Current Progressive Cattle digital edition
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The February Cattle on Feed report from the USDA showed a Feb. 1 feedlot inventory of 12.1 million head, 101.5% of one year ago. January placements were 2.017 million head, up 3.2% year over year.

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For the final quarter of 2020, beef production was lowered 80 million pounds on fewer-than-expected cattle slaughtered in December. This decline was particularly driven by fewer steers and heifers in the slaughter mix. As a result, 2020 beef production is forecast at 27.2 billion pounds, almost unchanged from 2019 production levels.

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As spring arrives, it means initial calf working for many cow-calf producers. This initial processing is often done when calves are 2 to 3 months old.

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Spring is on the horizon and producers are looking ahead toward grazing turnout. Preparation should include evaluation of all the potential bulls that may be turned out with cows. This evaluation is referred to as a breeding soundness exam (BSE).

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Standardized performance analysis records indicate that, on average, a beef cow is 6 years old before she pays off her developmental and feed costs and starts generating a profit. Therefore, starting her off on the right foot is key.

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