Cattle Marketing Symposium – All Natural Beef: Mark McCully- CAB
By definition, niche production isn’t for everyone. But if you have a focus on quality and want to go the extra mile to meet this growing part of consumer demand, raising natural beef can be profitable. It’s about perceptions, so we must differentiate cattle produced with no implants, antibiotics or animal-derived feed—without casting aspersions on more conventionally-raised beef that remains the basis for consumer demand.
All product labeled as Certified Angus Beef (CAB) conforms to government food safety standards and as such, contains no harmful residues of antibiotics or growth promotants. However, to meet the growing demand in the natural beef marketplace, CAB developed a brand extension known as CAB brand Natural, licensing production at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. and Niman Ranch.
Cow Calf: Flushing Beef Cattle
Flushing is a management term for providing high quality feeds, usually grains prior to the start of the breeding to increase reproductive performance. Flushing has been used in the swine industry to increase the number of ovulations in sows. Can this concept be applied to young beef females that calve in less than adequate body condition?
David Lalman at Oklahoma State University conducted research investigating the impact of changing body condition after calving on pregnancy rate in 1st-calf-cows. As expected, young females that calve in a body condition score of less than 5 and maintained BCS through 12 weeks post-calving had the lowest pregnancy rates. Heifers that calve in a BCS of less than 5 then fed increased energy post-calving, which would be somewhat like flushing the female because there is a substantial increase in weight gain in these heifers, achieve a pregnancy rate of 66%, which is well below and acceptable rebreeding rates for females during their second breeding season. Interesting in this data set is that heifer that calved in a BCS of greater than 5 and were fed extra energy after calving had only three percentage units higher pregnancy rate compared to heifers that calved in a similar BCS and did not loose weight post-calving (94% vs 91% pregnancy rate).
Research focuses on lowering input costs
Farm & Ranch Guide
Production input costs for cow-calf producers continue to rise, while the value of cull cows has clearly not risen as quickly, said a scientist at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan.
Dr. Scott Kronberg, an ARS research range scientist with an animal focus, said his fall and winter grazing research project is looking at ways to reduce those input costs with longer grazing.
“If calf producers get less for their calves, they may still be able to produce them profitably if they can lower their calf production costs,” said Kronberg. “I think we will see a move into lower inputs in cattle production, and one major way to do this is to lower winter feed costs.
Bull fertility and culling decisions
By Bethany Lovaas,
University of Minnesota Beef Team
Minnesota Farm Guide
You’ve been using that same old bull, year after year, and he’s done a great job for you. His calves are born easy, they perform well, but you just don’t know how long the old guy is going to last.
Here are some things to take into consideration about your bulls continued breeding success, old and young.
If you’ve wintered over your bull or have a fall breeding season, one major issue you have to be aware of is cold injury. As is typical of northern U.S. winters, we experienced some severely cold weather. This has an especially significant impact on the bulls. If they don’t have adequate shelter or bedding, there is a good chance that they may have experienced some cold damage to their testicles.
Internal strife leaves cattle group vulnerable to opposition
Cattle producers have always been an independent lot, including when they’re trying to get together on public policy.
Still, the spectacle surrounding one of the industry’s biggest interest groups, R-CALF USA, has been something to behold.
Consider what’s happened since the beginning of the year at the organization, formally known as the Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund, United Stockgrowers of America.
NCBA: Cattlemen Conclude Successful Legislative Conference
Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2007) - More than 200 cattle producers from across the nation are concluding a successful week in the nation’s capital today, as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) wraps up its annual Spring Legislative Conference.
The meeting was highlighted by an address from President George W. Bush on Wednesday, in which the President focused on the importance international trade and sound economic policy hold for the cattle industry and all of American agriculture. But NCBA members also heard from many other key policy makers throughout the week.
BeefTalk: Is Manure a Waste Problem or a Resource?
Our mindset determines to what extent we are open to change and if the possibility really exists.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Change really is a function of the mind. Our mindset determines to what extent we are open to change and if the possibility really exists. For all practical purposes, how we look at a problem will determine if we are willing to change.
The challenge that most beef producers are trying to decipher comes in the form of a question. Is the operation that I manage an animal feeding operation? Really, whether the answer is a yes or no, the question opens the door to a change. This change has significant impacts and ramifications. Ultimately, the objective is to channel those impacts toward a positive outcome for the operation.