Group Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series - Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. AN66-11
Title: The growth and development of the beef cattle industry in the Southeast
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 Material Information
Title: The growth and development of the beef cattle industry in the Southeast
Series Title: Department of Animal Science mimeograph series
Physical Description: 5, 8 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Cunha, T. J ( Tony Joseph ), 1916-
McPherson, W. K ( William Kenneth ), 1914-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Experiment Station
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1966
 Subjects
Subject: Cattle trade -- Southern States   ( lcsh )
Cattle trade -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Beef cattle -- Growth -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by T.J. Cunha and W.K. McPherson.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "April, 1966."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00072977
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 78577967

Full Text


Department of Animal Science Florida Agricultural
Mimeograph Series No. AN66-11 Experiment Station
April, 1966 Gainesville, Florida


The Growth and Development of
the Beef Cattle Industry in the Southeast

by
T. J. Cunha and W. K. McPherson*
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida


It is generally believed that the beef cattle industry has been expanding more
rapidly in the Southeast than in the United States as a whole. From time to time,
this conclusion is supported by data describing one or more of the economically
significant characteristics of the industry. The purpose of this paper is to identify
several of the characteristics of the industry that do have economic significance,
determine the trends in these characteristics for the past 36 years and use these
data to evaluate the growth that has taken place in the industry during this period.

The number of beef cattle on farms is the conventional measure of the size of
the beef cattle industry. Eight of the ten southeastern states had over 1,200,000
head of beef cattle each in 1965 (see Table 1). Five of them had over 1,500,000 head
each. The leading state in beef cattle numbers was Kentucky with 1,767,000 head
followed by Mississippi with 1,698,000 and Florida with 1,607,000. Between 1929 and
1964, beef cattle numbers increased 1,430,000 head in Kentucky, followed by Mississippi
with an increase of 1,345,000 and Alabama with an increase of 1,217,000. Seven of
the ten Southeastern states increased their beef cattle numbers over 1,000,000 head
since 1929.

In the ten Southeastern states, beef cattle numbers increased 359 per cent while
the U.S. increase was 197 per cent. Thus, the Southeastern states have increased
beef cattle numbers at almost twice the rate of the U.S. average since 1929.

The percentage of all beef cattle in the U.S. which are located in the ten
Southeastern states has increased from 10.5 in 1929 to 16.2 per cent in 1965. This
is an approximate 54 per cent increase during the 36 year period. This percentage
should continue to increase in the future because of the great and undeveloped
potential for expansion of the beef cattle industry in this part of the nation.

In the Southeast as a whole, the value of beef cattle has increased an average
of almost $52 per head which is an approximate 152 per cent increase (see Table 2).
During the same period, the value of cattle on farms in the U.S. increased $55.53
per head, $3.53 per head more than in the Southeast, even though the percentage





*Chairman, Department of Animal Science and Professor of Agricultural Economics,
respectively. Talk given by the senior author at the annual meeting of the
American Society of Range Management at New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 2, 1966
and the Mississippi Livestock Producers Association meeting, Jackson, Mississippi,
on February 25, 1966.






-2-


increase was smaller. A more detailed examination of the data indicates that the
value of Florida cattle increased more rapidly than in other Southeastern states,
followed by Mississippi and Georgia.

In 1929, the average value of cattle in the Southeastern states was 67 per cent
of the national average. By 1965, the average value of cattle in the Southeast had
increased to 78 per cent of the national average. The fact that cattle in the
Southeast are worth only 78 per cent of the value of those in the nation as a whole,
indicates how much progress the cattle industry in this region can make by improving
the quality of their animals.

The number of cattle on farms and the value of these cattle are the data con-
ventionally used to measure the rate at which the cattle industry is growing but the
following characteristics provide much more insight into the progress that is being
made.

In the first place, the liveweight of beef produced is a much more accurate
measure of the output of the industry than the number of cattle on farms. The
proportion of the nation's beef supply that was produced in the ten Southeastern
states increased from 8.3 per cent in 1929 to 12.5 per cent in 1964, an increase of
approximately 50 per cent. Together, the ten Southeastern states produced about
4 1/4 billion pounds of beef in 1964 (see Table 3). Kentucky produced the largest
quantity, followed by Tennessee and Mississippi. Each of these states produced over
500 million pounds. These three states, incidentally, also ranked in the same order
of total beef production in 1929.

