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Animal Science: Today and Tomorrow

October 2, 2014

Dr. Tom Troxel                                                                                 Dr. Michael L. Looper

Razorback Stallion Service Auction

Coming this winter, the Razorback Stallion Service Auction will take place online and will assist the Arkansas 4-H Horse Program as well as the University of Arkansas Horse Judging Team. There is a variety of cutter, working cow, halter, and pleasure stallions available for auction. The breedings will be available for 2015.

The money raised will go to the 4-H Horse Program to support scholarships, internships, horse camps and workshops, travel to national competitions, equipment for activities and educational resources. Plus the money will support the U of A Horse Judging Team for travel costs associated with judging competition, registration fees and scholarships.

Listed below are the stallions available for auction as of 9/10/2014:


4-H Horse Program activities are designed to teach youth leadership, responsibility, pride, respect, initiative, and self-reliance. It provides dedicated, hard-working youth with an opportunity to learn how to enhance horse ownership. Participants in youth programs develop skills in communication, decision-making, problem solving, self-discipline, self-motivation, teamwork and organization. All of these have proven to be important factors to the participants in career preparation.

A University Judging Team offers students a rare opportunity to receive a head start into the horse industry. Students gain knowledge in areas such as evaluating, decision making, communicating, and teamwork among other benefits. These students receive a “leg up” on the competition when seeking employment in the equine industry. Team members also develop contacts while on judging trips to the AQHA World Show, AQHA Congress, NCHA Triple Crown Events, and the NRHA Futurity, along with other regional judging contests. These contacts will be a valuable resource as they continue their endeavors after college.

It’s hoped this auction will continue for many years and become a tradition in Arkansas. A big thanks needs to go to Lewis Wray and Chad Vanlandingham for their help in getting quality stallions for the auction.

To keep up with the latest information, go like our Facebook page: “Razorback Stallion Service Auction.” To find more information about the Razorback Stallion Service Auction go to:

For specific questions, contact Mark Russell at 501-590-5748 or

Beef Cattle Odds and Ends

• Heifer slaughter for the four complete weeks in August was down 85,151 head or 11.6% from last year. Steer slaughter during the same period was only 29,343 head or 2.3% lower. The lower heifer slaughter implies higher heifer retention last winter and spring and yet USDA’s July 1 heifer number was almost surely lower than one year ago.

• Pasture conditions have been better than in 2013 virtually all year in all regions except the West. Nationally, the share of acres in poor or very poor condition has gotten no higher than 20% all summer. That figure compares to 37% in September 2013 and a 5‐year average of roughly 30%. And even with Calilfornia’s severe drought, Western Region (which covers from the Rockies westward) conditions are far better than last year.

• Feedlots are breeding heifers and selling them as replacements. The practice is not new but it does appear to be more widespread this year. It would also explain why both heifer retention and heifer slaughter are low. And it makes a lot of sense. Feedlots can manage heifers to meet a number of goals and making replacements is a very possible one, especially given their current value. Further, feedlots have handling equipment that can be easily adapted to breeding the heifers using artificial insemination. Finally, feedlots’ relationships with custom feeders, ranchers and feeder cattle suppliers should make marketing the heifers easy.

• Japan continues to be our largest market in July, taking 22,668 metric tons, nearly 80% more product than number two market Canada but 10.4% less than in July 2013.

• Japan also leads the beef exports list for 2014 year-to-date. Shipments to Japan have totaled 116,963 metric tons valued at $717 million. Those numbers were 7.6% and 1.8%, respectively, lower than one year ago.

• Canada ranked second to Japan in terms of both the volume and value of beef exports in July but the July figures were sharply lower than one year ago. One reason for that decline is the steady decline of the Canadian dollar which has made U.S. product comparatively more expensive. The higher price in Canadian dollars is one factor in the year-to-date decline of 22% in shipments northward.

• Export volume to Mexico was down nearly 13% in July but the value of those shipments was up 5.7% and the year-to-date results for exports to Mexico remain very strong with volume up nearly 25% and value over 40% higher than last year.

• The most positive results across the board in the table are for Korea and Taiwan. Comparisons to 2013 for both July and year-to-date are positive for both volume and value for those two markets. Shipments to Taiwan were especially strong in July, gaining 82% versus one year ago for volume and nearly doubling in terms of value. Beef exports to Korea were up 19% in volume and 55% in value in July. Those percentages were quite close to the year-to-date comparisons as well.

• Russia, Vietnam and Egypt remain the biggest negatives for U.S. beef export this year. Most notable among them, though, is Russia in that shipments there are down even from the near-zero levels of 2013 (Source CME Group).


For more information about cattle production, visit or or contact your county extension office.

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