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Will cattle go the way of hogs?

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Rustler9

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I read that article in the Drover and I thought the same thing. I think that's where the cattle industry is headed. Many breeders are already complying with this theme. So many herds are turning black and already many of them are black generic cattle. Distinct breeds are being lost. Look how many breeds are black and it's hard to discern what genetic make up that they are. The so called Lims, Sims, Gelbviehs, Salers, heck even Beefmasters are black now. Everything is blending into a black generic cow. What about the black Charolais? Reminds me of the poultry (broiler) industy -white chickens that are scientifically bred to produce X amount of gain per day. Harvest them young with no regards to actual quality or taste-just push to produce pounds of meat. These chickens are so high bred that you have to butcher them by a certain age or their feet and legs can't hold them up, they collapse. Not trying to bash the black cattle and this'll get someone po'd but that's how I see it.
 

jcarkie

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very interesting article, i read it several days ago when it came in the mail. i have thought alot about it since could it happen ....????????
 

1982vett

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What destroyed our swine industry in eight years? Simple. The government allowed corporations to capture the hog industry. Executives did not want to castrate, vaccinate or farrow sows, but they found willing sharecroppers to do their labor.

Some producers contracted with these corporations; built state-of-the-art confinement facilities; accepted the corporations’ pigs, feed, medicine and vaccines; and fed the pigs — not for themselves but for the corporation.


Maybe, if the government allowing corporations to capture the hog industry and removing the ability of the farmer to make a profit is considered the same thing.

As this trend continues, purebred-cattle breeders will be the first to go out of business

However, I don't think the breeders will be first to exit. I think the average producer will be forced out first. He is the one that will be hit by the economics of scale. The smaller he is the faster he will be driven out. I even think this has already started, or at least we are at that gate.

For those that think selling direct to a customer base is the answer. That will work till complying with the environmental bs takes you out.
 

Brandonm22

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I hate to say this; BUT if the market would REALLY pay me to produce something like a 1/4 Angus, 1/4 Simmental, 1/4 Gelbvieh, 1/4 Hereford composite black polled calf I could live with that world. I would rather it not happen and we keep our freedom; but if there were really a $100 difference between the company calf and generic blacks?? I think I would have to go with the company calves.
 

Frankie

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Rustler9":3hg9z0dl said:
I read that article in the Drover and I thought the same thing. I think that's where the cattle industry is headed. Many breeders are already complying with this theme. So many herds are turning black and already many of them are black generic cattle. Distinct breeds are being lost. Look how many breeds are black and it's hard to discern what genetic make up that they are. The so called Lims, Sims, Gelbviehs, Salers, heck even Beefmasters are black now. Everything is blending into a black generic cow. What about the black Charolais? Reminds me of the poultry (broiler) industy -white chickens that are scientifically bred to produce X amount of gain per day. Harvest them young with no regards to actual quality or taste-just push to produce pounds of meat. These chickens are so high bred that you have to butcher them by a certain age or their feet and legs can't hold them up, they collapse. Not trying to bash the black cattle and this'll get someone po'd but that's how I see it.

Let's not forget the black Longhorns in your pasture. :)
 

Rustler9

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You are so full of yourself. I see my black Longhorns everyday, no I haven't forgotten them. But you forget that I'm not trying to breed these generic clones that the industry is geared toward . But since black Longhorns have always been around (long before Angus hit these shores) I'm certainly not going to try to breed the black out. I know that with your short memory that you've forgotten that I had said earlier that I happen to like the variety of colors in my breed of choice. You are also the kind of person who will be the first to fall for this type of thing. You and your kind will be the ones who will run right to it and embrace it. You are too damn stupid to see what's happening until it's already happened.
 

Bez+

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Busterz":2r9ft9k8 said:

Actually we are well on our way there - the first step of course to make it so difficult to make a dollar raising cattle that you grab on to that nice contract from the corporation to raise their animals when they come along - vertical integration has and continues to make it tough out there. It will get worse.

Once you are there and you have a vested financial interest - remember all those folks who built those nice barns to raise those nice hogs for that nice corporation? Once you start paying to follow the corporations demands you will be "In for a penny and in for a pound".

