CAB’s Paul Dykstra Sees Positive Times for the Beef Industry in 2024

Listen to Ron Hays talk wit Paul Dykstra about Certified Angus Beef

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the Director of Supply Management and Analysis of Certified Angus Beef, Paul Dykstra, about the CAB program.

With those who are producing successful CAB cattle, Dykstra said terminal traits versus maternal traits is a conversation he enjoys having.  

“It is one that I think is very appropriate for our times as we have advanced in a number of genetic tools that we have available to us, predictions in terms of EPDs, and those indexes that we have,” Dykstra said.

With so many traits to pay attention to, Dykstra said discussing maternal and terminal traits with cattlemen is a good topic of conversation about where to put emphasis.

“At Certified Angus Beef, we are pretty single minded with regard to high-quality beef product that fits our specifications,” Dykstra said. “We are absolutely sensitive to and agree with the fact that cow-calf producers first have to take care of cow functionality at home.”

 With smaller cow numbers, Dykstra said things are more challenging for CAB from a supply perspective.

“In the last year, particularly, of course, the fed cattle harvest was smaller on a weekly basis, so that starts us behind the eight-ball in terms of headcount available to our supply to evaluate for our standards,” Dykstra said. “We have been the benefactors of an increasing Angus-type cattle population in the country, and more animals are eligible as a percentage of the total.”

Dykstra said the premium choice grade was bit higher this year and was strong. The prime grade percentage, Dykstra added, was stronger for three quarters of the year.

“We were down slightly, but it could have been much worse, and we are tickled with the outcome given the headwinds and the challenges that the industry faced this year,” Dykstra said.

2023 brought an increased market until the fourth quarter, when an adjustment was seen. In 2024, Dykstra said the industry is working toward building those values higher, and given demand and supply metrics, he expects positive times ahead.

“With these smaller head counts, it is just a fact of the matter that demand is great, supply is down, and I think that is a pretty simple equation to put together as we move forward,” Dykstra said.

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