The greatest increase in the number of pounds of beef produced took place in
Kentucky followed by Mississippi and Alabama. Kentucky increased in beef production
almost 500 million pounds. Six Southeastern states increased their beef production
over 350 million pounds each. In all ten Southeastern states, beef production has
increased more rapidly than the U.S. average. The greatest percentage increase in
beef production occurred in Florida with 789 per cent, followed by Alabama and
Louisiana with increases of 433 and 349 per cent respectively. These increases
clearly show that beef production has been expanding much more rapidly than indicated
by the increases in the number of cattle on farms.

Secondly, the number of pounds of beef produced per animal on farms is a good
measure of the quality of the breeding stock and how it is managed. Assuming that
the number of beef cattle on farms January 1 is an accurate measure of the size of
the breeding herds utilized by the industry, the liveweight of beef produced per
animal on farms January 1 is a measure of the productivity of these herds. In 1965,
Alabama beef cattle herds produced the most beef per animal of any other South-
eastern state. They were followed by Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas (see Table 4).
The greatest increase in beef production per animal since 1929, however, has occurred
in Florida. Even so, Florida is still producing the fewest pounds of beef per ani-
mal than any state in the Southeast. This is further evidence that Florida cattle-
men need to work even harder to further improve the quality of their animals if
Florida is to compete more successfully in the national market.

The production of beef per animal in the Southeast has increased from 69.6 to
79.6 per cent that of the U.S. production level since 1929. This is a relatively
small increase and indicates the need for greatly increasing the quality of cattle
throughout the Southeast.

Thirdly, the efficiency with which the cow herd produces calves is still another
measure of the output of the industry. Kentucky leads the Southeastern states in





-3-


the total number of cows, followed by Mississippi and Tennessee (see Table 5). The
ten Southeastern states have increased their share of the nation's cow herd from
13.5 per cent in 1929 to 19 per cent in 1965, an increase of approximately 48 per
cent.

In 1965, there were 7,596,000 calves produced in the Southeast. Kentucky led
the Southeast with 1,153,000 calves, followed by Tennessee and Mississippi with
1,024,000 and 959,000 calves, respectively. The number of calves born in the South-
east has increased from 11 per cent of the national total in 1929 to 18 per cent in
1964, an increase of approximately 64 per cent. The increase of 64 per cent in
calves with an increase of 48 per cent in cows reflects the increase in the percent-
age of cows bearing calves which has occurred in the Southeast.

During the 36 year period, the percentage calf crop has increased from 65 to
80 per cent in the Southeast since 1929. However, the percentage of cows giving
birth to calves is still below the U.S. average of 86 per cent. The calf crop
percentage is the highest in Kentucky, followed by Tennessee and Alabama. The lowest
calf crop is in Florida. Florida has been making rapid strides in increasing its
calf crop percentage but still has a long way to go in this respect.

The value of any given industry to the economy as a whole is best measured in
terms of the value of the product. Cash receipts from the sale of cattle and calves
is an acceptable measure of the value of beef marketed in any given year (see
Table 6). Kentucky farmers received the largest income from the sale of cattle and
calves in 1964, followed by Tennessee and Mississippi.

The greatest increase in total cash receipts from cattle and calves from 1929
to 1964 occurred in Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, in that order. However,
the greatest percentage increase in receipts occurred in Florida, followed by
Alabama and Mississippi. In all ten Southeastern states cash receipts from cattle
and calves increased more rapidly than in the nation as a whole. The average in-
crease in the U.S. was 420 per cent, whereas the average percentage increase in
cash receipts from cattle and calves in the ten Southeastern states was 735 per cent.
Here it must be pointed out 16.2 per cent of the beef cattle in the United States
produced but 9 per cent of the nation's total income from the sale of beef, a clear
cut illustration of how much more productive the cattle industry for the Southeast
might be.

Whether or not the industry continues to expand in the future depends partly
upon the availability of a market for the beef produced in the area and partly on
the ability of farmers in the area to produce beef profitably in competition with
producers living in other parts of the nation. These factors will be examined in
order.

Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana residents con-
sume more beef than is produced in the state (see Table 7). On the other hand, in
the remaining five states, production exceeds consumption, often by substantial
amounts. The data upon which this statement is based does not include the beef
which tourists eat while in the state. This would be a relatively large amount in
Florida, a state that is visited by more than sixteen million tourists annually.

Although the consumption of beef exceeds production in only five Southeastern
states, the quantity of beef consumed in every state exceeds the quantity of beef
slaughtered in the state. This means that farmers in the ten Southeastern states
are specializing in the production of calves and feeder cattle and shipping a high






-4-


percentage of them outside of their respective states for finishing. Consequently,
a very large percentage of the beef consumed in the Southeast was slaughtered out-
side the region. For the feeder cattle and calves shipped out of the region, farmers
in the Southeastern states receive the price comparable animals would sell for in the
areas in which they are finished minus the transportation cost. On the other hand,
however, the price consumers pay for beef in the Southeast is the price prevailing
in the surplus finished beef producing areas plus the cost of transporting it into
the region. Cattlemen in the Southeast are now beginning to wonder whether it would
be more profitable to finish the feeder cattle they are now shipping out of the
region and sell them to local packers, who are unable to satisfy the local demand for
beef. In short, there is a large local demand for beef that could be filled by farm-'
ers in the Southeast if they can do it profitably.

