evaluate Cow Herd

Open cows (regardless of age) will not generate revenue through calf sales in the coming year, and consume forage that could be used to support other animals in the herd. Pregnancy checking the cow herd has always been an economically sound management practice. Given the carrying costs of cows, working with a veterinarian to identify open females will provide significant return on investment. All cows should be evaluated as to their productivity and profitability. Generally, cows with the poorest returns are those that produce less pounds of saleable calf and calve late. Since calf value is primarily determined by calf weight, cows calving late in calving season (particularly those which consistently calve late) tend to be the least profitable. With a good cow record keeping system, poor-producing cows and problem cows can be identified and culled when warranted. Old cows reaching the end of their productive life would also be candidates.

Keep Good Records

The ability to manage costs is dependent on the ability to define the source of these costs and make decisions accordingly. Similarly, identifying opportunities to add value and improve management and genetics is dependent on a good record-keeping system. Now is the time to get a handle on the exact operating costs of the beef production enterprise so that measures can be taken to remain profitable in the future.

None of us know exactly how the landscape of our Virginia beef industry may change. However, it is clear that controlling costs and deriving the most value for our product need to be the focus, as they always have. Each producer’s beef enterprise is unique, and consequently strategies such as those outlined above need to be evaluated within the context of their application to an individual operation.

Editor's note: We realize this article is directed toward Virginia producers, but we feel the content is valuable to producers from every region of the U.S.


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