Baxter Black: BREADBASKET LANDSCAPE
Every artist has to paint a landscape now and then.
Fall in the heartland is a season of ripening. As I negotiate my way across the canvas there is a feeling that the air is heavier. No breeze, a clear light blue sky and nothing to stop the atmosphere from pressing down on the dark musky soil.
Hold culls until 2009
What’s the status of the U.S. cowherd inventory and how is that impacting prices?
Jim Robb with the Livestock Marketing Information Center says fewer heifers are being held, and some cowherd liquidation is also occurring due to drought in California and high fertilizer prices in the Southeast.
As a result, the U.S. cowherd inventory is low. This reduced beef inventory is also occurring on the global scale. Robb says the national inventory of cows in Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia, and Europe are all declining. He says, “The cow herd numbers are tightening worldwide more than most people realize.”
Global beef supply and demand fundamentals accentuate U.S. opportunity.
It’s not like beef is a non-renewable natural resource, but global demand running ahead of stable to declining supply promises to drive prices higher.
“Consumers on this planet haven’t consumed less meat year-to-year since data has been kept,” says Brett Stuart, a Cattle-Fax market analyst. That’s total meat supply. Though global beef consumption faltered for a couple of years during that stretch, Stuart explains that average per-capita beef consumption has increased 2%/year on average for the better part of five decades. Come sun, rain or financial storm.
Cattle Preconditioning: Weaning Of Calves
The major priority in beef production is to produce as many calves as possible. The main objective of weaning is therefore to enable a cow to calve every year by allowing her to regain condition after weaning.
Calves are ideally weaned when they are 7 to 8 months old.
The right time to wean a calf depends on the condition of the cow and not the age of the calf.
Calves should be weaned before the condition score of the cow falls below 2,5 if adequate winter feed is available and the cows maintain their condition. The calves should preferably be weaned before the cow’s condition score falls below 3,0.
Effect of Hay Feeding Methods on Hay Waste
Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Reproduction Specialist
Michigan State University animal scientists studied four hay feeder design types: ring, cone, trailer or cradle. The round bale “ring feeder” was 7.5 feet in diameter with 18 feeder spaces separated with bars at a 70 degree angle 14 inches apart. The top rail was at 4 feet of height. Solid material made up the first 2 feet of height.
The “cone feeder” was the same diameter and feeder space bars as the ring feeder. Bottom and top sections were solid, with open feed access in the middle 2 feet of height. Overall height was 6 feet. An interior cone of bars kept the bale in the center of the feeder.
Quality in the fast lane
By Miranda Reiman
At the local café two cattlemen are discussing the idea of compensatory gain. “I heard you can make money on calves this winter if you just get by, save by not feeding much. Come spring, nature will provide a few more groceries and the calves will make up for it,” one says. “Makes no sense to me,” the other retorts. “If you look at anything else in farming, from poultry to hogs, corn or wheat, it’s maximum production all the way.”
Rare case of cattle rustling reported in Illinois
In a rare case of Illinois cattle rustling, officials in Kane County say six bull Holstein calves have been stolen from a farm.
Robert Burgin owns the unweaned calves, which are worth $900. He says they were stolen from a corn crib on his farm sometime over the weekend. One calf has been found.
Illinois farm and beef experts say cattle rustling is extremely rare in the state. One expert says this is likely only the second case in 15 years.
The Future of GM Animals Today
Amidst the chaos of the presidential race, new rules were passes by the US Food and Drug Administration that allow the marketing of foods from genetically engineered farm animals.
TheBostonGlobe reports that unlike clones – which are weirdly procreated from a single parent but are otherwise conventional creatures – engineered animals have had their DNA codes rewritten to endow them with traits never before seen in those species.
Among the gene-altered animals angling to appear on our dinner tables are farmed salmon with novel DNA that makes them grow faster; pigs with bacterial genes that make their manure less environmentally damaging; and perhaps even cattle bearing fish genes for omega-3 fatty acids, says TheBostonGlobe. Imagine filet mignon as healthful as fillet of sole.
Larry Cundiff Honored With Hereford Hall Of Merit Award
Larry Cundiff, Clay Center, Neb., was honored with the Hereford Hall of Merit Award Nov. 3, 2008, in Kansas City during the American Hereford Association (AHA) Annual Meeting. Hall of Merit inductees aren’t necessarily Hereford breeders but have, in their own ways, greatly influenced the Hereford breed and cattle industry.
Larry Cundiff has conducted genetic and breeding research that has contributed to significant changes in breeding systems and genetic improvement programs used in U.S. beef production. He directed a project that demonstrated the benefits of heterosis from systematic crossing of Herefords, Angus and Shorthorns increased output per cow about 23%. These results contributed significantly to widespread use of crossbred cows in U.S. beef herds.
Raising the bar for CAFOs
Opponents argue it lets polluters police themselves
Cattle Business Weekly
New rules published Oct. 31 for concentrated animal feeding operations are said to be tough but fair.
After more than 10 years of work, the federal Clean Water Act has been revamped into a set of rules that are applicable to U.S. livestock operations.
Prior to this rule making CAFOs did not have any sold regulatory guidelines for discharges and application of manure on land and were not liable under the Clean Water Act.
Not All DDGS Made Equal Says Purdue Research
Although it all comes from corn used to make ethanol, not all dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) are created equal.
Not All DDGS Made Equal says Purdue Research US – Although it all comes from corn used to make ethanol, not all dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) are created equal.
Nutrient content and availability of the grain product makes some batches of DDGS more suitable as feed for livestock species than others, said Scott Radcliffe, Purdue University Extension swine nutrition specialist.
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Searches for New CEO
Denver, October 20, 2008 – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is accepting applications for its Chief Executive Officer position. Terry Stokes announced his resignation as NCBA’s CEO September 25.
Factors affecting the transfer of passive immunity to the baby calf
Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Reproduction Specialist
There are several factors that influence amount of immunoglobulin that is absorbed by the baby calf. Some of these factors are directly related to the amount of colostrum available from the mother. These factors include: 1) genetic composition of the dam, 2) age of the dam, and 3) nutritional status of the dam.
Certainly it is clear that dairy-influence or high milking beef cows should have a larger volume of colostrum. It is less certain whether the concentration of antibody molecules is the same. In some cases, smaller amounts of colostrum may have higher concentrations of immunoglobulins, helping to offset the difference in total volume.
Nevil Speer, MMP: Looking Down A Curved Working Alley
Better take the long view because weekly fluctuations will make your head spin. The past month has been full of gyrations and reversals making it tough in terms of pricing and marketing strategies (more on that later). On a brighter note, despite some tough weeks and sharp downswings, the beef complex has exhibited resiliency; the market managed to recover just when it appeared significant support levels might be caving in.
Sustainable Crops and Livestock Systems Workshop Dec. 6
“Keeping Agriculture Viable for the Next Generation” is the theme of the Sustainable Crops and Livestock Systems Conference, scheduled for Dec. 6 at Sidney. The workshop will take place at Western Nebraska Community College, 371 S. College Drive, from 8:45 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. It sponsored by the University of Nebraska, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS) and Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) NE Chapter No. 2. Advance registration is requested by Dec. 1.