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Thread: Retail Beef Outlook

  1. #1

    Default Retail Beef Outlook

    If you are planning to include beef on the menu when you grill this summer (ie, if you aren't a commie,) then this thread is intended to offer periodic price outlooks. We want you to get good deals.

    Beef is really expensive now, and I wouldn't stock up at the moment. We had a huge corn crop last year, but the quality of the corn was really poor, and nobody realized it until it was too late to price it into the market. As a result, gains were smaller and slower, and slaughter weights have been lighter, which means less beef available than was anticipated.

    Retailers are holding off, waiting for prices to come down and just buying what they need for the week instead of stocking up. Prices should begin to break by mid May. Hold off to stock up until June or July. Last year, retail beef dropped 3% from April to July. If fundamentals change, then I'll try to post a heads up before a price increase hits the retailers.

    Happy grilling.

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    Board eye candy beefytee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    If you are planning to include beef on the menu when you grill this summer (ie, if you aren't a commie,) then this thread is intended to offer periodic price outlooks. We want you to get good deals.

    Beef is really expensive now, and I wouldn't stock up at the moment. We had a huge corn crop last year, but the quality of the corn was really poor, and nobody realized it until it was too late to price it into the market. As a result, gains were smaller and slower, and slaughter weights have been lighter, which means less beef available than was anticipated.

    Retailers are holding off, waiting for prices to come down and just buying what they need for the week instead of stocking up. Prices should begin to break by mid May. Hold off to stock up until June or July. Last year, retail beef dropped 3% from April to July. If fundamentals change, then I'll try to post a heads up before a price increase hits the retailers.

    Happy grilling.
    Unrelated question. What is the primary feed of WY cattle? Are they mostly fed corn?

  3. #3

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    Yeah, I watched Food, Inc and it made me want to stick to grass-fed beef, which is, incidentally, impossible to find in the Jackson-metro area. Therefore, I have not had beef in more than a month, (about how long its been since I watched that movie).

    Also, have you seen it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    What's to explain? It's a bunch of people, most of whom you've never met, who are just as likely to be homicidal maniacs as they are to be normal everyday people, with whom you share the minutiae of your everyday life. It's totally normal, and everyone would understand.

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    sweet triple TripletDaddy's Avatar
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    cowboy, for those that don't "stock up" on beef, will the impending price fluctuations be remarkable? we tend to just buy our beef week to week and eat it as we go. Will we likely see anything noticeable in price trending? My guess is no, but I have no real clue.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by beefytee View Post
    Unrelated question. What is the primary feed of WY cattle? Are they mostly fed corn?
    There aren't many feedlots here in Wyoming but the feedlots that are here feed corn.

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
    October sky the Four Horsemen rode again"
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by marsupial View Post
    Yeah, I watched Food, Inc and it made me want to stick to grass-fed beef, which is, incidentally, impossible to find in the Jackson-metro area. Therefore, I have not had beef in more than a month, (about how long its been since I watched that movie).

    Also, have you seen it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    Funny you mention this. I also wondered what views Cowboy has of that movie as I watched.

  7. #7

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    One of the reasons I like this board. Where else am I going to get insight like this. I'm serious.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TripletDaddy View Post
    cowboy, for those that don't "stock up" on beef, will the impending price fluctuations be remarkable? we tend to just buy our beef week to week and eat it as we go. Will we likely see anything noticeable in price trending? My guess is no, but I have no real clue.
    I don't expect the fluctuations to be huge - maybe $1 or $2 per lb. either way for ribs and loins (the good steaks) and $.50 per lb on hamburger.

    Quote Originally Posted by marsupial View Post
    Yeah, I watched Food, Inc and it made me want to stick to grass-fed beef, which is, incidentally, impossible to find in the Jackson-metro area. Therefore, I have not had beef in more than a month, (about how long its been since I watched that movie).

    Also, have you seen it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    As you probably suspected, I think that movie is bullcrap. Technology is always resisted by certain people, and technology in agriculture is no exception. The fact of the matter is that food is safer and more nutritious coming off the farm than it has ever been.

    I don't have time to address the specifics of the movie, but I'll say that there is not a bigger success story in our nation's history than American agriculture. We produce more food on less real estate than ever before and people spend less of their disposable income on food in this country than in any country in the world. The reason for this is the technological advances we have made.

    Through genetic selection, both natural and engineered, our yields have outpaced the growth in our population. I always marvel at the fact that people are okay with us selecting plants that are naturally disease resistant but they resist plants that have disease resistant genes spliced into their DNA. It's the same process - the first just takes longer.

    While genetic advances have been striking, the quality of the product has improved as well. Chicken, beef, and pork have all become more uniform, and a tremendous amount of research has been done to develop grain varieties that meet specific uses better. Most importantly, the nutrition and safety of these foods has stayed the same at worst and improved at best.

