Editors Note: Friday we published an article “Taking Advantage of Drought?” from Glenn Selk’s Cow/Calf archives. While the drought has not broken in many places, it is quite wet in Oklahoma, Glen reports. While most article printed in thebeefblog are current we do on occasion retrieve information from certain older archives and may not reflect current conditions in the author’s area.
Calf nutrition pays
Quality beef starts with good calf nutrition from day one.
“Start early to give that calf the greatest chance he has to grade Choice, premium Choice or Prime, so he’ll qualify for premium branded beef programs,” says Mike Krakoviak, director of the Purina Mills, LLC, Cattle Business Group.
The company recently launched a program called, “Nutritional MarblingTM,” which aims to increase beef’s taste fat through feeding, both on the ranch and in the feedyard. That starts by feeding corn, or starch, as early as possible, he says.
Ron Scott, Purina Mills beef research director, explains. “If you provide glucose, or the precursor for marbling, then it can cause cells to differentiate into fat cells,” says Scott, who works out of the LongView Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Mo. “That can happen at any point in a calf’s life, but it is certainly more dramatic the younger they start out.”
FULL STORY PDF
Eyes On Argentina
By Clint Peck
Cactus Argentina has all the look and feel of a Texas Panhandle feedyard. After all, Cactus Feeders of Amarillo, TX, has worked since 1999 to introduce Texas-style grain finishing to South America.
The feedlot located near Villa Mercedes on the northwestern edge of Argentina’s Pampas region was the vision of Miguel De Achaval, vice president and general manager of Cactus Argentina. The former Cactus Texas employee has built the feedyard to a one-time capacity of 25,000 head.
Earlier this year, he oversaw the Cactus operation — with the help of Argentine agricultural conglomerate Cresud — take on a new look with the announcement of a joint venture with Tyson Foods of Springdale, AR.
Electric fences work effectively if built properly
Devlon Ford, Agriculture Research Assistant at The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, believes success with electric fences is all in how the fence is built.
“Some people in the agricultural industry have, in the past, considered electric fences to be a waste of time and money,” Ford says. “Experience has shown few circumstances in which electric fences will not work when a fence is designed and built properly using the correct equipment.”
Cattle Feeding: Late Summer & Early Fall Supplementation With Protein
Because condition at calving and breeding are so important, it may at first seem silly to begin worrying about condition in the middle of July. However, it must be remembered that there are few economical ways to increase body condition once winter has arrived. So, good body condition in the winter must depend on the nutritional program the previous summer. If on July 15, the cows are in good condition and are rapidly regaining weight lost the past winter, the program can run normally. If, on the other hand, the past winter was severe and cows are still thin now, with every likelihood that they will be thin going into the next winter, thought needs to be given about the most economical method of improving condition before winter.
Permanent ag disaster relief fund unlikely
Dakotas, Texas receive most emergency money
By Faith Bremner
WASHINGTON – Year after year, taxpayers spend billions helping the nation’s drought-, storm- and bug-battered farmers and ranchers weather natural disasters.
From 1988 to 2006, Congress forked over $20.2 billion in emergency agriculture aid, according to the Congressional Research Service. In what has become almost an annual ritual, lawmakers this spring approved another $3 billion to help farmers and ranchers survive natural disasters.
The annual crop woes have sparked calls for a permanent $1 billion annual disaster aid program. Supporters say an official program would speed up payments to farmers and reduce political and regional battles over the assistance.
Beware unintended consequences of enacting well-intended reforms
By CAROL HUNTER
Des Moines Register
The $242,787 in federal farm payments collected by Lee Bass from 2003 to 2005 for several Texas spreads was small change for the oil billionaire.
The names of the ultra-rich that pop up in the Environmental Working Group’s database of farm subsidies have fueled cries for reform. So has the database’s documentation that payments go disproportionately to large operations instead of the idealized small family farm.
OK, so the next farm bill should rule out taxpayer handouts for billionaires. Beyond that, though, it gets complicated. Farm policy can’t turn on a dime. Subsidies are imbedded in the economics of today’s farming, figured into cash flows, rent and land values.
The end of the biofuels money train?
By PHILIP BRASHER
Des Moines Register
Iowa benefits more than any other state in getting federal funding for biofuels. Livestock producers and the food industry oppose the practice. As Congress looks at new farm and energy bills, biofuels could lose.
Few industries are more dependent on government subsidies and mandates than biofuels producers, and no state has benefited more than Iowa.
The industry wants billions of dollars in additional subsidies, both to build a national distribution system for ethanol and to underwrite the production of ethanol from new feedstocks such as crop residue, wood chips and other sources of plant cellulose. One of the first cellulosic ethanol plants is planned for Emmetsburg.
“We’re creating a new energy infrastructure that we haven’t had in over 100 years,” said Brent Erickson, an executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
But the tight federal budget makes it challenging for lawmakers to continue existing subsidies, let alone enact new ones.
Zimmerman: Novices can learn the basics of beef
By ERIC ZIMMERMAN
The Eagle Columnist
Texas cattle producers are invited to attend session II of the Beef Quality Management educational program – Beef 706 on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. Beef 706, a beef check-off funded program, is a 2 1Ú2 day workshop focusing on various factors that will help producers understand the best beef cattle quality management concepts.
