Daily Archives: March 28, 2007

The Biofuel Revolution and You

The Biofuel Revolution and You

 Angus Beef Bulletin
by Ed Haag

John Lawrence, Iowa State University (ISU) agricultural economist and director of the Iowa Beef Center, has no doubt that the pending biofuel revolution will affect every aspect of the U.S. beef industry. Geographic shifts in cattle populations, competing demands for once plentiful commodities, rising farmland prices, and a greater dependence on adaptability and self-reliance are just a few of the consequences of the new order.


Stocker Management Can Make or Break Good Genetics

Stocker Management Can Make or Break Good Genetics

 Southwest Farm Press
by By Candace Krebs, Communications Director, Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers

Good genetics get a lot of credit for growing popularity of certified Angus cattle, said Mark McCully, director of supply development for Certified Angus Beef, at the recent Oklahoma Grain & Stocker Producers annual convention in Enid.

But McCully emphasized how management at the backgrounder and stocker stage can counter even the best genes. Changes in the cattle market will likely inspire more interest in retained ownership in the near term and quality premiums will become more vital to profitability.


Majority of Dairy Producers Approve of Checkoff

Majority of Dairy Producers Approve of Checkoff

 Cattle Today

 Centennial, Colo., Feb. 27, 2007 — While milk may be their No. 1 commodity, a notable 68 percent of dairy producers surveyed said they approve of the $1-per-head beef checkoff program they contribute to as beef producers, according to recent independent research of dairy producers commissioned by the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board.

 This level is similar to the 70 percent of beef producers surveyed who said they approved of the beef checkoff. Additionally, 66 percent of dairy producers surveyed said they were informed about The Beef Checkoff Program, with 21 percent of those saying they were “very well informed” about it.


Cattle Abortion: Identification and Prevention Checklist

Cattle Abortion: Identification and Prevention Checklist

 Ropin’ the Web

             The key to correcting the problem of abortions is to identify the cause, so abortions can be prevented in the future. However, the success rate for accurate bovine abortion diagnosis is only in the range of 25 to 35 per cent.

 Abortions often result from some incident that occurred weeks to months before the actual abortion. As a result, the cause is probably undetectable at the time of the abortion itself. In fact, many causes of abortions are unknown.

 Mycotic (caused by mycotoxins) abortions may be seen in increased numbers in spring, due to cattle consuming moldy feed contaminated with mycotoxins. These abortions are typically sporadic and occur from four months to term.


Saving or selling replacement heifers and the “cattle cycle”

Saving or selling replacement heifers and the “cattle cycle”

Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University

 The “cattle cycle” exists because of the tendency for cow calf operations to expand herds while cattle prices are good and liquidate or down size herds when cattle prices are low.  At least one Agricultural Economist suggests that bucking the trend may have advantages for the cow calf operation that has the financial stability and discipline to do so.  Dr. Harlan Hughes, North Dakota State University Agricultural Economist, Emeritus recently told a group at the 2001 Cattlemens’ College at the NCBA Convention that saving extra replacement heifers during good cattle prices may be counter-productive.  As he looked back at recent cattle cycle patterns, he noted that cattle prices often were lower in the mid part of a decade and higher at the end and start of decades.   


Farm Bureau Economist Comments on COF Report

Farm Bureau Economist Comments on COF Report


 According to American Farm Bureau Federation Livestock Economist Jim Sartwelle – the latest cattle-on-feed report could be an indication of good news for America’s cattle producers. The report – released Friday – shows cattle-on-feed numbers remain historically high – but he says the report also suggests the cattle-feeding sector is catching up the reduced supply of feeder cattle available in the countryside.


Commentary: Grazing protects our rangeland ecosystem

Commentary: Grazing protects our rangeland ecosystem

 California Farm Bureau
By Dan Byrne

Managed grazing is an integral part of our family ranch, where we produce cattle, hay and grain. We graze cattle on the same private and public lands that we have for the last 130 years. We have seen firsthand the benefits of grazing to wildlife, insects, native plant species and the rangeland ecosystem as a whole.


