Current. Relevant. Quality-driven.
For nearly 10 years, Paul Dykstra has written a bi-weekly market column for the brand, these past six years as the CAB Insider. He shares current market updates, trends and observations with a closer look at the cattle market from the beef-product side than you can find anywhere else. Yes, there’s an emphasis on the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, and you will find the latest research exploring carcass quality. We want you to be the first to know all of this important industry information, to help bring even more value to your herd.
The man on the inside
Paul Dykstra is the beef cattle specialist for the Certified Angus Beef ® brand. A native of Colorado, Paul grew up on a commercial cow calf ranch in western Colorado and later earned a degree in animal science from Colorado State University. Paul worked as a feedyard manager for the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., before joining the brand’s supply development team in 2002.
Paul combines his experience and knowledge to work closely with ranchers and feedyard managers to raise Angus cattle using the best management practices to enhance profitability by producing quality beef.
READ THE LATEST INSIDERS
One does not need to look far to see the gyrations that COVID-19 has brought to the beef supply chain. Many end meat whole muscle cuts and trim also find their way to the in-store grinder to fulfill America’s propensity toward ground beef consumption.
As many Americans are scrambling to find a new normal during the COVID-19 crisis, restaurants are being forced to find creative ways to keep food moving as dine-in is ceased. Meanwhile, retailers are scrambling to find beef to put in the meat case. Many CAB partners are lending helping hands.
Seasonal factors are impacting the CAB carcass headcount. Feeders have older, heavier cattle and more in the yard, lending to a higher supply while CAB acceptance is staying at a steady 36%.
CAB continues to pay producers who target the brand. Up to $92M in 2019 was paid back to feeders and producers. Steer and heifer carcass weights are at record highs, averaging 904 lb. the first six weeks of 2020.
This year has started out with record highs for fed steer/heifer carcasses grading Prime. How much will the market demand and at what premium can it support? We haven’t reached the ceiling yet.
Cattlemen always try to lower cow cost while improving returns. Paul shares what pays in your cow herd and why you want above average cows to hold onto. CAB premiums averaged $116/cwt. in 2018 and 2019.