MidYear Meeting 2015

Stockgrowers MidYear to Feature Short and Long Term Cattle Price Outlook

What will the markets do next? Aside from keeping an eye on the weather forecast, this seems to be the frequent question among ranchers in today’s cattle business. With recent record-high calf prices, we’re not always sure what to expect next, only guessing whether the markets will fall or continue climbing.

At Stockgrowers 2015 MidYear meeting, attendees will be provided with some insight and historical context to today’s cattle market prices and what can be expected in the months ahead. Dr. Gary Brester, Professor in the Department of Ag Economics at Montana State University, will highlight the Opening General Session on Friday, June 5.

Gary Brester, ag econ MSU photo by Kelly Gorham“Current record-high calf prices have occurred (in inflation-adjusted terms) three times since 1920 — in 1951, 1973, and 1979,” says Brester. “In each case, price spikes were caused by a combination of low cattle numbers and unusual market situations. Each of these record-high price events was short-lived — less than two years.”

In general, prices declined after each of these price spikes after outside economic conditions corrected themselves in response to world events. During these previous periods of high prices, cattle inventories increased for a short time.

Will history repeat itself after 2014’s record-setting cattle prices? Will these high returns to ranchers continue in response to lower world cattle inventories and continued strong beef demand?

Find out more by attending Montana Stockgrowers’ MidYear meeting and hearing from Dr. Brester at the Opening General Session. Event tickets are available online for a 20% discount if registration is completed prior to June 1.

The 2015 MSGA MidYear Meeting takes place on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman, June 4-6. For more information, contact the MSGA office at (406) 442-3420 or visit our event page.

MidYear Meeting 2015

Montana Stockgrowers to Host 2015 MidYear Meeting in Bozeman

Mark your calendars to celebrate 131 years for Montana Stockgrowers Association at the organization’s MidYear Meeting, June 4-6 in Bozeman. This year’s MidYear event will be highlighted by Cattlemen’s College workshops, a tour of area businesses and live music with Ringling 5 and Crazy Mountain Express!

Mid-Year is one of two major meetings MSGA holds annually where members will gather to discuss the issues facing Montana ranching families and set interim policy to guide the association through the rest of the year. Policy Committee meetings this year will be hosted on the campus of Montana State University.

Events will kick off Thursday afternoon with Cattlemen’s College workshops presented by leadership coach, Sarah Bohenkamp. Ranchers will have the opportunity to learn more about growth in leadership, improving time management and developing skills to build strong relationships that are critical to being successful in the ranching business.

Friday’s Opening General Session will feature MSU Ag Economics Professor, Dr. Gary Brester, who will provide insight for current record cattle prices and provide context from historical market trends. Association policy meetings will take place on Friday with discussion on topics affecting Montana ranchers today. A review of the 2015 Montana Legislative Session activity affecting the ranching community will also take place during the meeting.

Ranchers will gather on Friday night for a steak dinner, fun and live music from Ringling 5. Area business leaders and the community are invited to a special fundraiser event on Thursday night for MSGA’s Research & Education Endowment Foundation, held at the Best Western GranTree Inn, with entertainment by Crazy Mountain Express.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Best Western GranTree Inn and Holiday Inn. Rooms at discounted rates must be reserved by May 5. For more information about MSGA’s 2015 Mid-Year Meeting, contact MSGA’s office at (406) 442-3420 or join the Facebook event. Registrations are available online for a 20% discount if made prior to June 1. Visit our event page for more details.

PBS Ag Live Answering Montana Ranching Questions

Montana Ranching FAQ | Cattle Industry Trends

PBS Ag Live Answering Montana Ranching QuestionsQ: Are there trends in the cattle industry that Stock growers should know?

A. Gary Brester, MSU Ag Economist, shared some current research findings with us – these are preliminary and he will share the entire report when it is finished – but there were about 80 M cattle in US in 2011 – down from an all-time high of about 130 M in the late 1970s. The good news is that domestic demand is a little stronger today than in previous years, and foreign demand is also increasing – they have more money and their populations are growing (don’t hold your breath, this is slow growth).

But there are supply declines –drought in the past 15 years in various parts of the US has increased the price of hay. Also, ethanol policy has increased the price of feed grains…so folks are planting more grains in what were once hay fields. Studies are showing that there are also reductions in the availability of public and private grazing lands and, with higher productivity our cows are bigger so they require more feed. Livestock is labor intensive and labor costs have increased. The livestock industry has improved its production, but fewer outside inputs are decreasing access to supplies.

Odd thing to watch here – technology has enabled the crop producers to produce more efficiently (GPS, for example, lets them know where to spray more efficiently), but there is no comparable technology boost in the cattle industry. Also, crop subsidy programs make raising crops a bit less risky, and with no comparable program for cattle, producers are opting for crop production.

So, cattle production is down from its heyday for a variety of reasons, but rising feed costs, smaller availability of grazing lands, and higher labor costs are factors. On the up side, demand is rising. Stay tuned for the full report that Dr. Brester will be sharing soon.

Want to submit a question? Send an email to ryan@mtbeef.org or use our contact form.

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