Stories by Steve Suther

Buying cattle: Without a history, premiums paid don’t mean profit made

Thursday, March 8, 2012

In most investment situations, you get a chance to evaluate the risk and rewards, do some research and make an informed decision. But when cattle pass through the sale barn in 30-second intervals, it’s not always easy for buyers to base decisions on anything more than appearance. Data from Oklahoma-based Professional Cattle Consultants shows that […]

Trying our best to beat expectations

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We may think about calving season as one of new beginnings, but it’s really just part of a cycle that started at least nine months earlier, and hopefully before that, when breeding plans were set. Done right, calves should be born into great expectations, and not just hope the market will be up next fall. […]

Black Ink: Finding the common ground in ag

Thursday, December 22, 2011

They say it takes all kinds to make the world, and the adage is all about people. Look around the mall, watch TV or check out the Internet and you find ready evidence of the individuality of individuals.

Black Ink: Critical mass in the beef industry

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It takes so many plants to make a stand, cows to make a herd and drops to make a rain. Before turning that herd out to pasture, you look for enough plant mass to support their grazing. If you’re watching a couple of bred heifers for a month, you might as well be watching 20 or 30.

Tagging the right calves not easy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

As you tag another calf and write the information in that little book, do you ever think about how well it will hit the target? If you are going to the trouble of establishing identity (ID) at birth, you should at least think about the future these calves will face. Some beef brands and most […]

Long cattle life comes with a cost

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The oldest cow on record died in Ireland in 1993 at the age of 49, having been born on St. Patrick’s Day 1944 in Kerry and producing 39 calves over time. So she missed a few years — big deal. She was in a herd that allowed for maximum longevity. Cow’s life span Typically, cows […]

Where do you find your information?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Take another look at your cattle. Get out your records and take a deeper look. You think they’re the right kind, but you may have plans to “improve” them through breeding and management. What would constitute improvement? How do you know you’re on the right track? What informs you on matters of breed type and […]

Summer steak sales equal CAB record

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A steak sizzling on the grill is to a consumer what a cash register cha-ching is to a grocer. Despite economic conditions, those sweet sensations were in the air this summer as demand for high-quality beef cuts picked up for the world’s largest branded beef program. Records The Certified Angus Beef brand set repeat records […]

‘Power Cards’ are keys to success

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If you make a living on a ranch, that’s a success. Just living on a ranch is a success. Heck, just taking one more breath can be a victory. Everybody is a winner, at least in some small way. Success does not always manifest itself with visual clues, but you often see the trappings of […]

Why ‘trade down’ in beef selection?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Demand for beef is down. Can you blame the recession? Not entirely, but it’s a darned inconvenient coincidence. It’s hard to argue that beef quality was too low, because production of every class of premium beef has been trending up for some time. The supply of Choice beef in particular has increased for six years, […]

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About Steve

Steve Suther, director of industry information for the Certified Angus Beef Program, writes from his farm office near Onaga, Kan. You can e-mail him at steve@certifiedangusbeef.com or call toll-free 877-241-0717.