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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Kansas Ag Summit: Beef sector discusses packing capability

The Kansas beef cattle sector generated $8.32 billion in money receipts in 2020. That’s 47% of the state’s agricultural money receipts in simply that 12 months. From ranches to backgrounders to feedyards to processing, the Kansas beef cattle business covers each hyperlink within the beef chain.

The 2022 Kansas Governor’s Summit on Agricultural Development Beef Sector preconference on-line breakout session took a take a look at the meat processing sector’s capability, and what which may imply for the way forward for Kansas’ cattle business.


The Kansas Division of Agriculture’s IMPLAN (IMpact evaluation for PLANning) financial mannequin reviews that the state’s beef cattle business, from delivery to processing, has a direct output of $22.4 billion and practically 75,000 jobs. And in 2021, beef and beef merchandise exports totaled greater than $1.8 billion, main the nation.

One of many challenges to the meat cattle sector is processing plant capability. The pandemic introduced consideration to the necessity for a sturdy native processing sector to enrich the key beef packing services. These smaller, native processors deal with fewer animals, however they’re important to filling the demand for domestically sourced meat.

Glynn Tonsor, assistant professor in ag economics at Kansas State College, spoke throughout the on-line sector breakout session. He defined that when there are too many cattle relative to packing capability, there’s a wider worth distinction between reside cattle and boxed beef costs. There are a number of components that go into the capability equation, however to start out, the provision of labor within the vegetation can imply the distinction between operating that plant at high capability, or at a decrease determine, he stated.


It’s not only a matter of constructing new vegetation or increasing present ones, he continued. Tonsor listed 13 totally different packing plant development or growth bulletins which can be to be accomplished within the subsequent three to 5 years or so. He cautioned cattle producers, although, that rather a lot can occur between an announcement and the primary supply of cattle. For starters, will there be sufficient cattle to recoup the prices to place up the ability, the allowing, the sourcing of labor?

“It’s not adequate to simply construct the ability; you want cattle to run by way of it and other people to function it,” he stated. It’s positively a problem and a chance for Kansas cattle producers to work by way of sooner or later.

Traceability and response

Kansas cattle producers have lengthy acknowledged that the sector must proceed to enhance its cattle traceability and response plans in case of a significant animal illness outbreak. Callahan Grund, govt director of U.S. CattleTrace, and Sara McReynolds, KDA assistant animal well being commissioner, up to date the sector individuals on three subjects:

  • Livestock tags. Grund confirmed the U.S. CattleTrace’s new Tag Retailer, the place cattle producers can buy cattle tags with traceable dual-frequency, low-frequency or high-frequency know-how at a reduced worth that makes them akin to visible tags that they might already be utilizing. Go to uscattletrace.org/tagstore.
  • Safe Beef Provide coaching. McReynolds stated a Might regional beef packer assembly with 11 different states helped form the state’s Safe Beef Provide Plan. The objective was to give attention to the packer sector of the chain, to make sure enterprise continuity in case of a possible foot-and-mouth illness outbreak in Kansas. One other train is deliberate for later this 12 months, and people ought to attain out to KDA for particulars.
  • KDA backtag. McReynolds stated for the previous 12 months, KDA has been growing an information assortment system for livestock markets to assist with the traceability of bulls and cows being offered by way of public sale barns. The objective is to gather knowledge chute-side and help livestock markets — particularly with these on the state’s borders — with veterinary inspections, earlier than the animals cross state traces.


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