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Changes in the Cow-Calf Industry, Vol 1, #1

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pointrider

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Hi folks!

I thought you might be interested in some statistics on the cow-calf industry. Here's a start. More to come.

CHANGES BY STATE (& REGION) 1999 vs 2004

500+ HEAD OPERATIONS
1999 vs 2004, the states with a change of +/- 20 or more

+ 20 or more:
AL (+20)
ID (+50)
ND (+20)
OR (+40)
SD (+90)

(+220)

-20 or more:
AZ (-40) NM (-50)
CO (-50) TX (-100)
FL (-20) WY (-50)
MT (-30)
NE (-20)

(-360)

(U.S. Total: -95)

100-499 HEAD OPERATIONS
1999 vs 2004, the states with a change of +/- 100 or more

+100 or more:
AR (+180) MN (+245)
GA (+260) MO (+910)
IA (+290) OK (+700)
KS (+190) SD (+100)
KY (+590) VA (+100)

(+3,565)

-100 or more:
CA (-300) NE (-180)
CO (-550) NM (-200)
ID (-160) TX (-200)
MS (-160) WA (-120)
MT (-400) WY (-350)

(-2,620)

(U.S. Total: +1,155)

Source: www.nass.usda.gov

I have seen regional shifts in agriculture before. There is no doubt in my mind that the severe drought in the West in the past 4-5 years (depending on your location) contributed to this change in several ways. The question now is, with improved rainfall and grassland conditions, will the Mountain West be able to recapture its share of total beef production in the years ahead.

Other factors besides drought are involved in this shift, also. For example, the heavy demand for land in the West for "suburban sprawl," and probably most important, water issues.

Texas is another good example of fast growth taking ranch land out of production. Also, I drove through West Texas on my way to San Antonio last fall, and I was amazed at how few cattle I saw in West Texas even though pasture conditions looked good. Perhaps energy prices have the oilpatch cowboys more interested in their oil and gas wells these days.

From my experience, regional shifts get a certain momentum and are hard to stop until the new demographics mature. Then other factors may come into play that starts another shift. We probably need a little more time to say if this shift to more production to the central part of the country (plus some gain in "regional markets" such as the Northwest and the Northeast) is real, but it is off to a good start.

Individual states may be able to buck the trend a little by "diversifying." South Dakota is gaining larger operations, and larger and fewer is always the way in business including agriculture until the industry reaches a point where more opportunity exists for niche products. It was just reported that South Dakota hunters last year took more deer than ever, the fifth straight year the harvest increased.

It's interesting that the five year increased harvest coincides with the latest five year drought. Looks like South Dakota was determined to increase hunting rights and preserve total income.

Where do you see the industry going from here considering all the issues in play right now?

"The challenges of the future cannot be met by the answers of the past."
 

pointrider

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Sorry folks,

The numbers (+'s and -'s) are too close together. It is not like that on the screen where I typed in the data. I will change it ASAP to make it easier to see the +'s and -'s. No later than this evening.
 

agman

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pointrider said:
Hi folks!

I thought you might be interested in some statistics on the cow-calf industry. Here's a start. More to come.

CHANGES BY STATE (& REGION) 1999 vs 2004

500+ HEAD OPERATIONS
1999 vs 2004, the states with a change of +/- 20 or more

+ 20 or more:
AL (+20)
ID (+50)
ND (+20)
OR (+40)
SD (+90)

(+220)

-20 or more:
AZ (-40) NM (-50)
CO (-50) TX (-100)
FL (-20) WY (-50)
MT (-30)
NE (-20)

(-360)

(U.S. Total: -95)

100-499 HEAD OPERATIONS
1999 vs 2004, the states with a change of +/- 100 or more

+100 or more:
AR (+180) MN (+245)
GA (+260) MO (+910)
IA (+290) OK (+700)
KS (+190) SD (+100)
KY (+590) VA (+100)

(+3,565)

-100 or more:
CA (-300) NE (-180)
CO (-550) NM (-200)
ID (-160) TX (-200)
MS (-160) WA (-120)
MT (-400) WY (-350)

(-2,620)

(U.S. Total: +1,155)

Source: www.nass.usda.gov

I have seen regional shifts in agriculture before. There is no doubt in my mind that the severe drought in the West in the past 4-5 years (depending on your location) contributed to this change in several ways. The question now is, with improved rainfall and grassland conditions, will the Mountain West be able to recapture its share of total beef production in the years ahead.

Other factors besides drought are involved in this shift, also. For example, the heavy demand for land in the West for "suburban sprawl," and probably most important, water issues.

