Daily Archives: December 18, 2006

Four-state Beef Conference Scheduled for January

Four-state Beef Conference Scheduled for January

The 23rd annual Four-State Beef Conference will be held Jan. 10 in Tecumseh, Neb. Topics and presenters are: What is the State of the Beef Industry?, John Lawrence, ISU; Grazing Management, Rob Kallenbach, MU; Why is Percent Choice Declining?, Larry Corah, Certified Angus Beef; and Utilizing Co-product Feeds — Storage, Purchasing, etc. by Rick Rasby, NU. The same conference also is available at 10 a.m. Jan. 10 in Holton, Kan.; 10 a.m. Jan. 11 in Lewis, Iowa; and 4 p.m. Jan. 11 in Bethany, Mo. Registration is $25 and due Jan. 5.


Bovigen Announces USDA Process Verification Program Approval

Bovigen Announces USDA Process Verification Program Approval


Bovigen, LLC recognized as the first DNA testing provider to have been successfully audited and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture under their Process Verified Program

Harahan, La.; December 7th, 2006 – USDA approves Bovigen as a USDA Process Verified Program (PVP). Since its inception, Bovigen has focused on quality control and customer service as a matter of course, for delivery of the most accurate DNA based technologies available. As the latest step in this core belief, Bovigen has subjected its quality control processes and protocols to scrutiny by the USDA and its PVP. Bovigen is the only DNA testing company to have been successfully audited and approved as a USDA PVP.


Tight Feeder Cattle Supplies will Support Feeder Prices in 2007

Tight Feeder Cattle Supplies will Support Feeder Prices in 2007

By Derrell S. Peel, OSU Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist

Having made the adjustment to higher corn prices, feeder cattle prices should find underlying support through the first half of 2007. However, prices may be volatile, especially as we move towards the growing season next spring. Timing had a big impact on cattle markets in 2006 and I believe the situation will be somewhat different in 2007.

Oklahoma is heading into the second dry winter in a row. The fall of 2005 was characterized by more or less typical feeder cattle marketing and, early on, considerable expectations for good wheat pasture. By December of 2005, drought conditions were rapidly spreading from the southeastern part of the state through the wheat growing regions of the central and western parts of the state. Conditions continued to deteriorate through the winter.

As a result, by January, wheat pasture cattle were being marketed early. Feeder auction totals were above average for the first 10 weeks of 2006. By the time of the normal “wheat pasture run” in March many of the cattle had already moved to feedlots and auction totals were well below normal from mid-March through May. This contributed to the dramatic decrease in feedlot placements in May 2006 that marked the end of the first drought-bulge of feedlot cattle in 2006. By July, drought conditions were widespread across all of Oklahoma and early marketing of the 2006 calf crop began. Feeder auction runs were above normal from mid-July through mid-September and contributed again to large feedlot placements that produced the second drought-bulge of feedlot cattle.

By the time of the normal October-November calf runs, many of the calves had already moved out of the country contributing to the dramatic decrease in feedlot placements in October and anticipated reduction in placements in November and December. October and November auctions feeder cattle totals in Oklahoma were down roughly 25 percent from the previous year. Despite all the ups and downs through the year, the cumulative auction total at the end of 2006 is almost unchanged from 2005 levels.

And thus, going into 2007, the drought has switched places compared to last year with the worst conditions currently north and west of a diagonal line from the northeast to the southwest corner of the Oklahoma. Conditions south and east of this diagonal are somewhat improved compared to earlier. Among the worst drought conditions in the nation are the counties in the north central and northwest part of Oklahoma, which represent most of the biggest wheat producing counties in the state. There are some wheat pasture cattle to be found in the south central part of the state.