Heaping helping of Bahia grass proves deadly attraction for cow

Heaping helping of Bahia grass proves deadly attraction for cow

 The Orlando Sentinel
Henry Pierson Curtis

The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but beware.

It cost a cow its life Monday.

A Black Angus cow broke through a barbed-wire fence to reach lush green Bahia grass growing on the shoulder of Florida’s Turnpike south of Orlando, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.


Farmer says vultures attacked livestock

Farmer says vultures attacked livestock

 LANCASTER, Ohio — Some local farmers have another piece of adversity to deal with — and no, it’s not the weather. They’re keeping an eye out for vultures that attack and kill livestock.

 It’s calving season and farmer Jeff Scmelzer spends a lot of time keeping watch over his cattle. But what he saw two weeks ago was something right out of a horror movie, NBC 4’s Lauren Diedrich reported.


Living well: The family farm during planting and cow/calf time

Living well: The family farm during planting and cow/calf time

 By Sarah Buila and Pat Brockmeyer
The Southern Illinoisan

This time of the year is by far the most stressful for farm families. Crops have to get in the ground, fertilizer has to be spread, and cows are having calves.

Where will the money come from to purchase seed, fertilizer and chemicals, vaccination medication for the cattle? How can so much get done in such a short time? What’s for dinner? Is that mud or something else that just got tracked in to the house?


AFBF Economist Says March Has Been Wild

AFBF Economist Says March Has Been Wild

 High Plains Journal

 OMAHA (DTN) — More cattle are being placed into U.S. feedlots, according to the Agriculture Department’s monthly Cattle-on-Feed report released March 23. Although placements are higher than last year, the report in its entirety could be an indication of good news for America’s cattle producers, according to Jim Sartwelle, AFBF livestock economist.


Cattle Marketing Symposium – All-Natural Beef: Dale Blasi, KSU

Cattle Marketing Symposium – All-Natural Beef:  Dale Blasi, KSU


 What does “All – Natural “ Beef mean to the producer and what opportunities exist?

 Despite the fact most fresh beef in the retail case is already “natural”, there is a growing consumer base who perceive beef is safer and more nutritious when cattle are raised in either a natural or certified organic manner compared to conventional production management systems. This phenomenon is evidenced by the dramatic double digit growth of these branded programs in recent months when compared to conventional production practices. 


Cargill introduces tracking system

Cargill introduces tracking system


 Cargill introduces one-of-a-kind tracking system for its premium brands.

 Cargill reports it has added another step in its commitment to provide quality, consistent premium beef products for its customers.

 The most recent technology development is an online tracking system, which helps verify the 20-plus key attributes of a carcass. The online tracking system, paired with the latest camera-vision grading technology, provides Cargill with an unmatched technology combination that is used for the selection of Cargill’s premium brands.


Ethanol, Corn To Weigh Heavily On Future Of Livestock Industry

Ethanol, Corn To Weigh Heavily On Future Of Livestock Industry

 Science Daily

 Dr. David Anderson, Extension livestock marketing economist, gave an overview of the interaction between renewable energy production and the livestock industry at the recent 2007 Texas Ag Forum in Austin.

 Livestock producers should keep these possibilities in mind as ethanol production grows across the country, Anderson said:

     * Higher feed costs.

    * Feeder cattle and calf prices adjusted to the price of corn.

    * Reduced production in terms of cattle weights and profitability.

    * A livestock industry that is less competitive in the world market.


Study spotlights prenatal beef consumption

Study spotlights prenatal beef consumption

 By Thomas H. Maugh II,
Los Angles Times

Men whose mothers ate a lot of beef during their pregnancy have a sperm count about 25% below normal and three times the normal risk of fertility problems, researchers reported Tuesday.

The problem may be due to anabolic steroids used in the United States to fatten the cattle, Dr. Shanna H. Swan of the University of Rochester Medical Center reported in the journal Human Reproduction. It could also be due to pesticides and other environmental contaminants, she added.