Beef 706 is an educational hands-on course for beef producers to learn about safety and quality issues affecting their product. This program will reach Texas cattle producers with information enabling them to perform sound management practices that will increase consumer confidence in beef as a safe and wholesome product.
Missouri governor signs law to increase number of large animal veterinarians
by Julie Harker
A new loan program for select students of large animal veterinary medicine at M-U has been signed into law in Missouri.
The program provides loans to those students and forgives loan principal and interest provided the students work in areas of the state were there are vet shortages. Governor Blunt signed the bill on Friday.
Cattle Health: What Are Some Important Steps In Preventing Losses From BVD?
The most important step is adoption of good management practices. These are routine practices that aid in the prevention of all diseases in cattle, including BVD. These include adequate nutrition as a cornerstone of prevention. We must make sure that the cattle do not become too thin or too fat. Both extreme conditions can decrease the ability of the animal’s immune response to fight infectious agents such as BVD. In addition to general nutrition (adequate energy, protein, and clean water), some of the trace minerals can cause problems if in short supply. Both selenium deficiency and copper deficiency are widespread in California beef cattle and will damage the immune system of deficient cattle.
Cattle business expands
Pacific Business News
Hawaii cattle marketings are up including more local slaughter; local pork production is down but growers are getting better prices; production is down a lot in the Hawaii egg and milk businesses.
These industries were updated Thursday, using figures newly available from May, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office.
May cattle marketings were up 10 percent from year-before levels to 7,500 head (average live weight was up 2 percent as well) bringing total marketings since the year began to 99 percent of last year’s levels, 24,000 head. Local slaughter was up 5 percent from year-before levels to 582,000 pounds, and for the year-to-date local slaughter is up 7 percent to 2.6 million pounds. Prices are flat from last year at an average 99 cents per pound.
S. Korean farmers, activists disrupt sale of U.S. beef
South Korean farmers and civic activists disrupted the sale of U.S. beef at some discount stores across the country Friday, claiming the meat is harmful to public health.
Lottemart, the second-largest discount outlet in the country, said that it has procured 40 tons of choice quality meat to sell in 53 stores, representing the first sale of American beef by a major retailer since late 2003.
The first shipment of U.S. beef to clear customs arrived in the country in late April, and more than 700 tons of U.S. beef has arrived as of last month.
Four generations of Caldwell Farms
By Sharon Kiley Mack
Bangor Daily News
For four generations, Caldwell Farms’ cattle have grazed in the fertile fields of the Androscoggin River valley.
Once one of the strongest dairy areas in the state, the valley has seen milk production all but dry up.
“I can remember when there were 17 milk stops on our road,” Ralph Caldwell reflected during a recent tour of his farm. “Now there is one.”
Today, the Caldwells’ herd of 550 beef cattle — Black Angus, White Face Baldies, Herefords — augment their organic dairy and a thriving sawdust, shavings and compost business. “The secret to making money farming is to make money from every aspect of the business,” said Caldwell’s daughter and business partner, Dee Dee Caldwell.
NM has 60 days to prove TB cases isolated
SANTA FE N.M. (AP) – The federal government could cancel New Mexico’s status as a cattle TB-free state unless the state can prove in the next 60 days that a tuberculosis outbreak in a Curry County dairy is isolated and won’t spread.
Earlier this week, the state’s congressional delegation and Gov. Bill Richardson expressed concern that federal agriculture officials appeared poised to change New Mexico’s status.
All dairies and beef cattle operations in New Mexico would have to test for bovine TB if the state loses its status as a TB-free state.
“Losing the TB-free status would be a huge, huge hit for the livestock industry,” said state veterinarian Dr. Dave Fly.
It would cost $4 million to $6 million for the tests, he said.
Cattle Outlook: MCOOL Needs To Be Amended Quickly
There is talk of amending the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (MCOOL) law that is to take effect in September 2008. The law not only needs to be amended but it needs to happen quickly. Some of the animals that will be slaughtered after September 2008 are already on the ground.
The law as it stands will cost producers substantially without adding any benefits. Individual animal identification for cattle will be necessary to provide the paper trail required by the legislation. The law will also add cost at the slaughter plant because of the records needed for each wholesale cut from an animal.
When an industry has about 90 percent of the market and only 75 percent of the customers are willing to pay more for the domestic-produced product, there will be no premium.
2007 Johnson County Farm Family of the Year raises horses and cattle, runs western store
By Brooke Chambers
With a horse and rodeo operation, an extensive cattle operation and a thriving western and outdoor store, the Hurley family in Johnson County is diversified, to say the least.
The family’s diversity, as well as its consistency throughout the years, are main factors the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service in Johnson County selected the Hurleys as the county’s 2007 Farm Family of the Year.
Bob Hurley, founder of the Hurley BH Ranch, has been operating the ranch in Johnson County since 1957, when he purchased the land. He recently took The Courier on a tour of the store, the beef and rodeo cattle pastures and the rodeo arena facility. The Hurleys operate on countless acres of land off U.S. Highway 64 near Clarksville.
Though the land might not have looked like much 50 years ago, the Hurleys transformed their property into the smoothly run operation it is today by “a lot of trial and error,” Bob said.