Tie A Ribbon Around Those Calves At Marketing Time
When I wrap a gift, my wife usually rewraps it. When she informed me that the wrapping is sometimes just as important as the gift, it wasn’t something I easily comprehended. But when it comes to marketing cattle, the principle is a good one to remember.
First of all, we’ve come to the hard realization that our product isn’t irresistible. If it were, order buyers would be stacked two deep at the ranch gate. After you’ve created value in your product by putting in the right genetics and management, it’s important that you put a ribbon around the packaging to give it that finished look.
The wrapping can be as important as the gift itself when it comes to determining value. It’s a principle we see lived out every day in the seedstock business. While not as pronounced, it’s just as applicable to the marketing of “commercial” cattle.
Don’t Forget About the Bulls
by Bethany Lovaas, DVM
UM Beef Team, North Central Research and Outreach Center
Grand Rapids, MN
As the breeding season approaches, generally everyone is thinking about getting cows and heifers in shape for the breeding season. A nice, tight breeding season results in a nice tight calving season, which generally is the most economical for producers. However, the cow is only half of the equation. Don’t forget about the bulls!!
Bunk Scoring Really Works
Clifton L. Willms, Ph.D., PAS
Land O’ Lakes Farmland Beef team has worked with a number of producers to implement good bunk management practices. We have referenced much of the work by Dr. Robbi Pritchard to help producers be more profitable. While many producers know from first hand experience that bunk management is important to bottom line profitability, rarely do we see research trials demonstrating the value.
A trial conducted by Colorado State University and reported in ARPAS 16:182-187 (September 2000) demonstrates the value of good bunk management. Two of the treatment groups in the trial contrasted feeding rations with 7.5% corn silage (DM basis) either ad lib or at restricted (slick bunk management) intake. Whole-shelled corn was the grain source.
Monitor sulfur levels in cattle feed
High levels of sulfur in feed can result in thiamine deficiency and possibly even death.
Springfield News Leader
An area cattle herd recently had three yearlings go down in a short period of time.
The veterinarian’s diagnosis was polioencephalomalacia or PEM. The condition is also referred to as “brainers.” PEM is a noninfectious neurological disease that is related to thiamine deficiency.
“The cause of the deficiency is not always clear, but does seem related to abrupt ration changes. High sulfur levels in the feed and water are also implicated,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
The symptoms are many and varied: restlessness, diarrhea, muscular twitching, hard breathing, blindness or star gazing and circling. Death may occur if not treated promptly.
Jack Dillard: High technology has made its way into agriculture
Like some of us who have been pushed into the use of computers, cell phones and personally the list could go on, so must farmers and ranchers learn and use the future markets and such tools.
Cash markets are seldom used in the cattle business today as we see prices reported on hundreds of head sold while thousands of head have been merchandised. The only livestock markets that are cash today are local livestock auction markets and the farmer’s vegetable markets.
Local level prices are difficult to establish. Is this bad? No. but it sure is different.
Internet use grows on farm
By Chad Previch
In the fields of southwestern Oklahoma, he’s called Jimmy. But when he’s doing his research, he’s known as kinderjw.
The hard work of raising cattle and growing wheat is done in those fields, but it’s in his home, on the Internet, where Jimmy Kinder gets an advantage over other farmers.
“It’s kind of like an electronic coffee shop to tell you the truth,” said Kinder of Walters. “It sure does give you an added confidence when you try something new.”
Water use: Biofuel plants’ thirst creates water worries
By PERRY BEEMAN
State regulators fear some parts of Iowa won’t have enough water to handle the booming biofuels industry.
Plant operators say they have reduced the amount of water needed to produce ethanol, but the facilities still need abundant local water supplies. A single plant producing 100 million gallons of ethanol a year – a capacity quickly becoming the norm – uses as much water as a town of approximately 10,000 people, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports.