Daily Archives: December 4, 2006

Fear and Greed, And Supply and Demand

Fear and Greed, And Supply and Demand

By Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

After three years of record-breaking, bin-busting corn harvests, corn prices have defied all conventional wisdom by skyrocketing. Bred females have lost $300 and calves $150/head in the initial market implosion.

In the short-term, fear and greed rules, and they certainly took over the last several weeks. When one domino fell, the others followed closely, and market fundamentals became irrelevant. We went from a “never having another bad day” attitude to “we are heading to zero at Mach 1.”

FULL STORY

BeefTalk: Most Cow-calf Producers Are Animal-feeding Operations

BeefTalk: Most Cow-calf Producers Are Animal-feeding Operations

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

Change, a force that all beef producers, and essentially all those who are caretakers of animals, will need to be prepared to face, is present. A major focus of change is the concept of animal-feeding operations within the livestock industry.

The point now is that more than likely you are an animal-feeding operation if you are in the beef business or any livestock business. Producers will need to become more familiar with what that means and its potential impact on the livestock operation. Forces of change are not unique in agriculture and have been known to come with significant impact.

FULL STORY

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold
by Glenn Selk

Results from a classic, old experiment at Kansas State University suggests several advantages for adjusting energy levels for cold weather. This information was gathered during the 1979 – 1980 winter. The K-State researchers used 60 commercial cows fed in dry lot and fed one-half of the cows a steady diet based upon the thermal neutral requirements for body weight maintenance; the other 30 cows were fed a ration adjusted for 1% more feed for each degree of coldness. See the example listed in the previous article for dry hair coat cows. Beef cows exposed to cold require more energy for maintenance therefore the results below indicate the effectiveness of making those adjustments.

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

Ration Adjusted for coldness

Ration NOT adjusted

Weight change during last 4.5 months of gestation

+115 pounds

+26 pounds

Weight change from fall to following fall at weaning

+10 pounds

-93 pounds

Percent cycling by 60 days after average calving date

82%

65%

Estimated average date of conception in subsequent breeding season

June 5

June 15

The amount of additional feed to account for the cold weather events that winter would be equivalent to 125 pounds of corn per cow. The advantages of such ration adjustments must be analyzed by considering the economic cost of the extra feed versus the potential for greater pounds of calf being sold in the future. Also it must be remember that the cows with extra feed during the winter, were 103 pounds heavier in the following fall and should be in better body condition than the cows on the “ration NOT adjusted” diet.

Source:Ames, D. R.1981. “Weather, what can you do about it?” in Western Beef Symposium October 26-27, 1981. Boise, Idaho.

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

Results of Adjusting Feed Levels for Cows During Cold

Cattlenetwork.com

Results from a classic, old experiment at Kansas State University suggests several advantages for adjusting energy levels for cold weather. This information was gathered during the 1979 – 1980 winter. The K-State researchers used 60 commercial cows fed in dry lot and fed one-half of the cows a steady diet based upon the thermal neutral requirements for body weight maintenance; the other 30 cows were fed a ration adjusted for 1% more feed for each degree of coldness. See the example listed in the previous article for dry hair coat cows. Beef cows exposed to cold require more energy for maintenance therefore the results below indicate the effectiveness of making those adjustments.

FULL STORY

Feeding Natural Cattle Is Topic Of Free Publication

Feeding Natural Cattle Is Topic Of Free Publication

Cow/Calf Weekly

A new South Dakota State University (SDSU) online publication discusses raising cattle without implants, ionophores or antibiotics. In the publication, “Feeding Natural Cattle” (find it at agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx2056.pdf), SDSU Extension personnel Tyler Melroe and Erik Loe detail the market potential for “natural” beef, the requirements of such a management and marketing program, and the attributes, drawbacks and economics of “natural” feeding.

FULL STORY

Ranch hands

Ranch hands

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

When you take care of a place like it’s your own, you have a home for a long time

On a farm road near Grandview, five white Suburbans followed a rancher to the corner of a grassy field.

About 30 students, dressed in Western boots, blue jeans and gray Stetsons, jumped out of the vehicles with pens and notepads. They listened intently as the tall, lanky rancher talked about growing healthy grass for cattle in an all-natural beef business.

‘When you take care of a place like it’s your own, you have a home for a long time,’ rancher Jon Taggart said.

The Texas Christian University ranch management program, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, has thrived on teaching stewardship of the land and livestock. In the program, students are challenged to devise creative methods of turning a profit in a challenging business

FULL STORY

Changing Seasons, Changing Strategies

Changing Seasons, Changing Strategies

By Mike Boersma, County Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota

Murray County News

Anyone who knows me, knows that fall is my favorite time of year. The heat and humidity of summer (which I’ve never been a fan of) are long gone, the air is cool and dry, and of course, beef cattle are busy grazing mature, low quality forages! While there is a vast array of forages that could fit into this category, I think it’s important to pay attention to one of these that is widely available to producers this time of year-cornstalks.

