Covering The Basics Can Lead To The Remarkable
Marketing is my passion. I’m 100% convinced that, as an industry, we spent the better part of the last 30 years focusing on lowering costs and improving efficiency, only to watch our market share and profitability plummet. Don’t misunderstand me; it’s vital to be a low-cost producer and to continually fine-tune efficiencies. After all, they’re the keys to survival in a commodity business.
But we have to create value, expand our share of the pie and move away from a commodity business in order to have sustainable profits and provide a future for our children in this industry.
This business is among the most brutally competitive. Almost without exception, if you’re in the cattle business, you’re in it because you love it. And most people who exit this business don’t do so by choice. They simply get to the point where they can’t justify the costs relative to the financial rewards, or the banker tells them it’s time to quit.
Federal, state officials face animal ID skeptics
by Tom Steever
Under Secretary Bruce Knight continues to urge participation in the National Animal Identification System, but he says even premises registration will help to control animal disease.
“What we need to do in the event of a disease outbreak is move within minutes or hours to notifying folks in that community of that disease outbreak,” Knight told Brownfield in an interview Tuesday in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Knight’s message to producers from Ag Secretary Mike Johanns also continues to be that they can participate in the program if they want to.
“It is a voluntary program and it will stay that way,” Knight reiterated.
But in spite of federal assurances, some cattlemen remain skeptical, and NAIS critic Ray Cunio would prefer clarification between federal and state agencies to what degree the system will remain voluntary.
Feed Efficiency—The Best Way to Cope With $4.00 Corn
According to recent reports, current corn ending stocks are at their second lowest level in 45 years. Higher corn prices have had an immediate and major impact on feeder cattle prices. There is speculation that we’re in this for the long haul; in other words, we can expect feed costs to be at a higher plateau for years to come.
The environment we work in has changed. It always has been the size of the corn crop, livestock numbers and the export markets that pretty much dictated the corn price. Now crude oil prices will be one of the factors we’ll watch closely as the country finds an economic equilibrium between oil and ethanol in the years to come.
The most recent Cattle on Feed report indicates a shift toward placements in the north and fewer in the south as proximity to ethanol plants impacts cost of gains.
Udder Soundness is Important Culling Criteria
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State Universtiy
Every year at “preg” checking time, ranchers evaluate cows and make decisions as which to remove from the herd. This fall will find many producers culling the herd deeper than usual because of very short forage supplies in many areas of Oklahoma. One criteria that should be examined to cull cows is udder quality. Beef cattle producers are not as likely to think about udder health and shape as are dairy producers, but this attribute affects cow productivity and should be considered.
Ranchers may be surprised to find that about 2/3 of the range cows tested experimentally were infected with one or more mastitis-causing bacteria in one or more quarters. Two previous studies (one in 1977 and another in 1983), indicated that the occurrence of clinical mastitis in the beef cows herds were 17.5% and 11.9%, respectively. These caused reduced weaning weights of 12.5% and 7.3%, respectively. A later study (1986) of beef cows found a higher percentage of clinical mastitis of 37%. The weaning weight loss of calves nursing infected cows was 9.6% and these researchers noted an economic loss of $31.43 per calf due to occurrence of mastitis in the dam. The presence of the organisms does not necessarily mean that the cow has clinical mastitis and her milk production will suffer. It is known that the incidence of dry quarters increase with cow age.
story by Eric Grant
For the better part of eight months, Florida’s Natural, a Lake Wales-based fruit processing facility, hums with the energy of capitalism.
On any given day, the fruit and processing facility can convert as much as 11 million pounds (lb.) of fresh fruit into juices of all kinds. These products wind up in supermarkets across the country and around the world within a matter of days.
Wining cows create better cut of steak
Elizabeth St. John
The other day while I was driving, I saw a cow being hauled in a trailer. I pulled up next to the trailer at a stoplight.
Honestly, I had never been that close to a cow. So, I did what any self-respecting college student should do. I rolled down my window and mooed at it. And you know what? It understood. It looked right at me, as if I had just said “hello.” And then it noticed that I was not a cow at all, but instead an annoying imposter, and it rolled its eyes and turned away. I tried to get its attention again, but it ignored me.
