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Invest in Genetics to Meet Prime Beef Demands

Jordan Anderson Updated: 08/21/2014 @ 10:21am Digital Content Editor for Successful Farming magazine and Agriculture.com

Although many cattle producers are working to rebuild their herd, low beef numbers are continuing to drive cattle prices higher than ever.

David Patterson (MU Beef Extension specialist) and Scott Brown (MU economist) discussed the futures outlook as well as the progress of Missouri beef herds.

While prices are great, it’s pretty simple to sit back and not change much. However, preparing for when prices go back down will set producers up for success in the future. One way to plan for ultimate success is to interweave better genetics into your herd.

The demand isn’t for just for any beef. It’s for quality beef – more specifically, graded Prime beef. Prime is the highest grade that beef can be declared by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) followed by Choice, Select, and Standard.

“Building quality genetics reduces risks,” says Brown. “Quality meets a growing consumer for prime beef.”

Improving genetics and quality of beef go hand-in-hand. As shown by cattle at the MU Thompson farm, not only do genetics and quality interlink – cows with steers that graded Prime beef made the most money. These cattle with high-quality genetics are what will keep producers going long after prices drop again. 

Although prices are predicted to stay high through 2015, what goes up will always come back down.

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