    Wackos use scare tactics. That's a given in any arena and it's a given here. There will always be someone who is willing to testify that food is unsafe, and there will always be some farm somewhere that abuses animals, and there will always be someone who is willing to use these anecdotes to scare people. Crap, all of it.

    Beef cattle spend the vast majority of their lives in a pasture, and even corn-fed steers will only spend 3 to 6 months in a feedlot. Feedlots aren't nasty, and nothing is abused there; the healthier the animal, the faster it gains, and the more money the owner makes. Don't waster your time on grass fed, Sup. Corn fed tastes better, and it was probably treated more humanely because it was probably grown by someone who cared about the animal's health.

    <end rant for now>

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
    October sky the Four Horsemen rode again"
    Grantland Rice, 1924

  9. #9
    Senior Member byu71's Avatar
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    I don't eat enough meat to worry about it, but I do like to make money.

    Are you saying I should short meat futures. I don't do futures, so are there meat futures or would it be cattle futures I would short.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by byu71 View Post
    I don't eat enough meat to worry about it, but I do like to make money.

    Are you saying I should short meat futures. I don't do futures, so are there meat futures or would it be cattle futures I would short.
    You could probably short feeder cattle, but be careful. August feeders could break $6 to the upside if this is not the seasonal top that I believe it to be.

    If you go short, I suggest May puts at least $2 in the money. This limits your downside, minimizes the time value you have to fork over, and gets you out of the trade before growing season volatility hits the corn market.

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
    October sky the Four Horsemen rode again"
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by marsupial View Post
    Yeah, I watched Food, Inc and it made me want to stick to grass-fed beef, which is, incidentally, impossible to find in the Jackson-metro area. Therefore, I have not had beef in more than a month, (about how long its been since I watched that movie).

    Also, have you seen it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
    I saw it too. I thought it was very clever and at the same time made me sick. I knew about feed lots and that reduced my beef consumption (sorry cowboy) this put me to an almost vegetarian state. It is worth noting that corn feed is standard for nearly all meat products, poultry included. I feel better about answering the WoW question in my temple recommend interview .
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    Quote Originally Posted by byu71 View Post
    I don't eat enough meat to worry about it, but I do like to make money.









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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by pellegrino View Post
    I saw it too. I thought it was very clever and at the same time made me sick. I knew about feed lots and that reduced my beef consumption (sorry cowboy) this put me to an almost vegetarian state. It is worth noting that corn feed is standard for nearly all meat products, poultry included. I feel better about answering the WoW question in my temple recommend interview .
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
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    Quote Originally Posted by kccougar View Post
    One of the reasons I like this board. Where else am I going to get insight like this. I'm serious.
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    Senior Member byu71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    You could probably short feeder cattle, but be careful. August feeders could break $6 to the upside if this is not the seasonal top that I believe it to be.

    If you go short, I suggest May puts at least $2 in the money. This limits your downside, minimizes the time value you have to fork over, and gets you out of the trade before growing season volatility hits the corn market.
    Perhaps you could advise me when to get in and out and I would give you 10% of what we make and I will suffer the loss if we lose. I will have to check with the big wigs to see if they will even allow me to do that. We are regulated up the wazzoo. If I can, I will PM you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.
    The two portions that bothered me the most were the soy bean and the chicken segments. The soy bean thing just pissed me off for some reason. The chicken portion just made me ill. Here in the Philippines chicken is my main meat. Local beef tastes terrible. The chickens breasts are small and I don't think they have anything but free range. They taste pretty good too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    The two portions that bothered me the most were the soy bean and the chicken segments. The soy bean thing just pissed me off for some reason. The chicken portion just made me ill. Here in the Philippines chicken is my main meat. Local beef tastes terrible. The chickens breasts are small and I don't think they have anything but free range. They taste pretty good too.
    Chicken raising techniques are far, far, far different than beef. While my operation was not commercial, I was involved in and/or knew several commercial beef operations. What cowboy says is my experience as well.

    I do think it is good that people realize where food is coming from and have respect for it. That steak was helping some critter move at some point. I have had several vegetarian friends tell me they would eat meat if they could do it the way I did it as a kid - knowing the animal, raising it, and then killing it with knowledge of why they did it. It is a different thing to know your meat than to just impersonally pick it up at the store, even if you only go through that once.
    Awesomeness now has a name. Let me introduce myself.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    The two portions that bothered me the most were the soy bean and the chicken segments. The soy bean thing just pissed me off for some reason. The chicken portion just made me ill. Here in the Philippines chicken is my main meat. Local beef tastes terrible. The chickens breasts are small and I don't think they have anything but free range. They taste pretty good too.
    I was most bothered by the info on Smithfield and the way they treat their employees.
    What's to explain? It's a bunch of people, most of whom you've never met, who are just as likely to be homicidal maniacs as they are to be normal everyday people, with whom you share the minutiae of your everyday life. It's totally normal, and everyone would understand.