Texas is another good example of fast growth taking ranch land out of production. Also, I drove through West Texas on my way to San Antonio last fall, and I was amazed at how few cattle I saw in West Texas even though pasture conditions looked good. Perhaps energy prices have the oilpatch cowboys more interested in their oil and gas wells these days.

From my experience, regional shifts get a certain momentum and are hard to stop until the new demographics mature. Then other factors may come into play that starts another shift. We probably need a little more time to say if this shift to more production to the central part of the country (plus some gain in "regional markets" such as the Northwest and the Northeast) is real, but it is off to a good start.

Individual states may be able to buck the trend a little by "diversifying." South Dakota is gaining larger operations, and larger and fewer is always the way in business including agriculture until the industry reaches a point where more opportunity exists for niche products. It was just reported that South Dakota hunters last year took more deer than ever, the fifth straight year the harvest increased.

It's interesting that the five year increased harvest coincides with the latest five year drought. Looks like South Dakota was determined to increase hunting rights and preserve total income.

Where do you see the industry going from here considering all the issues in play right now?

"The challenges of the future cannot be met by the answers of the past."

Thanks for the post and your comments. Could this shift be caused by Wal-Mart's influence on the world?!! I just could not resist before someone accused Wal-Mart for the shift in cattle inventories. The real culprit is Mother Nature-drought.
 

Mike

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Agman, I see where one of the Walton boys had a fatal accident yesterday. Will anything change at Wal-Mart? Just wondering if you have any speculation.
Way too many get cocky when flying those little "puddle jumpers". About nine out of ten are pilot error.
 

pointrider

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Hi Mike!

If you have the time to tell us, I was wondering --- in your opinion --- what percent of the cow-calf producers in Alabama have diversified operations that include broiler production?
 

Mike

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pointrider said:
Hi Mike!

If you have the time to tell us, I was wondering --- in your opinion --- what percent of the cow-calf producers in Alabama have diversified operations that include broiler production?

I'm just guessing because I can know only my immediate area but here goes! 37% What do I win?
 

agman

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Mike said:
Agman, I see where one of the Walton boys had a fatal accident yesterday. Will anything change at Wal-Mart? Just wondering if you have any speculation.
Way too many get cocky when flying those little "puddle jumpers". About nine out of ten are pilot error.

This incident won't change anything at Wal-Mart. Management is decentralized in many respects.

After flying by myself for many years I quit when I was flying no more than 200 hours per year. Computers eliminated the need for a plane. To fly a complex airplane I believe you need to fly at least 300+ hours per year to remain proficient, especially IFR rated. The weekend pilot scares me to death.
 

Mike

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agman said:
Mike said:
Agman, I see where one of the Walton boys had a fatal accident yesterday. Will anything change at Wal-Mart? Just wondering if you have any speculation.
Way too many get cocky when flying those little "puddle jumpers". About nine out of ten are pilot error.

This incident won't change anything at Wal-Mart. Management is decentralized in many respects.

After flying by myself for many years I quit when I was flying no more than 200 hours per year. Computers eliminated the need for a plane. To fly a complex airplane I believe you need to fly at least 300+ hours per year to remain proficient, especially IFR rated. The weekend pilot scares me to death.

Way back......when I was about 25, I went through flight lessons and the instructor let me "solo" too early. Although I was too dumb to realize it at the time, I just wanted to fly. Thought hard about the next week. Never went back. Still got my log book. Has 18 hours in it.
 

RobertMac

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Mike said:
agman said:
Mike said:
Agman, I see where one of the Walton boys had a fatal accident yesterday. Will anything change at Wal-Mart? Just wondering if you have any speculation.
Way too many get cocky when flying those little "puddle jumpers". About nine out of ten are pilot error.

This incident won't change anything at Wal-Mart. Management is decentralized in many respects.

After flying by myself for many years I quit when I was flying no more than 200 hours per year. Computers eliminated the need for a plane. To fly a complex airplane I believe you need to fly at least 300+ hours per year to remain proficient, especially IFR rated. The weekend pilot scares me to death.

Way back......when I was about 25, I went through flight lessons and the instructor let me "solo" too early. Although I was too dumb to realize it at the time, I just wanted to fly. Thought hard about the next week. Never went back. Still got my log book. Has 18 hours in it.

If I'm not mistaken, you don't have to have a pilot's license to fly an ultralite, which is what I believe he was flying. My father flew a B-26 in WWII, crop dusted, and did some of the first ag research on crop dusting. One brother flew tankers for SAC and was instructor rated for jets...now flyes the Super Cub checking the crops. Another brother was taught to fly by these two and I started to learn, but like Mike never finished...but I still love to fly "by the seat of my pants" in the Super Cub
 

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