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For more than 10 years, Paul Dykstra has written a bi-weekly market column for the brand which evolved into the CAB Insider e-newsletter. He shares current market updates, trends and observations with a closer look at the cattle market from the beef-product side than you can find anywhere else. Yes, there’s an emphasis on the Certified Angus Beef ® brand, and you will also find the latest research exploring carcass quality.
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Meet the Author
A native of Colorado, Paul Dykstra grew up on a commercial cow-calf ranch in western Colorado and later earned a degree in animal science from Colorado State University. Paul worked as a feedyard manager for the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., before joining the brand’s supply development team in 2002.
As the Director of Supply Management and Analysis for the brand, Paul combines his experience and knowledge to work closely with ranchers and feedyard managers to raise Angus cattle using the best management practices to enhance profitability by producing quality beef.
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Early August in the beef market generally sees lackluster fed cattle prices and the final throes of the summer slump in boxed beef values. However, in the modern retail grocery business, it’s high time that end users make their plans for fourth-quarter holiday beef features.
With fed cattle carcass weights now set to steadily increase into at least October, carcass quality grades typically decline beginning in early August. Lighter placements and continued smaller slaughter totals will keep product supplies in check. Labor Day demand is just weeks away and with that uptick, the quality-based price spreads are likely to perform quite well.
From a cattlemen’s perspective and fed cattle management standpoint, I would look for continued wide quality grade premiums as well as Certified Angus Beef ® brand premiums on those packer grids. I would manage cattle and price cattle for our placements moving forward accordingly.