Daily Archives: March 29, 2007

Niche Marketing: Not For the Under Managed

Niche Marketing: Not For the Under Managed

 By: Tyler Melroe, Extension Educator
Marshall County Journal

      When a cattle producer is not satisfied with the price he is receiving for his product he has two options; complain or change! Perhaps change means adapting your operation to meet the requirements of a branded beef program or niche market.

A recent survey of 100 U.S. sale barn operators, by the Livestock Marketing Association and Global Animal Management, revealed that value-added verification programs are extra work, extra record keeping, and extra management. However, they went on to say it means more dollars in your pocket, and the potential to attract new buyers.


Cattle Market Symposium – All Natural Beef: John Butler, Beef Marketing Group

Cattle Market Symposium – All Natural Beef: John Butler, Beef Marketing Group


 The beef industry faces many challenges. None of which are more important than our ability to compete in a global protein marketplace. We must evaluate every value add option available as the commodity system of producing beef will not sustain long term viability.

To evaluate the Natural category we need to look to the consumer who is asking for it. What is she/he really looking for and are they willing to reward our industry for producing it with their pocket book. Perhaps the most significant concern we have is…. what is Natural anyway? The research confirms the fact that we have confused the consumer. This is dangerous not only for the Natural category but for the entire beef offering. If we loose consumer confidence in our product, we will face loss of market share that could be devastating. The majority believe that when a product is labeled as Natural it is has been cared for in a much different way. In fact that there has never been antibiotics or hormones administered. If we continue to allow products to be labeled as something they are not it may jeopardize this opportunity. Clarity and standards are needed and are in short supply.


Forage Focus: Pasture Rental Rate

Forage Focus: Pasture Rental Rate


 I’m getting a few phone calls on pasture rental rates, and, in fact, a couple of weeks ago got myself in the middle of a pasture rental disagreement between two parties based on an answer I gave. This has caused me to go back and review some of the various methods that can be used to calculate a pasture rental rate. Let’s begin this discussion by laying down a few ground rules:

* Pasture rental rates should be determined and agreed on by both parties before any animals are placed on pasture. The best situation is to have the agreement in writing signed by both parties.

* Rental rates will vary depending upon the method and factors used in calculating a rental rate. There is not one correct answer. The method used may depend upon the quality of pasture available, time of year the pasture is rented and the type of livestock that will be grazed on the pasture.


The Ethanol Question? The Long Term Impacts on AG Remain to be Seen

The Ethanol Question? The Long Term Impacts on AG Remain to be Seen

 by: Eric Grant
Cattle Today

Part one of two

Colorado’s South Platte River pushes its way from Denver, across the high plains, before it spills into Nebraska. Its path anchors the western edge of one of the world’s largest corn-producing regions, which stretches from the Ohio prairie to the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

At one time, most of the corn produced here was fed to livestock. Now, much of it will be used to produce ethanol for an increasingly energy-hungry planet.

For Mike Konkel of Evans, Colo.-based Great Western Ethanol, it’s a good thing for both America and its livestock producers that ethanol production has finally gotten traction.


Cattle on feed numbers released

Cattle on feed numbers released

 High Plains Journal

 Texas: Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter market in Texas feedlots with capacity of 1,000 head or more totaled 2.8 million head on Feb. 1, down 8 percent from a year ago. According to the monthly report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Texas Field Office, the estimate was down 2 percent from the Jan. 1 level. Producers placed 340,000 head in commercial feedlots during January, down 37 percent from a year ago, and down 8 percent from the December 2006 total.


Controlling red sorrel

Controlling red sorrel

 Baxter Bulletin (AR)

 Red sorrel (Rumex acetosella) also is known as sheep sorrel, field sorrel, sour weed and by several other common names.

 The early growth is a basal rosette of leaves that form a clump of foliage. The leaves are arrow or spear-shaped.

 When chewed, they have an acid or sour taste. It is a low-growing, 8 to 15-inch tall, perennial that reproduces by seeds and creeping roots. The blooms, which appear in mid spring, have a definite reddish color. The seeds are small, three-sided, and reddish-brown.


Inadequate forage supplies induce continued heavy cow-calf slaughter

Inadequate forage supplies induce continued heavy cow-calf slaughter


 Dressed weights for calves are averaging 12 to 16 percent below levels for the same period in 2006. There are at least two reasons for the lighter weights. Increased feed prices are limiting incentives to feed calves to weights equal to weights for the same period in 2006. Further, as a result of continued low forage supplies, both standing and harvested, cow-calf pairs are being sold, then split for slaughter.

 As a result, calf slaughter is 27 percent (weekly basis) above year-earlier levels, while veal production is only 5 percent above year-earlier levels. Cow slaughter continues at an atypically high rate, given Jan. 1, 2007, cow inventories. Despite heavy cow slaughter levels, breaker cow prices (Sioux Falls) remain in the upper-$40 per cwt to low-$50 range.


Corn: The inflation crop

Corn: The inflation crop

The U.S. is set to report a jump in acreage planted as farmers feed the ethanol machine. One byproduct: rising food prices.

 By Jeff Cox,

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — It’s no secret that the rush to ethanol and other alternative fuels has made corn the rock star of the Farm Belt.

