Daily Archives: November 27, 2006

Natural cattle may turn profit

Natural cattle may turn profit

SDSU Extension has worksheet available for farmers, ranchers;

By Scott Waltman

Aberdeen American News Writer (SD)

With the popularity of natural beef on the rise, farmers and ranchers have a new tool to help them determine whether they can make a profit on the animals that are not injected with growth enhancers.

The South Dakota State University Cooperative Extension has created a natural cattle spreadsheet.

Tyler Melroe, an Extension educator in Marshall County, helped create the spreadsheet. He said the natural and organic portion of the cattle market is small, but fast growing.

“There’s a huge trend from a consumer standpoint to demand the natural product,” Melroe said.


Analyst says quality focus is increasingly important

Analyst says quality focus is increasingly important


By Troy Smith

What is it that pays cattle feeders most? Is it finished weight or carcass merit? It’s been hard for most cattle feeders to ignore the call for more pounds of beef. They have responded to market signals by feeding cattle to heavier weights. According to Cattle-Fax Executive Vice President Randy Blach, the industry has seen carcass weights increase by 12 pounds, on average, during each of the last two years.

Speaking to cattle feeders gathered for the recent Feeding Quality Forum, in North Platte, Nebraska, the Denver-based market analyst said weight has been the primary driver of marketing decisions. Quality grade has been a secondary target with yield grade a distant third. But a change is coming.


Trichomoniasis: An age-old disease may cause new problems in your clients’ cow-calf herds

Trichomoniasis: An age-old disease may cause new problems in your clients’ cow-calf herds

Cattle Health Tech

You have a client whose cow herd comes up 30% open at pregnancy-check time. The year before, his spring calving schedule became a spring-and-summer schedule due to a number of late breeders. Their calf crop was uneven, some cows thought to be pregnant never calved, and weaning weights suffered.

The cause of this scenario could be a number of different issues, but a highly likely culprit is trichomoniasis. While certainly not a new disease, trichomoniasis is extremely common in some parts of the United States, and, unfortunately, becoming more so in others.


Feeding Natural Cattle

Feeding Natural Cattle

American Cowman

A new publication from South Dakota State University discusses raising cattle without the use of implants, ionophores, or antibiotics. SDSU Extension Extra 2056, “Feeding Natural Cattle,” is available online at http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx2056.pdf.

Marshall County Extension Livestock Educator Tyler Melroe and SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Specialist Erik Loe, who wrote the publication, said some consumers are willing to pay a premium for “natural” beef products from production systems that don’t use implants, ionophores, or antibiotics. Vaccines are not antibiotics and are critical to the success of natural feeding programs.


AngusSource® Completes First Year of Operation As A USDA Process Verified Program

AngusSource® Completes First Year of Operation As A USDA Process Verified Program

American Angus Association

October 18, 2006, marked the first year anniversary for the American Angus Association’s ® (AAA) USDA Process Verified Program (PVP), AngusSource. In October 2006 the program charted an increase in cattle enrollments of nearly 336-percent as compared to October 2005.

The first year of operation as a PVP was filled with program improvements, success and an overall increase of 4.3-percent in total number of head enrolled. Some highlights of the year include the month of March, which saw enrollments of more than 12,300 head of cattle in the program. In June, the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) board of directors voted to include AngusSource in the CAB program as a way for enrolled cattle to genetically qualify for the brand. July charted a 433-percent increase in producers taking advantage of the marketing support offered through the program by customizing their AngusSource Document and promoting the cattle for sale utilizing the online listing site. September introduced the AngusSource Premium Value Challenge, a contest designed to recognize producers who have received premiums by marketing their cattle through AngusSource.


BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Environmental Issues for Beef

BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Environmental Issues for Beef

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

Environmental issues were one of seven identified by the Farm Foundation as it partnered with private and public organizations to take a look into the future of animal agriculture.