I mention all of this history to try to assess the situation for feeder cattle supplies in 2007. I believe there are less cattle in total on wheat this year than last. At this time, the drought is most firmly entrenched in the heart of the wheat belt, whereas last year at this time it was only just moving into the major wheat areas. I don’t believe there will be much of a “wheat run” of feeder in 2007 and what there is will certainly be done by early March. It appears that feeder cattle supplies will be every bit as tight as last year in the southern plains and perhaps even tighter. 2006 feeder supplies were almost surely augmented by some heifers that started the year as replacement heifers and were redirected into feeder markets. If forage prospects improve going into 2007, feeder supplies may tighten even more as heifer retention gets back on track. Additionally, I do not expect Mexican cattle imports in 2007 to maintain 2006 levels. The bottom line is that I don’t expect to see another drought-bulge of feedlot cattle, certainly not in the first half of 2007. Beef demand may limit the upside potential for cattle prices generally, but limited feeder supplies will surely support prices as well. There may be a heck of a squeeze in the middle.

Ohio Beef Newsletter available

The December 13, issue # 516, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefDecr13.html

Ethanol, and it’s anticipated rapid expansion may be the 2006 story of the year for not only the beef cattle industry, but all of US agriculture! This week Brian Roe offers some thoughts on how the anticipated increase in distillers grains may impact the economics of feeding cattle in the foreseeable future.

Articles this week include:
* Feed Trends: Corn Price Up 76%, Distiller’s Grain up 38%
* OCA to Host District Meetings Featuring Educational Sessions for Beef Producers
* 2007 Great Lakes Professional Cattle Feeding and Marketing Shortcourse January 23 & February 6
* Forage Focus: Forage Quality & Body Condition
* John Day Family Farm Named First Cooperator and Development Center for Ohio Beef Heifer Development Program

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Food Safety and Animal Health Issues

BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Food Safety and Animal Health Issues

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

What issue is front and center in the beef industry?

I am sure there could be several answers to the question; however, many would quickly answer food safety and animal health.

A day does not go by without significant print focused on the ramifications of eating food. Most of the print (and food) is good, but even the hint of a problem and it becomes huge.

We live in a fast-paced world with high expectations. Even as this article was being prepared, I opened CattleNetwork (www.cattlenetwork.com), a provider of Internet news, and the lead topic was “CTN: 11 Sickened By E. Coli Outbreak In New Jersey.”


Former Fargo paralegal busy protecting calves’ ears

Former Fargo paralegal busy protecting calves’ ears

The Bismarck Tribune (SD)

FARGO (AP) – Lynn Rustad’s quilting buddies have seen less of her over the past year.

The hip former paralegal has embraced a sartorial challenge that harkens back to her farm girl roots. Her goal was still lending warmth – this time, not to city aesthetes but to newborn cattle.

Last winter, Rustad crafted a protective head covering for calves, which she whimsically dubbed the Bovine Bonnet. Newborn calves often suffer frostbite to their ears, a common source of aggravation and financial loss to farmers. So Rustad drew on her long experience at the sewing machine, to a snug and vibrant effect.


Area cattle industry could face tough year

Area cattle industry could face tough year

The Wichita Eagle

Historically, the ups and downs in the cattle cycle have not had a dramatic impact at retail

Cattle producers, cattle feeders and livestock market analysts agree that 2007 could be a challenging year for the beef industry.

Just how challenging depends on several factors, including how high corn prices go, how dry it stays in the Great Plains and how the market for distillers grain develops.

For the Kansas economy, the stakes are high. Beef is the biggest single industry in Kansas, contributing more than $6 billion a year and employing thousands of people on ranches, in feedlots and in processing plants across the state.

Ethanol vs. beef


Red Book can keep track of cattle

Red Book can keep track of cattle

News-Leader.com (MO)

Book contains areas to enter inventory, breeding and calving and other data.

The popular beef cattle herd record book, commonly known as the Red Book, is now available, according to Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.

The pocket-sized book has been used in Missouri for 25 years. It was introduced as a tool in 1987 to help MU Extension specialists in gathering data. That data was then going to be used to help develop guidelines for various cow-calf practices and performance.