That newfound prominence has big implications for the nation’s economy, experts say. Soaring corn prices are pushing up the tab for everything from candy to corn flakes, moribund land values have jumped in many Midwestern farming communities and the crop has become the lynchpin for the budding $40 billion ethanol industry.


Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas withdraw affiliate status with R-CALF

Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas withdraw affiliate status with R-CALF


 Lockhart, Texas, March 8, 2007 – The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas announced today that effective immediately

the Texas-based association of Texas cattle producers would cease to be affiliated with R-CALF USA.  ICA’s state board of directors voted unanimously to support this action.

 According to ICA State President Bruce Dopslauf, the board believes that a national organization must be mindful of and represent the interests of cattle producers from all regions of the United States. Recent changes in the R-CALF board of directors and subsequent policy shifts emphasize a more regional approach to cattle producer problems. President Dopslauf also stated that the board felt R-CALF’s move towards increased use of aggressive litigation to solve issues is costly and not productive for ICA members.


K-State at Hays center to conduct cattle program

K-State at Hays center to conduct cattle program


 Cattlemen interested in the latest research from the Kansas State Agricultural Research Center at Hays will have a chance to catch up April 5 when the Center presents the 2007 Roundup program.

 Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch at noon.

 Presentation and viewing of test cattle will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the formal program opening in the auditorium at 2 p.m. Topics include maternal separation and how it affects beef cattle performance, the survivability of cool season grasses and the effects that the composition of the finishing diet has on the generation of odor-causing compounds in manure.


Gelbvieh Association Seeks Internship Applicants

Gelbvieh Association Seeks Internship Applicants

 Cattle Today

 The American Gelbvieh Association is accepting applications for a summer internship with the Denver-based breed association. This internship runs from June 1 through early August and allows the intern to be involved in several aspects of the American Gelbvieh Association. The primary responsibility is to assist with the planning of the national junior Gelbvieh classic, but the internship can be tailored to include other duties that interest the intern.


Cow Calf: Heifer Development, Puberty

Cow Calf: Heifer Development, Puberty


 Puberty is defined in heifers as the time when they first ovulate and show an estrus or heat period. The process involves sensitivity to hormones and receptors in the brain (specifically the hypothalamus) and the ovaries in females.

 Heifers born early in the calving seasons are usually heavier at weaning and reach puberty earlier than heifers born late in the calving season. Heifers must reach puberty by 13-14 months of age to calve as two-year-olds. Puberty is influenced by age, weight and breed.


President tells cattlemen TPA should be reauthorized

President tells cattlemen TPA should be reauthorized

 by Tom Steever
Brownfield Network

The President wants Congress to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority so that U.S. agriculture can better compete globally. George W. Bush himself took that message to cattlemen Wednesday during an appearance at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Spring Legislative Conference.

NCBA President John Queen expresses his agreement in cowboy terms. “It’s kind of like two cattlemen out trading cattle in the country, you know, when you have a hand shake and you make a deal, that’s a deal, so that’s the same authority that president ought to be able to carry as he goes to try to create trade agreements with other countries,” said Queen, speaking to Brownfield from the conference. “If he doesn’t have the right to create and then ok that trade agreement, then he’s just useless to us out there.”


Janssen Completes Red Angus Internship

Janssen Completes Red Angus Internship

 The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) was fortunate to have an outstanding intern, Sydney Janssen, on staff this spring.  Sydney’s parents, Jack and Roxie Janssen, operate Janssen Red Angus, a family farm and ranch north of Geneseo, Kansas.

 In high school, Sydney was involved in FFA and 4-H, and ran Cross Country. She participated in many Red Angus activities. She was the founding Vice President of the Kansas Junior Red Angus Association, was a participant in the Stockgrower’s Contest in Denver in 2001, and continues to help with many junior activities for the Kansas Red Angus Association.  Sydney also attended the first Red Angus Young Guns Conference this past summer in Denton, Texas.

Sydney’s primary focus for her internship was with the Marketing department at RAAA and was invaluable on several fronts.  Her first order of business was assisting with the RAAA’s annual Brain Trust meeting held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.  She also was responsible for enrolling new and existing customers in the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP).  Sydney was instrumental in helping producers understand the changes to the enrollment process in this 13 year-old Process Verified Program which now verifies genetics, source to the ranch of origin and group age. 

Sydney is involved in Block and Bridle as well as Collegiate Cattlewomen and is currently a sophomore Agriculture Economics student at Kansas State University.

Ethanol Industry Doing Well

Ethanol Industry Doing Well

 Corn and Soybean Digest

 Following are the latest statistics on the U.S. ethanol industry through December 2006, and some projections for the future:

 Ethanol Production: Slightly over 5 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the U.S. in 2006, which is up from 4 billion gallons in 2005, and up from 3.4 billion gallons in 2004. There are currently 114 ethanol plants operating in 18 states in the U.S., with an annual capacity of 5.6 billion gallons.


Ohio Beef Newsletter Available

The March 28, issue # 530, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefMarch28.html

With pasture turnout time here, the annual discussion of renting pasture comes to the fore front. This week, Rory Lewandowski offers thoughts on valuing pasture rental rates.

Articles this week include:
* MMP: Full-Court Press
* Forage Focus: Pasture Rental Rate

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

e-mail:  smith.263@osu.edu
voice:   740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax:      740.687.7010