Daily Archives: April 16, 2007

Solving the corn supply problem

Solving the corn supply problem

As corn prices swell, a livestock feed and ethanol by-product could help farmers who are feeding their livestock less.

By Jeff Cox,

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — What’s left behind from the ethanol-making process could be what saves the livestock industry from the high price of corn.

Ethanol, touted as the superfuel to rescue the United States from its dependence on foreign oil, has been playing havoc on the agriculture industry lately, sending corn prices to record highs – and causing some cost-conscious farmers to feed their livestock less.

CNN’s Bill Tucker reports on the potential risks of imported foods. (April 10)

Economists worry that the cycle could affect the nation’s meat supply, with smaller livestock yielding less beef, pork and poultry – and sending grocery bills higher.


Realistic expectations from estrous synchronization and AI programs

Realistic expectations from estrous synchronization and AI programs

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Producers that are wanting to improve the genetic makeup of their beef herds very often turn to artificial insemination as a tool to accomplish that goal.  Many times, these producers have very high expectations as they begin the first season of artificial breeding.  Perhaps they have heard other producers tell of situations where “near-perfect” pregnancy rates resulted from THEIR artificial insemination program.  Everyone wants to get every cow or heifer bred as they start the labor and expense of an AI program.  However, the rules of biology do not allow for 100% pregnancy rates in most situations.


Competition means winners and losers

Competition means winners and losers

Wes Ishmael
Beef Magazine

Remember that bumper sticker from the mid 1970s, when agricultural economics became so disastrous that there were farmers crashing tractors into the local bank in protest? It said: “Don’t cuss the farmer with your mouth full.”

For those who believe in free markets, it may be time to roll out a new one along the lines of: “Don’t talk competition with your hand out.”

“Outlawing packer ownership of livestock would make sure the forces of the marketplace would work for the benefit of the farmer just as much as it does for the slaughterhouse. You could even say that packer ownership of livestock frustrates and compromises the marketplace so the farmer doesn’t get a fair price,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said recently.


Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Neonatal Calf Scours & Fluid Therapy

Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Neonatal Calf Scours & Fluid Therapy


The newborn calf has many challenges to face as it begins live on its own. The first of these challenges is a change in environment. If a calf can get beyond the challenge of finding its feet and finding mom’s teat, there is a good chance it will be able to handle life. However, some challenges won’t manifest themselves until later in the calf’s life. The first of these is enteric disease (scours).


A Great Start for a Great Finish.

A Great Start for a Great Finish.

Jeff Pastoor, Senior Cattle Consultant, Land O’Lakes

Fall feeder cattle are moving into the state, and there are a lot more to come yet. What we do in the first 14-21 days on feed has a tremendous impact on performance through out the feeding period.

In closeouts I see pens of cattle that quickly get up to 2.5 – 2.75% of their body weight as dry matter intake; typically they gain quickly and efficiently for the rest of the feeding period. Conversely, cattle that have low dry matter intake up front almost always have a difficult time reaching our dry matter intake goals for the rest of the feeding period. This gap in intake is reduced gain and efficiency.


Ethanol Subsidies – Seen and Unseen Effects

Ethanol Subsidies – Seen and Unseen Effects

Market Power

A direct effect of ethanol subsidies are the lower prices consumers pay for ethanol-based automobile fuels.  But there are also unseen effects.  There are the distortions from taxes from which revenue for subsidies are raised.  There are the deadweight losses from the subsidies themselves (why give an incentive for people to trade something they otherwise wouldn’t?).  Then there are the prices of ag products like beef and pork that are rising as the price of feed is going up – a direct result of the ethanol subsidies.


Tub grinders worth the expense in healthy feeding

Tub grinders worth the expense in healthy feeding

Western Livestock Journal

Cattlemen have long been plagued with the chore of handling heavy, small square bales or trying to flake off pieces of large round bales while balancing precariously on a moving truck bed in an effort to feed cows. Well, producers may have a different option in using tub grinders. The reduction in labor is significant, but there are many other beneficial factors associated with using this kind of equipment as well.

Cattlemen always try to adhere to the old adage, “waste not, want not,” and especially as it applies to hay usage. Roughage is an essential part of the cattle’s diet and in some years, like the current one, the price of hay is a huge economic factor and can significantly influence the operation’s bottom line. Roughages can present quite a challenge as cattlemen are always looking for new and innovative ways to feed less expensive forages while decreasing the amount wasted.