At the end of the first few years, a summary was made from the Red Books by specialists. This data was used to analyze numbers of cows in a herd, length of calving season, distribution of calving, death loss statistics and rate of gain.


THE VOCAL POINT: Animal Extremists Gain Governmental Power

THE VOCAL POINT: Animal Extremists Gain Governmental Power

Dan Murphy


Welcome to a glimpse of our political future.


In what was labeled a “victory for the animals,“ a Dutch political party last month ran candidates campaigning on a platform of animal rights.

And won a pair of seats.

In the elections held Nov. 22, the Party of the Animals, or PvdD (Partij voor de Dieren) as it’s known, gained two seats (out of 150) in the lower house of the “Staten Generaal,“ the Dutch parliament, making the Netherlands the first country in which members of a party espousing animal welfare as its primary platform have been elected to the national legislature.

“We are thrilled with such a wonderful result of our campaign,“ PvdD party leader and founder Marianne Thieme told reporters. “Finally, we can start realizing our party’s highest priority: ending all animal suffering.“

Thieme claimed that her party promotes a “down-to-earth program,“ a middle-of-the-road stance that has actually alienated some radicals who want laws enforcing mandatory vegetarianism and a ban on zoos.


Severity Of Winter & Impact On Calf Birth Weights

Severity Of Winter & Impact On Calf Birth Weights


Does the severity (coldness or mildness) of the winter have an impact on spring-born calf birth weights?

Ranchers have asked that question during many springs and veterinarians have speculated for years. The debate rages on! This is obviously a difficult subject to research because you cannot have a “control“ group of cows to compare to a “treatment“ group that is exposed to a cold winter while still running on the same pasture.


Hay for cattle in short supply

Hay for cattle in short supply


Huntsville Times (AL)

Regional Extension Agent Jerry Thompson said he does not know where to find a single bale of hay for sale in North Alabama.

Thompson works with cattle farmers across the region and they are all trying to find an answer to that question. The summer drought means farmers have about half the normal supply of hay they need to feed their livestock.


Cattle Feeder Workshops Scheduled for January

Cattle Feeder Workshops Scheduled for January

Wisconsin Ag Connection

The University of Wisconsin-Extension Livestock Team will conduct Cattle Feeders Workshops at five locations around the state next month. Workshop topics include impacts of rising grain prices and increased availability of grain processing co-products.

Dr. Brenda Boetel, UW-Extension livestock marketing specialist, leads off this year’s program by providing an outlook on livestock and grain prices, and how to determine what high corn prices will do to your cost of production. Results from the recently released 2005 Beef Quality Audit will show where all segments of the industry have made progress and where we can work improve to the quality of beef to meet consumer expectations will be presented by the host agents.


Globalization threatens farm animal gene pool and future food security, UN warns

Globalization threatens farm animal gene pool and future food security, UN warns


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.

Around 20% of domestic animal breeds are at risk of extinction, with a breed lost each month, due to a globalization of livestock markets that favours high-output breeds over a multiple gene pool that could be vital for future food security, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned on 15 December.

“Maintaining animal genetic diversity will allow future generations to select stocks or develop new breeds to cope with emerging issues, such as climate change, diseases and changing socio-economic factors,” the secretary of FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Jose Esquinas-Alcazar, said.

But of the more than 7,600 breeds in the FAO global database of farm animal genetic resources, 190 have become extinct in the past 15 years and 1,500 more are deemed at risk of extinction according to a draft report, the final version of which is to be presented to an international conference in Switzerland in September that is set to adopt a global action plan to halt the loss.


Local producers gaining market share

Local producers gaining market share

By Sarah Kessinger

Harris News Service / The Hutchinson News (NE)

•At a rural spot in Ottawa County, ground beef is in demand. But it isn’t sold from a giant supermarket or a humongous beef-packing plant. It’s supplied at the farm of Jim and Kathy Scharplaz.

The Scharplazes have watched their sales of grass-fed beef directly to consumers turn into a healthy business over the past decade.