Tag Archives: Beef

For the first time in two years, the Beef Improvement Federation’s annual meeting and research symposium will be held in person. Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center director and beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said Iowa State University faculty and staff are excited to host this year’s event, set for June 22-25 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

“We’ve been working for nearly two years on the program, speakers, tours and logistics of this great event,” Loy said. “Especially because COVID forced the in-person aspect to be withdrawn in 2020, we know people are ready to gather for timely and useful information from experts and to learn about the Iowa beef industry through tours.”

The symposium features two-and-a-half days of educational programming and a full day of tours, with a special young producer symposium during the first afternoon.

General sessions are set for Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and panel discussions on a variety of beef production and genetic improvement topics begin late each morning and continue through those afternoons.

Following the second full day’s sessions, participants will attend an evening social and dinner at the Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center on the Iowa State campus in Ames.

“We’re looking forward to hosting the group and showing them the facility,” Loy said. “It will be a great ending to the day’s events.”

Registration is open and hotel information is now available on the symposium website https://beefimprovement.org/symposium.
Early registration (May 14 deadline) is $345; $125 for students.
Full registration (May 15 and after) is $395; $145 for students.

Tours: $45, East Tour capacity is 52; West Tour capacity is 40.

 

 

February exports of U.S. beef and pork remained below the rapid pace established in early 2020, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). However, exports were consistent with USMEF’s February projections and the federation still expects 2021 beef exports to increase substantially year-over-year, while pork exports are projected to narrowly surpass the 2020 record.

Beef exports totaled 103,493 metric tons (mt) in February, down 8% from a year ago, valued at $669.5 million (down 2%). This was due mainly to a decline in variety meat exports, as beef muscle cuts were steady with last year in value at $597.9 million on a volume of 82,530 mt (down 3%). Through February, beef exports were 5% below last year’s pace at 208,540 mt, valued at $1.32 billion (down 2%). Beef muscle cut exports were down 1% to 163,928 mt and steady in value at $1.18 billion. Beef exports to South Korea are off to a very strong start in 2021 and demand for U.S. beef continues to grow in China, capitalizing on access gains achieved in the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement.

February pork exports were down 12% from a year ago at 239,240 mt, valued at $629.4 million (down 13%). For muscle cuts only, exports fell by the same percentages to 203,526 mt valued at $548 million. Through February, pork exports were 11% below last year’s pace at 487,896 mt, valued at $1.27 billion (down 13%). Pork muscle cut exports were also down 11% to 411,760 mt, valued at $1.1 billion (down 14%). February pork exports set new records in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica and were very strong to the Philippines and Colombia. As anticipated, pork exports to China/Hong Kong trended lower than the enormous volumes shipped in 2020 but the region continues to be the largest destination for U.S. pork.

Fueled by larger variety meat shipments to Mexico, Canada and Hong Kong, February exports of U.S. lamb increased 142% from a year ago to 1,152 mt, with value up 19% to $1.6 million. Through February, lamb exports were up 52% from a year ago to 2,179 mt but value fell 19% to $2.8 million.

“While February exports were in line with expectations, the results don’t fully reflect global demand for U.S. red meat,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “Logistical challenges, including congestion at some U.S. ports, are still a significant headwind and tight labor supplies at the plant level continue to impact export volumes for certain products – including some variety meat items and labor-intensive muscle cuts.”

Halstrom notes that the flow of exports through U.S. ports is showing some gradual improvement as COVID-impacted crews move closer to full strength, but remains a serious concern for the U.S. agricultural sector.

“USMEF greatly appreciates the members of Congress and ag industry representatives who have worked to bring more attention to this situation, and the efforts of maritime regulators to address shipping practices,” he said.

Export demand has remained solid despite logistical challenges and other pandemic-related obstacles. Continued international demand, along with robust domestic business, contributed to stronger cutout values in the first quarter, which were up an average of 27% year-over-year for pork (nearly $90/cwt) and 4% for Choice beef ($224/cwt).

 

 

A research paper released Monday confirmed U.S. beef production is the most sustainable production system in the world, a fact long understood by America’s cattle producers, who between the 1960s and 2018, reduced the carbon footprint of the industry by 40 percent while producing 66 percent more beef.

“We already know a growing global population will require and demand high-quality food, which means we need ruminant animals, like beef cattle, to help make more protein with fewer resources,” said NCBA president and Kansas cattleman, Jerry Bohn. “Cattle generate more protein for the human food supply than would exist without them because their unique digestive system allows them to convert human-inedible plants, like grass, into high-quality protein.”

Although the study’s abstract disingenuously advocates for decreased beef consumption, the paper itself repeatedly points out that the advantages of the U.S. cattle and beef production model far outweigh the impacts. The U.S. has been a global leader with the lowest emissions intensity in the world for the past 25 years, producing just 2 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, or 0.5 percent of global GHG emissions.

The study examined livestock lifecycle assessments (LCAs) from across the globe to reach its conclusions and pointed out that there is significant room for improvement of global livestock production practices. While it laid out many opportunities for improvement, it also recognized the work already done by the U.S. cattle industry to become the leader in sustainable beef production. Thanks to early adoption of innovative grazing practices combined with advances in cattle breeding and nutrition, U.S. producers have already employed many of the suggested practices that the study suggests employing around the world.

While the content of the study repeatedly confirms the U.S. as the leader in sustainable beef and cattle production, NCBA was disappointed to see a statement in the abstract that advocated for a reduction in beef consumption. This statement is not only unfounded but is inappropriate to include in a summary of work that consistently validates American conservation and management practices. Cattle production protects open space, guards against catastrophic wildfire, and protects wildlife habitat across the country. Those benefits, and the practices that underpin them in the United States, further confirm the country’s role as a global leader.

“Beef and cattle production is a critical part of our country’s identity as a global leader in sustainable beef production, but also in our long-held principle that economic, environmental, and community-based sustainability will result in widespread benefits,” said Bohn. “U.S. farmers and ranchers are the best in the world when it comes to producing safe, wholesome and sustainable high-quality beef for American families, and doing it with the smallest possible footprint and we’re committed to continuing on that path of improvement.”