Daily Archives: February 16, 2006

Animal rights groups’ funds continue to grow

Donations to animal rights groups increased 40 percent from 2003 to 2004 (the most current snapshot available.) “Animal People,” a publication that bills itself as ”News for people who care about animals,” reported the results based on Internal Revenue Service Form 990, which the groups are required to file. Here’s a quick look:

  • The Humane Society of the United States revenues equaled $74 million, up 3 percent.
  • The Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the next largest group), grew revenues to $48.2 million, an 11 percent jump.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported a 20 percent gain or $28.1 million in revenue.
  • PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the PCRM Foundation combined for $16 million, up from $12 million in 2003.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance points out that the groups’ combined efforts against animal agriculture spent more than $290 million in 2004.
For more information, go to drovers.com.

Boswell introduces bill to ban packer ownership

From Drovers Journal

Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, has introduced legislation (H.R. 4713) that, if passed, would prohibit packers from owning, feeding or controlling livestock intended for slaughter. The bill, which would amend the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921, has yet to receive any co-sponsors, points out National Pork Producers Council officials. An identical measure introduced by Boswell in 2003 garnered 11 co-sponsors.

Pasture options for economical fertilizing

Pasture options for economical fertilizing

The Baxter Bulletin

Nitrogen fertilizer prices have climbed sky high, leaving hay and cattle producers in a bind for spring forage. What affordable options will allow producers to grow enough forage this year?

The first thing to do and also the cheapest, is to get soil tests on all fields that normally would be fertilized. Cutting fertilizer rates without a good guideline can drastically cut needed forage production.

Soil test results are a valuable guide for directing fertilizer applications, and they are free. Soil samples can be submitted through Baxter County Extension office. Some fields may not need as much fertilizer as producers typically apply, while others may have declined in fertility and yield so that more fertility is required to restore yield.

Estimating forage need is another way to improve fertilizer efficiency. If spring forage production is often in excess of what is needed, then lowering fertilizer rates can be justified, but this should be determined for each farm to ensure adequate hay and pasture production.

In cases of excess spring growth, splitting a heavy spring fertilizer application into smaller spring and fall applications can extend the grazing season and reduce winter hay requirements.

Overseeding legumes such as clover and annual lespedeza will reduce fertilizer costs since nitrogen fertilizer is not needed for legumes. Legumes improve forage quality and reduce fescue endophyte problems. Clovers need higher soil fertility than lespedeza and most grasses. This makes soil tests even more important since spreading clover seed on fields with poor fertility can be a waste of money.

Annual lespedeza is a good choice where fertility is too low for clover to survive.

For information on soil testing or forages, call University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service at 425-2335.

Mark Keaton is staff chair for Baxter County at UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

GM Food Goes on Trial

GM Food Goes on Trial

By John Feffer,
AlterNet. Posted
February 16, 2006.

The global jury is still out on whether GMOs are a boon or a bust.

The fundamental rule of retail is: The consumer is always right. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has once again disregarded this rule by declaring the majority of European consumers wrong.

In poll after poll, Europeans have voiced their skepticism of food that’s been altered at the genetic level. Their governments initially responded with a moratorium on new GM products and subsequently adopted a Europe-wide policy on product labeling. But in its latest ruling, the WTO did some labeling of its own, declaring Europe’s cautious policy on genetically modified organisms (GMO) an unfair barrier to trade.

The 800-page report, the longest decision in the WTO’s short history, has not yet been released to the public. But the U.S. government and its co-plaintiffs, Canada and Argentina, are already treating it as a historic ruling. The European Union, on the other hand, has dismissed the report as simply a ruling about history, since it lifted its moratorium against GMOs in 2004. Still unclear is how the ruling will affect different regions within Europe that continue to declare themselves GM-free.

FULL STORY

Southwestern Angus Champion Bull

Southwestern Angus Champion Bull

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 3:14 PM CST
The Tri-State Neighbor

QLC LaGrand Forum won grand champion bull at the 2006 Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show’s Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show, Jan. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas. Fluharty Farms LLC, Gause, Texas; Quirk Land Cattle Co., Hastings, Neb.; and LaGrand Angus Ranch, Freeman, S.D., own the March 2003 son of G 13 Structure. He first won senior champion. Jeff Dameron, Lexington, Ill., evaluated the 141 entries.

Southwestern Angus Reserve Champion Bull

DAJS The Matrix 008 won reserve grand champion bull at the 2006 Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show’s Roll of Victory (ROV) Angus Show, Jan. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas. Katy Satree, Montague, Texas; Whitestone-Krebs, Gordon, Neb.; and Express Angus Ranches, Yukon, Okla., own the March 2004 son of Champion Hill Edition 2029.

Brokeback Resolution

Brokeback Resolution

By Mary Ann Akers
Roll Call Staff
February 16, 2006

They swear it has nothing to do with “Brokeback Mountain,” but a group of Senators, mostly from cowboy country, has introduced a resolution designating July 22, as “National Day of the American Cowboy.”

Canadian Cattle Numbers Down

Canadian Cattle Numbers Down

As of January 1, 2006

The national cattle herd has declined for the first time in three years in the wake of the reopening of the American border to Canadian cattle, easing the situation for farmers who had to feed record numbers of animals.

Cattlemen had an estimated 14.8 million head on their farms as of January 1, 2006, a drop of about 233,000 head from the record 15.1 million head established a year earlier, according to the January Livestock Survey of 10,000 producers.

Despite the decline, the total was still over 1.3 million higher than levels as of January 1, 2003, before the worldwide ban on Canadian cattle resulting from mad cow disease.

FULL STORY