Whether or not cattlemen will find it profitable to fulfill the demand for beef
in the Southeastern region depends upon such things as the amount and kind of feed
available, the quality of animals produced, the skill with which they are managed
and the relationship between the profit they can make in comparison with the profit
that can be earned in producing other commodities.

At the present time, there is an ample supply of land available to beef cattle
producers. This land is fully stocked on the basis of the amount of forage it pro-
duces. Any expansion that takes place in the production of feeder cattle and calves
will be the result of pasture improvement, i.e., the planting of better forage
plants, the application of more fertilizer, better pasture management, the use of
better quality cattle and production practices and in many instances, controlling
the height of the water table. In Florida there is ample opportunity to do this
since (1) pasture and range land is producing less than 50 pounds of beef per acre
and (2) it has been clearly demonstrated that it is profitable to improve the pas-
ture and range land and raise the level of production to at least 200 and more
pounds of beef per acre. A few top producers are obtaining close to 500 pounds of
beef per acre.

Likewise, it has been demonstrated that some feedlot operators find it profitable
to finish cattle on concentrated rations in "dry lot" in the Southeast. The rate at
which this segment of the industry will expand depends upon (1) the extent to which
the production of feedstuffs can be expanded in the South or (2) the existence of a
favorable relationship between the cost of shipping feed ingredients and the cost
of shipping beef into the region. The expansion of the number of cattle which have
been fed out in the Southeast in the past five years suggest that either one or both
of these conditions may exist in certain localities.

Summary

Kentucky is the leader among the ten Southeastern states in numbers of total
beef cattle, total cows, total calves born, value of cattle, liveweight production
of cattle, percentage calf crop, and cash receipts from cattle (see Table 8).
Tennessee and Mississippi followed in most of these categories. Florida led in the
percentage increase which has occurred from 1929 to 1965 in value of cattle, in live-
weight production of beef, in cash receipts from cattle and calves and in the in-
crease of pounds of beef produced per animal on the farm. Thus, Florida has increased
the most percentage-wise in a number of important categories although it is not lead-
ing in them at the present time. Taking all categories into consideration, Florida
has made the greatest percentage improvement since 1929. However, it still has a
long way to go to get near the top in many aspects of beef cattle production in the
Southeast.






-5-


The beef cattle industry in the Southeast has been growing rapidly and all in-
dications are that it will continue to do so. The Southeastern area has increased
beef cattle numbers and beef produced at almost twice the rate of the U.S. average
since 1929. The Southeast needs to especially work hard on increasing the calf crop,
the quality of its cattle and the production practices it follows. There is no
reason why this cannot be done since the Southeast already has many fine cattle herds
with excellent calf crops and with the quality and productivity found anywhere else
in the country. Its big problem is that there are still too few of these quality
herds. Much progress has been made in this regard and it will continue to occur in
the future.

Florida is only in the beginning stages of developing the full potential which
it has for beef production. It is now producing less than 50 pounds of beef per
acre, whereas many of its top producers are already getting 200 pounds of beef per
acre and a few obtain close to 500 pounds of beef per acre. Florida and the South-
east has an excellent future for the cattlemen who will use quality cattle and good
production practices.


































TJC:hjw
800 copies
3-16-66







TABLE 1. Beef Cattle Population in Ten Southern States and United States in
1929, 1939, 1949, 1959, 1965 and Increase From 1929 to 1965

(thousand head)


Increase from 1929-1965
Percentage
Increase Increase
in in
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1965 Rank numbers Rank numbers Rank

Kentucky 337 452 674 1,083 1,767 1 1,430 1 424 4
Mississippi 353 492 637 1,368 1,698 2 1,345 2 382 7
Florida 449 623 926 1,294 1,607 3 1,158 5 258 9
Louisiana 459 639 772 1,266 1,522 4 1,063 6 232 10
Tennessee 309 385 497 944 1,519 5 1,210 4 400 5
Alabama 237 345 484 1,174 1,454 6 1,217 3 514 1
Georgia 301 360 427 988 1,297 7 996 8 331 8
Arkansas 214 340 408 984 1,223 8 1,009 7 471 2
N. Carolina 92 113 142 403 504 9 412 9 448 3
S. Carolina 80 75 104 343 398 10 318 10 398 6

