Grass-Fed Beef: More natural style of farming is taking hold in the industry
By Michael Hastings
Winston Salem Journal
The grass is getting greener for one part of the U.S. beef industry as consumer demand drives a market for grass-fed beef. Across the nation, including North Carolina, small producers are making the switch from grain-fed to grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef has superior nutritional properties, and its environmentally friendly practices are striking a chord with consumers.
Most of the cattle in this country is raised through a “factory” farming system. Cattle farmers breed calves or buy them, raise them for a while, and then ship them to a feedlot where they are fed grain, which is not a natural diet to ruminant animals such as cattle.
Ruling may help bilked ranchers
Bismarck Tribune (SD)
STURGIS, S.D. (AP) – A state judge’s ruling may help ranchers who lost nearly $1 million in a failed beef-marketing venture at Sturgis.
Circuit Judge Jerome Eckrich ruled in August that contracts sold to the ranchers by partners in the bankrupt Sturgis Meat Service were covered by the state securities law.
The contracts allowed ranchers to sell cattle to the company at guaranteed prices and get a share of the retail profits. Sturgis Meat Service failed in 2001.
Two of the partners later pleaded guilty to selling unregistered securities. A third was found guilty of grand theft.
Drought Aid Gets Voted Down
After spending days in Washington D.C. asking for support North Dakota farmers get disappointing news…
Republicans block a vote today on Disaster aid.
It had been added to a port security bill.
They say it doesn’t belong in there.
Senators Dorgan and Conrad will try to attach disaster relief to another bill.
So what are the chances of disaster aid passing?
Donnell Preskey went to Washington to find out…
IRS extends tax break on animal sales for cattle producers suffering under drought
News Tribune (MO)
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Cattle producers around the country who are forced to sell animals because of drought will not have to pay capital gains taxes for a year after the parched conditions end, the Internal Revene Service announced.
If a rancher replaces an animal, his tax liability for the sale will not exist, officials said.
Previous legislation gave cattlemen four years – beginning in 2002 – to replace the livestock sold because of drought without recognizing a capital gain.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last week extended the provision for an additional year if in the 12 months ending Aug. 31 there was severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions in a particular area.
‘Deadstock’ Fact or Fiction?
Most people don’t often read a book and worry about the plot coming true. But a fictional story about a bioterrorist using disease in cattle isn’t so far fetched.
For many in KELOLAND, and across America, agriculture isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life. But one author fears a simple disease could crush the heart of America.
Kate Iola, the author of “Deadstock” explains, “I started reading about this livestock disease. It sounded like fiction. It had all of the consequences. It was a very complicated story and I thought this really should be fiction.”
So she made it fiction, by writing “Deadstock.” A story about an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. In the book, a bioterrorist is responsible for spreading the disease.
Brisk Sales of RFID Livestock Tags
RFID tags used to track livestock in the US and Canada already have YTD (year-to-date) 2006 sales that exceed total sales for 2005. [via Agriculture Online] Part of this is likely due to mandates for tracking sick animals.
Canadian meat producers battling BSE’s residual effects
By Sean Roach
Canada’s meat industry is still struggling to recover from a spat of disease scares and import bans that have crippled production, according to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.
However, the lifting of trade restrictions and the implementation of feed standards has started to have positive effects on the industry.
The report provides a snapshot on the state of Canada’s beef, veal, pork and poultry sectors, indicating that the country’s meat processors will still have to deal with reduced supplies and demand over the rest of the year.
Even though the US resumed live imports of Canadian cattle in 2005, beef supplies from Canada to the US are still 20 per cent below the 148,552 metric tons sent across the border prior to 2003.
Making Hay Without It
By Wes Ishmael
Contributing Editor, BEEF Magazine
“The drought in 1998 was the first time in recent years we faced a crisis like this year, where you have very limited forage — standing forage or hay — and what’s available is very costly,” says Dave Jones, general manager of Livestock Nutrition Center facilities in Fletcher and Chicasha, OK.
“We (Oklahoma producers) learned two lessons in 1998,” Jones says. “First, limit-feeding — feeding commodity and supplement — makes stocker operations more predictable. With limit-feeding, you can get stocker cattle to their target weight on time even when forage isn’t available. The other lesson we learned, but didn’t remember as well, is that limit-feeding works for cows, too.
By Larry Stalcup
With some 6,300 tons of manure produced daily in nearby feedyards, Hereford, TX, sometimes can appreciate the “smell of money” only so much. But the “Beef Capital of the World” soon could smell like a rose economically while helping reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
A 100-million-gal. ethanol plant is under construction in Hereford by Panda Energy International. Inc., a Dallas-based company that will count on 1,500 tons of manure/day to fire the plant
BeefTalk: Source and Age Verification Are Two Different Concepts
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Source and age verification are becoming a product of the marketing environment. The entrance into the marketplace is an indication of recognition by those buying cattle that a need exists for source- and age-verified calves. This is good.
The premise of a free market suggests supply and demand drive the marketplace and determine the value of the product. In this case, the demand side is starting to perk up as indicated by marketing organizations soliciting and labeling calves as source and age verified. The supply side is stepping up to the challenge. Source- and age-verified calves are starting to sell. What does that claim mean?