Retail Complications For COOL
Perhaps it is too early to tell, but I’ve always known mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) is nothing more than a little more bookkeeping at the production level.
Packers are still trying to work through the dynamics of how to make it work with minimal cost, but the real concern continues to be raised at the retail level. There are only so many slots that a store has at their disposal when stocking its meat case. Labels require segregation, and suppliers who have opted for a multi-country or U.S. label have found inconsistency in supply to be an issue, as packers struggle with filling orders and maintaining production efficiency.
Giving a cold shoulder to C.O.O.L.
The election is over; the government has just realized we have been in a recession since last fall (2007); farm commodity prices have fallen 60 percent (yet food prices have yet to decline); and the U.S. Treasury is bailing out every mismanaged bank, corporation and/or business in this country. What a place and time to live!
The new administration campaigned for more than 20 months for change. Let’s hope they mean it and start with the government enforcing laws on the books and not creating needless chaos by implementing confusing legislation such as C.O.O.L.
Cattle, corn and credit crunch make for turbulent times
Minnesota Farm Guide
It is my pleasure to introduce Frayne Olson, who recently joined the NDSU Extension Service as a crops marketing economist. He will comment on the corn market in this column and will author future Market Advisor columns in the crops marketing, risk management and price outlook area.
What turbulent times to start a career in marketing!
The stink is not in the field, gentlemen
Just when a guy thought it was safe to try a little farming, Big Brother raises his head.
Cattle and sheep are likely in fear, or is it uproarious laughter, but it isn’t because of the butcher and a clown. This is far too strange for a clown to address, and would leave the butcher in amazement.
Eat meat? — not if global warming advocates get their way
Global warming control advocates are already starting to attack United States farms raising meat. The objective — to make domestic meat so expensive that it will not be feasible for most folks to consume it driving those farms out of business. Only the rich will be able to afford imported meats and other domestic industry will be lost.
Where’s the beef from?
It’s a popular trend for marketing food products, but country-of-origin labeling has nothing to do with food safety.
According to Julie Lewis, who works in the agriculture marketing service for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the new law is about marketing the origin of products only.
“People don’t understand that it’s not a food safety law,” Lewis said.
Watch cattle nutritional requirements in cold weather
Minnesota Farm Guide
Very cold temperatures and bitter wind chills make managing cattle nutrition critical for ranchers.
Low temperatures and wind can increase cattle nutrient requirements by 20 to 30 percent, South Dakota State University Extension Beef Specialist Cody Wright said.
“A good rule of thumb is that for every degree below 32 degrees, including wind chill, a cow’s energy requirements increase by 1 percent,” Wright said. “How you manage your cows between now and calving may have the single largest impact on how your cows breed back next summer.”
North Dakota beef herd being tested for bovine TB
The Jamestown Sun
A North Dakota beef herd is being tested for bovine tuberculosis, following the identification of a cow with a TB lesion at a Minnesota meat processing plant.
“We are in the early stages of the investigation, and complete results of the herd tests won’t be known for several weeks,” said Dr. Susan Keller, state veterinarian, on Friday.
Ranchers say tough Corriente cattle easy on land
Some Eastern Oregon ranchers say a breed of Spanish cattle known as Corriente can survive tough conditions but are easier on the land than other livestock.
Craig and Liza Jane Nichols, owners of the 6 Ranch near Enterprise, brought in 15 head of Corrientes from New Mexico in 1989 after reading an article about the breed in Western Horseman magazine.
Analyst: Recession slashes consumer meat demand
As the recession deepens, people are eating less beef, pork and poultry, leading to the biggest per capita decline in meat consumption since 1982, an industry analyst told the Kansas Livestock Association.
Hundreds of cattlemen gathered here for the group’s annual convention amid fears over a global credit crisis and concerns about stricter environmental regulation under the Obama administration.
U of M Feedlot Ration Balancer now available
University of Minnesota Beef Center
Minnesota Farm Guide
The University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team has released the U of M Feedlot Ration Balancer to help beef producers and feedlot managers more closely examine the nutrient requirements of their feedlot cattle.
The ration balancer is a Microsoft Excel computer program that is available for download from the internet. It is free of charge and is designed to help producers seriously study the nutritional needs of their operations. This is crucial as Minnesota beef producers find themselves in times of high price volatility and, at times, narrow profit margins.
Among cow-calf producers who routinely retain home-raised heifers as herd replacements the process often stirs mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s fun to watch heifer calves develop, consider their parentage, and compare their performance. It’s fun to narrow your picks from the most promising candidates. It can make you anxious. After all, those replacement heifers represent a significant contribution to the genetic improvement of the cow herd. At least, they should.
Monitor corn stalk quality
Rain in the fall usually is welcomed despite the delays it causes with crop harvest. Pastures and alfalfa benefit from extra growth and winterizing capabilities. Wheat and other small grains get well established as do any new fields of alfalfa or pasture. And the reserve moisture stored in the soil will get good use during next year’s growing season.
Living Like A Local, Part 2
Hoosier AG Today
In part one of this series, I discussed how city folks who move to a rural community can adjust to their new environment. I discussed how to get around using the unofficial rural address system and the proper etiquette for driving on rural roads. I was inspired to write this series by the Missouri Cooperative Extension system which has developed a “Rural 101” course to teach newcomers to rural areas the facts of rural life. While very informative, as most Extension programs are, it lacked some important basics like how to communicate with your neighbors. Interpersonal communications is the subject of Part 2 of this series.
Proposed fee on smelly cows, hogs angers farmers
For farmers, this stinks: Belching and gaseous cows and hogs could start costing them money if a federal proposal to charge fees for air-polluting animals becomes law.
Farmers so far are turning their noses up at the notion, which is one of several put forward by the Environmental Protection Agency after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.