Well then the corporations started squeezing hog producers who thought they had entered into a family farm saving agreement and now a lot of hog barns are going empty. I have a close family friend and his wife in the hog business who are slowly going down because of this.

Think it will not happen or cannot happen in the cattle industry?

In my opinion that is arrogance.

Best think again - a lot of folks out there really want to raise cattle - cannot do it very easy - but once those pretty contracts from the corporations show up and look oretty profitable - it will be nice to raise that 1/8 this, 3/8 that plus 1/4 this and 1/4 that. Cookie cutter designer beef - all the same size and all the same genetic make up. It can be done and once perfected will make cattle just like hogs.

If you want in - you sign up and raise what you are told

Then the corporations have you and they own you and people think it will not happen.

Ask that old guy who raised hogs from six different bloodlines back in the 60's if he thought that about his industry back then.

Lots of short sighted people here - but it can happen and I believe is starting.

Time will tell if I am right or wrong - but when a family operation is going broke that corporation might initially look like a good way to save the place.

Hooked!!!

The you go down.

I have been called an idiot many times in my life and probably will be again - but vertical integration allows corporations to control pricing - and through that they also can control you.

So - in closing - the question is "Will cattle go the way of hogs"?

I do not know the answer for sure - but I do know this.

If there is enough corporate interest - and that means if there is money to be made doing it - then it DEFINITELY CAN go the way of hogs.

Bez+
 

mnmtranching

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I think we will see in the next couple decades, US total beef production drop even more then we can imagine.
You have all these developing country's with lots of land, cheap labor, climate, hardly any government restrictions, free trade to the US. So? how can our beef industry survive as we know it. Face it! the vast majority of people in the US would rather eat imported beef then smell Cow Poop. :eek: :shock: :help:
 

Frankie

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A sow raises about three litters a year of 8-12 piglets. They're ready for the plate in just a matter of weeks. And chickens are much more efficient and take up less space. A heifer won't produce her first calf until she's about two years old. Somebody has to feed her during that two years. I don't see that as being attractive to big ag.

I do think we're going to see more people raising a specific product targeted for a specific market, be it grass fed, organic, natural, CAB, or CHB. And that means some "mavericks" who refuse to conform will probably have a hard time making it in the cattle business. But I don't think we'll see the beef industry go the way of pigs and chickens.
 

R.N.Reed

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It's happening and national I.D.is going to speed up the process.The only thing that might save our butts is the longer life cycle of the beef animal and the diverse environments in this country.
The traits that make up a profitable low input beef cow are antagonistic to a superior feedlot carcass animal.The industry on average has been breeding strictly for feedlot performance the last couple of decades and has wound up with a bunch of high cost of production cows to show for it. It will be interesting to see what kind of an animal they can engineer to jump through all those rings.
 

talldog

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Frankie":2ccpxqmn said:
A sow raises about three litters a year of 8-12 piglets. They're ready for the plate in just a matter of weeks. And chickens are much more efficient and take up less space. A heifer won't produce her first calf until she's about two years old. Somebody has to feed her during that two years. I don't see that as being attractive to big ag.

I do think we're going to see more people raising a specific product targeted for a specific market, be it grass fed, organic, natural, CAB, or CHB. And that means some "mavericks" who refuse to conform will probably have a hard time making it in the cattle business. But I don't think we'll see the beef industry go the way of pigs and chickens.
What's NEW--- Been pretty hard as it is !!!! :wave:
 

cypressfarms

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I say we let Frankie and Rustler put the gloves on and settle this once and for all. Although I've been out of commision for 6 months, some things never change :?
 

MO_cows

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Bez + your scenario was so logical it scared me. Makes it understandable why so many have "sold their soul to the devil".
 

Rustler9

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cypressfarms wrote
I say we let Frankie and Rustler put the gloves on and settle this once and for all. Although I've been out of commision for 6 months, some things never change

What's that have to do with this subject? It's true. I see the cattle industry going the same way as the hog and poultry industry. I agree with Bez. You look at all the poultry and hogs grown now-all generic, scientifically bred and look at what the cattle industry is turning into. All black, nondescript, generic carbon copies and being grown on contracts to supply the never ending demand to feed the drones who don't have a clue where it came from or how it got there, just as long as it's there. In it's plastic trays in the meat section. Quantity over quality. Factory farms just taking over and pushing the little guys on over the edge.
 

robert

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Here's a scenario, take a large pharmaceutical company that is collecting everyones DNA, running tests and handing out 'stars' to the 'best' ones. So everyone samples their herd bull or their donor cow or some other 'outstanding' individual within their herd, send it to the company and they send you back your report, what does it tell you? Bugger all in the scheme of things.