    -Teenage Dirtbag

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJF View Post
    The two portions that bothered me the most were the soy bean and the chicken segments. The soy bean thing just pissed me off for some reason. The chicken portion just made me ill. Here in the Philippines chicken is my main meat. Local beef tastes terrible. The chickens breasts are small and I don't think they have anything but free range. They taste pretty good too.
    Poultry and veal are two aspects of animal agriculture that bother me, I admit. I don't like the idea of spending your entire life in a cage barely big enough to turn around in. Pork and beef are a different story. Nobody in his right mind allows his animals to "wade around in their own excrement." They straw the corrals, scrape them, whatever it takes to get them dry and keep the animals from getting sick.

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
    October sky the Four Horsemen rode again"
    Grantland Rice, 1924

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    Poultry and veal are two aspects of animal agriculture that bother me, I admit. I don't like the idea of spending your entire life in a cage barely big enough to turn around in. Pork and beef are a different story. Nobody in his right mind allows his animals to "wade around in their own excrement." They straw the corrals, scrape them, whatever it takes to get them dry and keep the animals from getting sick.
    Veal bothers me so much that I refuse to eat it. It is my one non-WoW moral food stand.

    I don't know how I get past poultry, but I do. Maybe if fewer things tasted like chicken....
    Awesomeness now has a name. Let me introduce myself.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikuman View Post
    I don't know how I get past poultry, but I do. Maybe if fewer things tasted like chicken....
    It's time to take a stand. Put down the chicken, and pick up the beef.

    "Outlined against a blue, gray
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    It's time to take a stand. Put down the chicken, and pick up the beef.
    I choose beef over chicken whenever I have the choice. You should know that!
    Awesomeness now has a name. Let me introduce myself.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.
    Cowboy, I served a good chunk of my mission in the areas around Dodge City, Garden City, Holcomb, Cimmaron, etc, in Kansas. I drove past feed lot after feed lot daily. There were slaughterhouses (matanzas) in Dodge City and Garden City that went through thousands of cattle daily. Everyone worked for one or the other.

    I ate steak almost daily in Kansas and it was dirt cheap. I loved it. Man, that's the only good thing about that damn state.
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikuman View Post
    Chicken raising techniques are far, far, far different than beef. While my operation was not commercial, I was involved in and/or knew several commercial beef operations. What cowboy says is my experience as well.

    I do think it is good that people realize where food is coming from and have respect for it. That steak was helping some critter move at some point. I have had several vegetarian friends tell me they would eat meat if they could do it the way I did it as a kid - knowing the animal, raising it, and then killing it with knowledge of why they did it. It is a different thing to know your meat than to just impersonally pick it up at the store, even if you only go through that once.
    I grew up on a farm that averaged about 200 head. Not big but big enough to teach me a good work ethic and a healthy respect for all animals not named snake. I kind of rolled my eyes at the beef section. I have been around too many ranchers to buy what Food Inc was selling. However I know zero chicken farmers so that got to me. And like you, I refuse to eat veal no matter how great it tastes.

  25. #25

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    i just cooked up a couple of delicious veal steaks a couple of weeks ago... suffering never tasted so good.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by camleish View Post
    i just cooked up a couple of delicious veal steaks a couple of weeks ago... suffering never tasted so good.
    BACK TO YOUR CAGE!*







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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.
    Don't take it personal cowboy. If a steady diet of bovine is your criteria for being friends then we just weren't meant to be. My wife just doesn't eat much meat and Italian cuisine (our central diet) doesn't utilize it much either. I didn't eat much meat before the film etc. I realize that the film has a certain agenda and that it reads facts and edits interviews to advance it. I've also spent time in hog and poultry operations (I have cousins that do both) and well . . . I'd like to be friends all the same.
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  28. #28

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    Having read most of Omnivore's Dilemma I think I appreciate a lot more about how basically everything is made out of corn including cows. It hasn't made me want to stop eating anything, but the big insight which had never occurred to me is that to produce that much corn you need fertilizer that can only be produced in a process that requires massive amounts of petrol. Or IOW, the whole system has crude oil at the base of it.

    Interesting from the standpoint that whenever we run out, much of the yield boost that technology brings to both corn and cattle will disappear too. Cows will probably then go back to turning the energy in grass into meat instead of turning essentially the energy in petroleum (at bottom) into meat.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.
    You'll be happy to know that Marsupial bought beef at the store today.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
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    Seriously, y'all need to get out in the country more if this movie affected you.
    Yes, as danimal said, I broke down and bought beef today. I'm putting my trust in you that those cows are not being mistreated and standing in their own filth and that corn is good for them.
    What's to explain? It's a bunch of people, most of whom you've never met, who are just as likely to be homicidal maniacs as they are to be normal everyday people, with whom you share the minutiae of your everyday life. It's totally normal, and everyone would understand.

    -Teenage Dirtbag

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