This is how I came to the conclusion that cows are rude animals and sometimes deserve to be eaten. (This column isn’t running next to a PETA ad, is it?)
Really, though, I love steak. I could eat steak for dinner every single night and probably never get sick of it. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a home-grilled, medium-rare rib eye. That is, unless the cow the steak came from was a top-notch pampered cow.
NCBA Members Approve New Policies in 2007
Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 3, 2007 – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) held its regular annual board meeting and membership meeting, concluding the 2007 Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Nashville. More than 6500 cattlemen from across the nation attended.
Renewable energy was arguably the hottest topic of the four-day convention, due to the surging demand for ethanol and its impact on feedgrain prices. Rapidly increasing prices for corn and other feedgrains have raised operating costs for cattle feeders over the past four months, which in turn has contributed to lower calf and feeder cattle prices.
The policy brought forward by the NCBA Agriculture Policy Committee was approved in large part by NCBA members, with modest modifications in the policy resolution language. The resolution voiced support for the nation’s commitment to reduced dependence on foreign energy, including efforts to develop renewable energy. But cattlemen called for transition to a market-based approach to renewable energy production, which would help level the playing field for cattle producers and other feedgrain users.
Producers warned on need for biosecurity measures
Country World (TX)
By KARI KRAMER
Proper management is the key to good cattle biosecurity measures, according to Dr. Jason Banta, professor and Extension beef cattle specialist.
“Biosecurity is just a set of best management practices that prevent infectious diseases from coming into a herd,” Banta explained to attendees at the recent Northeast Texas Cow-Calf Clinic in Wood County.
NCBA study proves market-driven system vital
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says a newly-released report on marketing confirms a market-driven system works.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says the newly released Livestock and Meat Marketing Study provides quantitative support for what its members have known all along: “a market-driven system works.”
The four-year study was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).
It found restrictions on livestock and marketing agreements (AMAs) “would have negative economic effects on livestock producers, meat packers and consumers.”
Forage Focus: Pasture Renovation – What’s the Plan?
Forage Focus Up until a few weeks ago every conversation I had with a cattle producer included some comments about mud and cattle tearing up pasture paddocks. Since then we’ve had a spell of below freezing temperatures and cattle are on a little more solid footing. This won’t last though and sooner or later mud and pasture damage will be back in the conversation. Looking back over the past several years it seems like it is becoming more common to deal with rain and soggy ground than snow and frozen pastures in the winter. If this is the trend, what kind of plan should cattle producers have to protect and renovate their pasture paddocks from the trampling that is going to occur? After giving this some thought and talking to a couple of people and then thinking back on some pasture situations I have seen here in Athens County, I’m going to put forth a couple of plans and situations in an attempt to answer this question.
Bovine TB: Sharpshooters culling deer to stop the spread
Crookston TimesBy (MN)
Sharpshooters are culling deer in northwestern Minnesota to try to stop the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
Six sharpshooters with the U.S. Department of Agriculture began killing deer on Tuesday at 56 baited sites in an area east of Thief River Falls, and more shooters are expected to arrive this week.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife health program coordinator Michelle Powell said the culling likely will continue through March. She estimates that hundreds of deer will be shot.
The deer are being killed in an area where an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis has infected both cattle and wild deer. DNR aerial surveys indicate there are about 1,000 deer in the area.
U.S. meat producer appeals for early resolution of beef row with Seoul
By Kim Deok-hyun
The head of the U.S. Meat Export Federation said Thursday he was confident of an amicable resolution to an ongoing spat between Seoul and Washington on beef imports and set a tentative deadline of March 31 for it.
Philip Seng, CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation
South Korea again allowed imports of American beef last year, ending a three-year ban prompted by a mad cow scare, but has since turned back three shipments totaling 22.3 tons after tiny bone chips were found in them.
South Korean quarantine officials defended their actions as health-oriented, but Washington accused Seoul of applying safety regulations too strictly to block U.S. beef imports.