Beef Production Ideas for Part-Time Producers
By Bill Henning, Cornell University Small Farms Specialist
When driving past many beef operations, the question often comes to mind: Just how profitable do you suppose that farm is? Granted, when it comes to many small-scale beef operations, profit is not the only motivating factor that prompts the beginning of a small-scale farm. There is nothing wrong with non-monetary motivation, but generating a few extra dollars along the way always makes it more interesting.
The part-time beef producer has an advantage that might not be apparent to some. That advantage, in many cases, is that they do not have to rely on cash flow from the beef operation to support the family. This gives them the freedom to do some things that can contribute to profitability with less concern for steady income.
Ohio Heifer Development Program Now Accepting Consignments
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association
The recently created Ohio Heifer Development Program is now accepting heifer consignments. This program is being provided by The Ohio State University Extension Beef Team and the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, with support from the Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation. Consignment forms can be found online at www.ohiocattle.org.
Heifer Development programs can offer numerous benefits to producers. The upcoming Ohio Heifer Development Program can provide a potential solution to the challenge of raising replacement heifers from both an economical and management standpoint. This program allows producers to bring their replacement heifers to a central location to be developed. Producers will retain ownership in the heifers and pay a daily fee that covers the cost of feed, medicine, reproductive associated costs and labor. Heifers will be provided proper nutrition to meet their growth requirements. It is critical to have heifers through their first estrous cycle prior to the breeding season. This is highly correlated to having the heifers reach proper weight ranges. Ideally, heifers should be fed to reach approximately 60-65 percent of their mature body weight at breeding time. Heifers in the program will be artificially bred to bulls with proven genetics, focusing on calving ease and balanced traits. Once confirmed pregnant, heifers will be available for pickup. Ultimately, this program will be a hands-on educational tool as well as a vehicle to help create a statewide heifer development program patterned after other successful state programs.
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Can you appraise hay by looking at it?
Baxter Bulletin (MO)
Can the nutritive value of hay be estimated by simply looking at it? The short answer is no.
Generally, the crude protein (CP) or total digestible nutrient (TDN) content of forages can’t be estimated by visual appraisal alone.
The only accurate way to determine the feeding value of a specific lot of hay is by a laboratory analysis.
Even if the hay looks the same as another hay crop, it may have drastically different nutrient levels.
Variations in nutritive value occurs from year-to-year, field-to-field and cutting-to-cutting due to weather, management and several other factors .
Unfortunately, laboratory results are often not available when you are buying hay.
Sixth annual Missouri Livestock Symposium coming to Kirksville
Kirksville Daily Express
KIRKSVILLE – Quilting and fabric design might not sound like a program for a Missouri Livestock Symposium, but it is one of 36 offered Saturday at the sixth-annual event.
The two-day symposium, which begins Friday at the Kirksville Middle School at 4 p.m., also features experts who will address issues related to beef cattle, sheep, forages, renewable resources, wildlife and conservation, meat goats and agriculture business.
At least 1,600 people attended last year, and they came from over half of Missouri’s counties and 13 other states.
U.S. Ag Secretary Calls Import Standards Which Cut Off Kansas Meatpacker “Invented”
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is criticizing South Korea for stopping beef shipments from a Kansas meatpacker.
Ag Secretary Mike Johanns says Korean officials, in his words, “invented” a standard for imports.
South Korea suspended imports from Creekstone Farms Premium Beef
because authorities said they found a bone fragment in boneless beef.
Creekstone raises Black Angus cattle in Kentucky and slaughters them in Arkansas City, Kansas. Johanns says the shipment was seven tons of beef.
Livestock a major threat to environment
Remedies urgently needed
Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Media Relations, FAO
29 November 2006, Rome – Which causes more greenhouse gas emissions, rearing cattle or driving cars?
According to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation.
Soybean Residue as a Feed Source for Cattle
Southwest Nebraska News
This time of year it isn’t uncommon to see cattle grazing on corn, milo and soybean residue. However, it is unlikely cattle can graze on soybean stubble alone. The low nutrient value of soybean residue is not adequate to sustain even a small herd of cattle.
Soybeans are generally considered to be a high protein plant. However, the majority of this protein is found in the soybean itself. The leftover plant residue contains little protein.
The minimum amount of crude protein needed to support a dry beef cow is 7 to 8 percent. Soybean pods and stems contain only about 4 to 6 percent crude protein. The soybean leaves in residue contain up to 12 percent protein, but only 1/3 of this material is actually digestible by the cow.
Farmers leave fields to study agricultural issues
By Chris Knape
The Grand Rapids Press
GRAND RAPIDS — Immigration reform, privacy issues and renewable energy issues lead the agenda.
But this isn’t Washington, D.C. This is DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. And this agenda wasn’t being set by lawmakers, although a few will be attending.
It was set by more than 1,000 members of the Michigan Farm Bureau — men and women who grow corn, raise hogs and milk cows, among other products, as part of the state’s $60 billion agricultural industry.
Labels can be misleading
Home News Tribune
By KAREN FERNAU
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
The label “natural” doesn’t mean “all natural.”
The label implies food as close to nature as possible.
But, according to government regulations, “natural” for meat, poultry and dairy means that the food does not contain ingredients, colors or preservatives considered artificial and not natural to the product. It has nothing to do with how the animal was raised or what it ate.
“Organic” is the only label certified by U.S. inspectors, and certified products must carry a United States Department of Agriculture organic seal.
Other common food labels — “all natural,” “cage free,” “range free” — are simply unregulated guidelines. That said, experts recommend consumers pay close attention to labels before buying.
Here are a few of the most confusing label categories:
Organic food rising in popularity
MSU part of the trend, experiment station studies apple crops
By KRISTYN PETERSON
The State News
A $50,000 grant was awarded to the Michigan Apple Committee in October to fund organic research, which will be used to determine whether growing organic apples is economically feasible.
The grant highlights a trend in the increasingly popular organic market, which has grown 28 percent since 2003 and pulled in $14 billion in 2005. Organic food sales now account for 2.5 percent of all food sales in the nation.
The Clarksville Horticultural Experimental Station, run by the MSU Agricultural Experiment Station, is an agriculture research facility that focuses partially on organic crop research.
Minnesota livestock producers often hurt by high corn prices
By The Associated Press / lacrossetribune.com
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Minnesota livestock producers say the ethanol-fueled rise in the price of corn could drive their businesses into the red, and force them to find other foods with which to feed their cattle and swine.
“How long corn prices will stay at $3 will be a determining factor of when livestock producers will return to profitability,” said University of Minnesota Extension Educator Dave Bau. “The longer they are unprofitable, the less time they can exist.”