Ten SE States 2,831 3,824 5,071 9,847 12,989 10,158 359

United States 26,975 30,403 41,560 62,614 80,311 53,336 197

Ten SE States as
Percentage of U.S. 10.5 12.6 12.2 15.7 16.2








TABLE 2. Value of Cattle in Ten Southern States and United States in
1929, 1939, 1949, 1959, 1965 and increase from 1929 to 1965


Increase from 1929-1965
Increase Percentage
in increase
State 1929 1939 1949 1959- 1965 value Rank. in value Rank


Kentucky
Tennessee
N. Carolina
Florida
S. Carolina
Louisiana
Georgia
Arkansas
Mississippi
Alabama

Ten SE States

United States


$51.40
43.60
48.10
23.40
39.30
31.90
31.00
34.10
30.10
32.20

39.30


58.47


$33.40
30.60
31.20
20.50
27.10
21.70
21.50
23.10
21.10
22.50

27.10

38.44


$121.00
107.00
104.00
.74.20
90.60
84.30
80.60
94.80
83.20
82.50


$138.00
128.00
116.00
106.00
104.00
118.00
100.00
113.00
108.00
105.00


90.60 104.00

135.00 153.00


$104.00
96.00
96.00
92.00
92.00
83.00
83.00
82.00
81.00
76.00


$52.60
52.40
47.90
68.60
52.70
51.10
52.00
47.90
50.90
42.80


88.50 51.89

114.00 55.53


Ten SE St2tcz :
Percentage of U.S. 67


70 71 70 78


102
120
99
293
134
160
168
140
169
133









TABLE 3. Live Weight Beef Production in U. S. and
10 Southeastern States (Millions of Pounds)


Increase from 1929-1964
Increase
in Percentage
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1964 pounds increase Rank

Kentucky 191 275 358 505 683 492 258 7
Tennessee 182 239 300 463 570 388 213 8
Mississippi 140 193 240 518 547 407 290 5
Alabama 91 144 212 471 487 396 433 2
Louisiana 102 172 218 384 457 355 349 3
Florida 45 71 154 341 399 354 789 1
Arkansas 107 192 223 358 393 286 265 6
Georgia 86 104 161 327 370 284 331 4
N. Carolina 67 84 106 192 209 142 212 9
S. Carolina 44 50 54 126 132 88 201 10

10 SE States 1,055 1,524 2,026 3,684 4,247 3,192 302

U. S. Total 12,754 15,177 19,274 28,280 33,937 21,183 166

10 SE States as
Percent of Total 8.3 10.4 10.5 13.1 12.5










TABLE 4. Liveweight of Beef Produced Per Animal on Farm, Jan. 1 in Ten Southeastern States and U. S. in
1939, 1949, 1959 and 1964 and Increase F-rom 1939 to 1964


Increase from 1939-1964
Increase
in Percentage
State 1939 1949 1959 1964 pounds increase Rank

Alabama 147 187 272 275 128 87 3
Kentucky 230 233 278 274 44 19 10
Tennessee 206 218 258 265 59 29 9
Arkansas 178 211 263 265 87 49 8
Mississippi 150 169 239 254 104 69 4
Louisiana 150 178 232 242 92 61 5
S. Carolina 155 157 220 241 86 55 7
Georgia 113 164 231 236 113 109 2
N. Carolina 141 164 198 226 85 60 6
Florida 86 133 189 225 139 162 1

10 SE States 160 186 241 253

United States 230 251 303 318

% of U.S. 69.6 74.1 79.5 79.6






TABLE 5. Cows Two Years Old and Older, Calves Born, and Calves Born as Percentage
of Cows Two Years Old and Older in 1929, 1939, 1949, 1959and 1965

Number all cows two years old and older (1000 head)
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1965 Rank in 1965
Florida 335 429 627 962 997 5
Mississippi 530 694 860 1,244 1,245 2
Louisiana 480 615 745 1,089 1,191 4
Alabama 456 495 650 934 986 6
Georgia 478 486 542 755 818 8
Arkansas 401 565 610 791 867 7
Kentucky 560 6,717 815 1,045 1,310 1
Tennessee 515 627 797 985 1,205 3
N. Carolina 303 361 406 512 521 9
S. Carolina 186 185 206 296 302 10
Ten SE States 4,244 5,065 6,258 8,613 9,442
United States 31,437 34,587 42,929 47,001 49,899
Ten SE States as
Percentage of U.S. 13.5 15 15 18 19