HOWEVER, if you're the company and you have 1,000's of results on different sires and bloodlines you can collate a picture that no-one but the company sees. You, the company, can go out and 'source' or acquire those 'superior' genetics.

Next step is to do what the PIC group did with hogs, you bypass the purebred seedstock guy and go straight to the commercial operator, you supply synch drugs for pennies on the dollar, semen from your 'superior' bulls, a guaranteed outlet for the resulting progeny through 'designated' feedlots.

You, the company, never own a single cow, you have zero risk in management, you profit from selling the genetics and kill your major competition in the process. IF the technology results in, for example, the rate of unpaletable product going from 1 in 10 to 1 in 15 simply from the sires used that alone would be a greater improvement in beef quality than anything done in the last 30 years.

The company will own the beef business and eat your lunch at the same time, and it's already starting to happen.
 

Willow Springs

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A sow raises about three litters a year of 8-12 piglets. They're ready for the plate in just a matter of weeks. And chickens are much more efficient and take up less space. A heifer won't produce her first calf until she's about two years old. Somebody has to feed her during that two years. I don't see that as being attractive to big ag.

I do think we're going to see more people raising a specific product targeted for a specific market, be it grass fed, organic, natural, CAB, or CHB. And that means some "mavericks" who refuse to conform will probably have a hard time making it in the cattle business. But I don't think we'll see the beef industry go the way of pigs and chickens.

You're forgetting that all they have to do is own the plants that slaughter the vast majority of the cattle. If you want your cattle slaughtered in their plant or purchase by feedlots that slaughter in the plant you will use their genetics period. It doesn't matter how many offspring they have or how fast they grow. I worked in a feedmill up here and saw it happen in the hogs. In a matter of about eight years most of the small and medium size family farm operations were pushed out. They (the company that cornered hog processing capacity) started by heavily discounting the hogs that didn't meet their specs. This all happened several years ago but I talked to a couple guys about it. They said that even after they were producing to spec the plant wouldn't pay up because the farmers weren't using the proper genetics, meaning the company genetics. They would have had to change their entire genetic pool so elected to get out of business instead.

I comment on another board also caught my eye. With the advent of DNA testing we are only hastening our own demise. Purebred producers are helping these corporations to identify genes that produce physical traits deemed important, providing pedigree info, and paying for the privilege. When all is said and done these companies will own the rights to these tests and possibly have identified most genes for most traits while making a profit from producers. What will they do at that point with the info they have?
 
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Busterz

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I think a couple things differentiate the beef industry that may help somewhat. Cattle can't be raised in confinement as easily or cheaply as chickens and hogs. Once chickens and hogs began being raised to go to a purely grain fed diet with no more foraging it became possible to raise them entirely in confinement. With cattle raising them for at least a part of their life still seems necessary financially, it cheapens the cost of production. I don't think grain prices will get dramatically cheaper in the near future. I think it would be tough/expensive for corporations to get control over enough grass or stocker operations.

Another differentiating factor is the one Frankie mentioned, time. Gowing cattle takes much longer that hogs and chickens. And time is feed and feed is money. It makes it less appealing to invest in when the return will be so far out.

Its also time some of our antitrust laws were enforced upon the packing industry. I think this has been a problem ever since there have been packing plants (there is a book called Livestock Hotels that is pretty good about the history of stockyards and meat packing), but it might be more important now more than ever to get some diversity of buyers and competition.
 

Willow Springs

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I think that your still forgetting that the slaughter plant decides what they will buy and if they decide that they will only buy certain products and those certain products are the breeding stock from their genetically tested herd you will have to use their genetics our start marketing your own beef to stay in business. The marketers and packers have total control over what we produce and those that don't produce what they want are already being penalized.
 

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