In the final report, Charles Abdalla and Jennifer Lawton, writing in “Consumer Issues and Demand,” published by the American Agricultural Economics Association’s online Choices magazine (www.choicesmagazine.org, Volume 21, No. 3, 2006), concluded their discussion regarding the current situation with these words, “… the relatively low rate of adoption of technology ….”


Tax Changes for Farmers

Tax Changes for Farmers

Beef Business Daily

RED OAK, Iowa (DTN) — The unusual boom of commodity prices at harvest this year may mean more farmers will have to spend time in the coming weeks with tax planners to build a strategy to minimize tax liabilities this year.

More farmers may need to take advantage of strategies such as income averaging, which is an exclusive benefit for farmers. The high commodity prices and strong yields in areas not affected by drought may require more farmers to consider income averaging to reduce tax liability.

A farmer can average out his income this year with the two prior tax years. If a producer, for instance, saw increased income that raised him to a higher tax bracket in 2006, it may be wise to average out the income with the two prior years, particularly if those years were in a lower tax bracket. Spreading the income back may also be helpful if a producer expects income to continue to go up.


SD Cattle Industry Helps Sponsor Broadcast Of Tournaments

SD Cattle Industry Helps Sponsor Broadcast Of Tournaments

Keloland Television

South Dakotans who watched the recent state football tournament on public television can thank the state’s cattle industry, in part.

Checkoff money collected from farmers and ranchers – and managed by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council — was used to help sponsor tourney coverage.


Cost share program for hay expanded

Cost share program for hay expanded

The Leaf-Chronicle (TN)

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens recently announced that the Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for cost share assistance Jan. 1 from farmers interested in building new hay storage structures.

“The quality of hay production and storage has a direct impact on the quality and health of cattle,” Givens said in prepared comments.

“If we can help farmers improve forage nutrition and handling, then we can make a difference on their bottom line through better cattle management and marketability of their livestock.”


RFID to track Beef

RFID to track Beef

RFID Times

Canadian beef producers Atlantic Beef Products is making use of RFID to track the location of slaughtered cattle in its plants. The technology will also be used to track the location of each animal’s meat throughout the supply chain. The purpose is to facilitate the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with information on the location of the butchered cow in the plant. It would also help them to maintain an electronic record of what animals are in packages that leave the plant.


AgMazing exhibit teaches kids about farming

AgMazing exhibit teaches kids about farming

By Mary Ann Ford


NORMAL — Mary Claire Coddington hurried over to the big green combine in the AgMazing exhibit at the Children’s Discovery Museum, climbed up the steps and got ready to drive.

She called to her sister, “Come on, Emily.”

Mary Claire, 3, stayed firm on the seat as other kids came into the cab. “I like to drive,” she said. “I’m driving through corn.”

The exhibit officially opened Friday morning after a ribbon-cutting ceremony with 4-H Federation members. Museum manager Shari Buckellew said 4-Hers were chosen because “they’re a really big part of the ag community.”


Experts share insights on cashing in on local, fresh beef products

Experts share insights on cashing in on local, fresh beef products


The Prairie Star editor

BILLINGS, Mont. – Big agribusinesses are squeezing the profit out of ranching, increasing the gap between the producers and consumers, according to Mike Callierate of Ranch Foods Direct.

“Farmers and ranchers have got to go through the retailers and packers to get to the consumers,” noted Callierate during the Montana Cattlemen’s Day on Nov. 4 in Billings, Mont. “Even when the real price of cattle is real good at $1.40, the ranchers get less than their share of the consumer dollar. Cattlemen have lost 16 percent of the consumer dollar to what they call economies of scale.”


TSCRA addresses conservation, vet shortage

TSCRA addresses conservation, vet shortage

By Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association

Reaffirming their mission as “stewards of land and livestock,” members of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association adopted policy Oct. 13 calling for enhanced government support for environmental conservation, an independent evaluation of industrial wind farms and efforts to address the growing shortage of large-animal veterinarians.

TSCRA members also voted to support recommendations to strengthen the beef checkoff. The resolutions were approved during the final business session of TSCRA’s fall meeting in Amarillo, Texas, Oct. 11-13.