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MID-YEAR CATTLE                    feed numbers are not sustain-                           The Midwest Cattleman · August 11, 2022 · P10
      continued from page 3              able and beef production lev-      AMERICAN FOODS
                                         els will drop.                                                       impact.  The project  will in-
      about it. The blue line tracks        Since most cow-calf oper-       continued from page 3             clude a harvest floor, carcass
      this for each mid-year report      ations calve in the spring,        try need for additional hook  chillers, fabrication area,
      back to 1973, while the black      most culling occurs in the         space while meeting the  rendering, further processing
      line is simply the average         fall,  after  spring-born  calves   needs of our partners, cus- area, storage coolers, freez-
      from all those years.  There       are weaned. For that reason,       tomers, and consumers.”           ers, and loading docks.
      was no estimate in 2016,           the January inventory report          AFG          said         the     American Foods Group
      which is why the gap exists.       tends to be a better measure       500,000-square-foot slaugh- is a family-owned, U.S. beef
      In general, expansion occurs       of the size of the US cowherd.     terhouse near Foristell, MO,  processing company based in
      when heifer retention exceeds      But,  there  is  no  doubt  that   would employ 1,300 workers  Green Bay, WI, with locations
      the long run average, while        2022 is going to be another        with a payroll of more than  throughout the Midwest.
      contraction occurs when heif-      year of contraction for the US     $80 million annually, gener-      Drovers
      er retention is below the long     beef cow herd. The combina-        ating $1 billion in economic
      run average. Note that reten-      tion high culling levels and       NEW BEEF PROCESSING PLANT SET TO BREAK
      tion has been about 1% below       decreased heifer retention are
      the long run average for the       likely to result in something                           GROUND IN MO
      last four years.                   like a 3% reduction in the size                               By Will Robinson
         One number from the re-         of the US cow herd by Janu-           American  Foods  Group  is  ket to create more competition
      port that looks strange at first   ary 2023.  Weather patterns,       set to break ground on a new  for our cattle.”
      glance is the cattle on feed       and prices for calves and cull     cattle processing facility in        Chinn said the plant will
      estimate, which was actual-        cows this fall, will ultimately    Warren, County Missouri.          hopefully incentivize more
      ly flat from last year. Since      determine how many more               Missouri Ag Director Chris  cattle to be fed out in what is
      calf crops have been getting       cows leave the herd between        Chinn tells Brownfield the  already a top-ranking cow/calf
      smaller since 2018, one would      now and the end of the year.       coming $450 million plant  production state.
      expect on feed inventories to      A full summary of the July 1,      will process 2,400 cattle daily.     “We see this as an oppor-
      follow suit. However, consis-      2022 inventory report can be          “They’ll purchase from sale  tunity for many family farms
      tent with decreases in heifer      seen in Table 1 below.             barns, direct off the farm;  to bring that next generation
      retention, more females are                                           they’ll purchase as few head  back  home to the farm  or
      being placed on                                                       as one, or they’ll purchase an  ranch,” Chinn said.  “And we
      feed. Plus, dry                                                       entire goose neck trailer full,  see it as a great opportunity to
      weather in much                                                       or a semi-trailer full,” she said. help grow our rural communi-
      of the country                                                           Missouri  Cattlemen’s As- ties.”
      has pushed cat-                                                       sociation  President  Bruce          AFG said the expected
      tle    into   feed-                                                   Mershon tells Brownfield the  500,000-square-foot plant will
      lots  sooner than                                                     plant will help boost local  employ 1,300 workers.
      would have nor-                                                       market competition and safe-         Mershon said he appreci-
      mally been ex-                                                        guard against a  lack  of pro- ates the leg work put in by the
      pected. As  we                                                        cessing capacity like the back- University of Missouri, Farm
      continue to see                                                       logs  caused  by  the  Holcomb,  Credit Services, and others in
      decreases in cat-                                                     Kansas plant fire and Covid  getting the  American Foods
      tle      inventory,                                                   19.                               Group plant to come to Mis-
      these cattle on                                                          “This is a real boost for us  souri. Brownfield interviewed
                                                                            locally,” Mershon said.  “And  Mershon at the 2022 Cattle
      DROUGHT WEIGHING                   summer grazing programs            we hope that happens all  Industry Summer Business
      continued from page 3              though heavy  feeder  prices       across the country as we de- Meeting in Reno, Nevada.
                                                                            velop  additional  slaughter
      in the forecast as far as fore- are seasonally higher through         capacity and we’ll be able to
      casts reach into the first half  the summer.                          have new players in the mar-
      of  August.   Cattle producers        The July volume of slaugh-
      will continue to face tough de- ter cows and bulls was more
      cisions in the coming weeks.       than double last year in Okla-
         Rapidly advancing drought  homa auctions.  The cull cow  pace in July.  Beef cow slaugh- cent year over year so far this
      conditions in July pushed  market was overwhelmed  ter  through  mid-July  is  up  year.
      Oklahoma auction volumes  with prices sharply lower.  In  14.1 percent year over year                      The July 1 inventory of
      higher as more cows were  Oklahoma City, boning cow  for the year to date. Year over  heifers in feedlots was up 2.9
      culled and increased feed- prices decreased from $89.51/ year percent increases in beef  percent over last year and con-
      er cattle numbers indicated  cwt. the last week of June to  cow slaughter may be smaller  firms that heifers continue to
      early weaning of calves and  an average of $66.70/cwt. the  in the last part of year (com- be diverted into feeder chan-
      early marketings of  sum- last two weeks of July.  Around  pared to increased slaugh- nels rather being retained for
      mer grazing cattle.   Calf  the region, boning cow pric- ter last year).  However, beef  breeding.    The mid-year cat-
      prices dropped into July as  es were similarly lower from  cow slaughter would have to  tle inventory showed that the
      increased volumes of early  Kansas south through Texas.   drop to a level less than six  beef cow herd was down 2.4
      weaned calves accelerated  Cull cow prices generally de- percent higher year over year  percent year over year and
      seasonal price pressure.  Calf  creased around the country  for the remainder of the year  the inventory of beef replace-
      prices recovered somewhat  in July with the sharpest de- before the annual beef cow  ment heifers was down 3.5
      the last week of July as cattle  creases in the central and  slaughter would not be dou- percent from last year.    The
      markets generally firmed up.   southern plains.  In some mar- ble-digit higher for the entire  beef industry is poised to see
      Large seasonal supplies of  kets, cull cow prices recovered  year.  Heifer slaughter, which  the largest single year beef
      heavy feeder cattle were also  slightly the last week of July.  represents decisions sever- cow herd decrease in more
      likely augmented by drought-          Nationally, beef cow slaugh- al months ago about reduced  than 35 years.
      forced movement of cattle off  ter continued a double-digit  heifer retention, is up 3.9 per-
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