Number of calves born (1000 head)
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1965 Rank in 1965

Florida 188 249 401 645 748 6
Mississippi 340 465 628 921 959 3
Louisiana 297 430 581 839 917 4
Alabama 272 366 507 747 799 5
Georgia 304 335 417 604 654 8
Arkansas 260 458 500 633 694 7
Kentucky 416 524 709 951 1,153 1
Tennessee 379 508 709 867 1,024 2
N. Carolina 190 260 313 410 406 9
S. Carolina 117 115 157 234 242 10
Ten SE States 2,763 3,710 4,922 6,851 7,596
United States 24,355 28,879 34,643 41,046 42,989
Ten SE States as
Percentage of U.S. 11 13 14 17 18

Number of calves born as percent of cows two years old and older
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1965 Rank in 1965

Florida 56 58 64 67 75 10
Mississippi 64 67 73 74 77 8
Louisiana 62 70 78 77 77 8
Alabama 60 74 78 80 81 3
Georgia 64 69 77 80 80 4
Arkansas 65 81 82 80 80 4
Kentucky 74 85 87 91 88 1
Tennessee 74 81 89 88 85 2
N. Carolina 63 72 77 80 78 7
S. Carolina 63 62 76 79 80 4
Ten SE States 65 73 79 80 80
United States 77 83 81 87 86










TABLE 6. Cash Receipts From Cattle and Calves
From 1929 to 1964 (Millions of Dollars)


Increase from 1929-1964
increase
in Percentage
State 1929 1939 1949 1959 1964 receipts increase Rank

Kentucky 24 22 95 115 134 110 455 10
Tennessee 15 15 57 90 93 78 509 9
Mississippi 8 10 38 103 84 76 966 3
Louisiana 8 8 39 79 77 69 907 4
Alabama 5 7 31 100 76 71 1,327 2
Florida 4 4 22 79 67 63 1,777 1
Arkansas 7 10 39 79 67 60 905 5
Georgia 6 5 24 62 54 48 857 6
N. Carolina 5 5 19 36 35 30 553 7
S. Carolina 3 3 10 25 21 18 550 8

Total in 10 SE States 84 88 374 768 707 623 735

Total in U.S. 1,495 1,290 4,849 7,834 7,768 6,273 420

Ten SE States as
Percent of U.S. 5.7 6.1 7.7 9.8 9.0








TABLE 7. Beef Production and Consumption in Southeastern States


Value of
surplus Total
or dollar value
Popu- Per Liveweight Total beef Surplus or deficit of surplus
lation capital equivalent Total beef production deficit in in beef or deficit
July, consumption per capital consumption in state beef produc- (cents beef in
1964* of beef consumption in state in in 1964 tion in per lb.) state, 1964
(1,000 in 1964** in 1964*** 1964 1,000 1964**** 1964 1,000
State persons) pounds pounds 1,000 pounds pounds 1,000 pounds dollars dollars

Florida 5,651 79.45 143.15 808,941 399,495 -409,445 16.30 -66,739,640
North Carolina 4,855 66.21 119.30 579,201 209,375 -369,826 14.60 -53,994,669
South Carolina 2,523 65.22 117.51 296,478 131,575 -164,903 15.20 -25,065,214
Georgia 4,295 71.42 128.68 552,681 370,200 -182,480 14.80 -27,007,040
Louisiana 3,487 73.20 131.89 459,918 456,785 3,133 14.60 457,392
Alabama 3,426 71.32 128.50 440,241 487,375 + 47,134 15.50 + 7,305,770
Tennessee 3,800 72.28 130.23 494,874 569,830 + 74,956 15.50 +11,618,180
Arkansas 1,939 68.65 123.69 239,835 393,110 +153,275 15.90 +24,370,739
Mississippi 2,298 63.88 115.10 264,500 546,700 +282,201 14.50 +40,919,145
Kentucky 3,160 71.28 128.43 405,839 682.925 +277,086 16.50 +45,719,223

*U.S.D.C. Bureau of Census (annual estimates).
**Unpublished manuscript titled "A Prospectus on the Market for Fed Beef in the Southeast", by J. C. Purcell, Georgia
Agricultural Experiment Station.
***Per capital consumption in 1964 = liveweight equivalent consumption per capital in 1964.
55.5
****These figures assume that all beef produced is slaughtered or consumed in the state. This is not the case. Actually
all ten Southeastern states consume more than is slaughtered in the state. This means that the six states showing
surplus beef actually are not surplus beef areas since much of their beef produced is shipped out as feeder or '
stocker calves to be finished in other states.










TABLE 8. Ranking of Ten Southeastern States


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