At the 2024 CattleCon held in Orlando, Florida, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays had the chance to talk with the President and CEO of CattleFax, Randy Blach, about the USDA Cattle Inventory Report released on January 31, 2024.
Our coverage from the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Orlando is being powered by Farm Data Services of Stillwater.
Blach said he didn’t see too many surprises in the latest Cattle Inventory Report, as it lined up well with his expectations.
“We haven’t been able to really see nationwide heifer expansion or retention any time through 2023, so we weren’t surprised by the smaller numbers the USDA presented through the industry,” Blach said.
Hopefully, Blach said, the industry will start to see heifer retention soon, along with a slow-down in cow harvest levels. While drought was the main factor contributing to cow herd liquidation, Blach said labor, economy, and ranchers’ age are also at play.
“2022 was the biggest beef production in the history of our industry, in spite of having cattle numbers this much smaller,” Blach said. “The industry has done a wonderful job with animal welfare and breeding, animal nutrition, and animal husbandry practices.”
To navigate these times, Blach said producers also must be expert marketers because of the level of volatility present in today’s market.
“That is one of the big things I have seen in my career is how much time we have to spend managing risk,” Blach said.
Blach and his team at Cattlefax presented their annual Cattlefax 2024 Industry Outlook. Check out our stories with presenters Kevin Good and Matt Maken (click on their names to see our earlier stories).
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR at the top of the story for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.