FULL STORY

Forage breeding program could have impact

Forage breeding program could have impact

Southwest Farm Press

The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation recently teamed with Forage Genetics International in a joint plant breeding program that has the potential to impact agricultural producers in more than one-third of the continental United States.

“This joint effort will advance the breeding programs of each institution, as well as create new research opportunities for both organizations,” said Mark McCaslin, President of Forage Genetics, which is a subsidiary of the Minnesota-based Land O’Lakes, Inc. “The relationship also models how non-profit and for-profit entities can work hand-in-hand to benefit agricultural producers and agriculture production in our country.”

FULL STORY

Farmers defend use and safety of biosolids

Farmers defend use and safety of biosolids

By Blair Goldstein

News and Advance (VA)

Last spring, Carl Bradley spread biosolids on 200 acres of land in Charlotte County, right up to its border with Campbell County.

He said the treated sewage sludge helped sprout thick grass for his beef cattle, yielded a hearty corn crop and left his soil rich with nutrients.

Now Bradley wants to bring biosolids across the border to the rest of his field, as well as to a few others he owns in southeastern Campbell County.

He is one of 13 landowners who recently applied to spread biosolids on more than 3,100 acres of county land.

FULL STORY

Trade spat looms as South Korea rejects second U.S. beef shipment

Trade spat looms as South Korea rejects second U.S. beef shipment

Yonhap News

SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korea said on Friday it will destroy or return a second shipment of U.S. beef after bone fragments were found in violation of a bilateral agreement that allowed imports of U.S. beef to resume.

The second rejection in one month is expected to be an issue for South Korean and U.S. trade negotiators who are scheduled to hold a fifth round of free trade agreement (FTA) talks next week at the Big Sky Resort in Montana, a state where beef cattle are raised.

South Korea, once the world’s third-largest buyer of U.S. beef, has agreed to import only boneless meat from the United States, ending a three-year ban after an outbreak of mad cow disease in that country.

FULL STORY

Managing the Cold Weather

Managing the Cold Weather

by Glenn Selk

Oklahoma State University

The major effect of cold on nutrient requirement of cows is increased need for energy. To determine magnitude of cold, lower critical temperature for beef cows must first be estimated. For cows with a dry winter hair coat the lower critical temperature is considered to be 32 degrees F. In general, researchers have used the rule of thumb that cows’ energy requirements increase 1% for each degree the wind chill is below the 32 degree lower critical temperature. Therefore the calculation example for a cow with a winter dry hair coat would be:

Step 1: Cow’s lower critical temperature is 32 degrees F.

Step 2: Expected wind-chill from weather reports (lets use 4 degrees wind chill in this example)

Step 3: Calculate the magnitude of the cold: 32 degrees – 4 degrees = 28 degrees

Step 4: Energy adjustment is 1% for each degree magnitude of cold or 28%.

Step 5: Feed cows 128% of daily energy amount. (if a cow was to receive 16 pounds of high quality grass/legume hay; then feed 20.5 pounds of hay during cold weather event).

Research has indicated that energy requirements for maintenance of beef cows with a wet hair coat is much greater. Cows that are exposed to falling precipitation and have the wet hair coats are considered to have reached the lower critical temperature at 59 degrees F. In addition, the requirements change twice as much for each degree change in wind-chill factor. In other words, the energy requirement actually increases 2% for each degree below 59 degrees F. To calculate the magnitude of the cold when the cow is wet would be the difference between 59 degrees minus 4 degrees = 55 degrees. True energy requirements to maintain a wet cow in this weather would be 2% X 55 degrees or 110 % increase in energy (which would mean in turn that 210% of normal energy intake is needed.) This amount of energy change is virtually impossible to accomplish with feedstuffs available on ranches. In addition this amount of energy change in the diet of cows accustomed to a high roughage diet must be made very gradually to avoid severe digestive disorders. Therefore, the more common-sense approach is a smaller increase in energy requirements during wet cold weather and extending the increase into more pleasant weather to help regain energy lost during the storm.

Cows that were consuming 16 pounds of grass hay per day and 5 pounds of 20% range cubes could be increased to 20 pounds of grass hay offered per day plus 6 to 7 pounds of range cubes during the severe weather event. This is not a doubling of the energy intake but by extending this amount for a day or two after the storm may help overcome the energy loss during the storm and done in a manner that does not cause digestive disorders.