Daily Archives: July 24, 2007

In Building Support for Farm Bill, Speaker Pursues Rural-Urban Alliance

In Building Support for Farm Bill, Speaker Pursues Rural-Urban Alliance


Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — More Armani than Carhartt, Speaker Nancy Pelosi brings her style of coalition politics to the House farm-bill debate this week as she tries to balance the need for change in federal agricultural programs with the Democrats’ dream of reviving the party’s historic urban-rural alliances.

It’s a goal the San Francisco liberal has pursued since the early 1980s, when as chair of the state party she traveled California’s back roads with her children in tow, working to bridge the political gap between rural inland and more-urban coastal interests. In 2003, as House Democratic leader, she created a working group to address rural concerns. And last winter, Ms. Pelosi became the first House speaker in decades to address the National Farmers Union convention, where she promised the disaster aid delivered this spring.


Test for rules on animal handling

Test for rules on animal handling

By Randall Clark

Today’s Sunbeam (NJ)

TRENTON The New Jersey Supreme Court will determine whether the state Department of Agriculture’s standards on the humane treatment of livestock are strict enough.

The New Jersey Farm Bureau reported in its latest bulletin that animal rights groups are challenging a Feb. 16 Appellate Division ruling that the state standards are acceptable. The high court is expected to hear when court reconvenes in September, after its summer recess.


Grass-fed cattle are best, say farmers

Grass-fed cattle are best, say farmers

By Deborah Ramsay

Deseret Morning News

Health-conscious consumers nationwide are looking for leaner and more nutritious grass-fed beef from small, single-family farms.

The Bowen family — Scott, left, Codie, Brock and Tami — check on their cattle at their West Haven farm.

For some, that search is ending at Tami’s Grassfed Beef in West Haven, Weber County.

“We’ve been studying grass-fed and corn-fed beef,” said one of Tami’s customers, Robyn Fewkes. “We found nothing but pluses. We found it to be leaner; nevertheless, it was flavorful. It has a different fat that has more vitamins and nutrition than corn-fed.”

Tami Bowen and her husband, Scott, have raised their own grass-fed cattle for years. It wasn’t until a friend asked to buy some of their beef that the idea of selling their meat came about. Now it’s a family business with their children, Codie, 6, and Brock 4, helping out.

“I raise them,” said Scott of the cattle.

“And I sell them,” said Tami.


Hay & Forage Grower and The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association join forces on 2008 National Alfalfa Symposium

Hay & Forage Grower and The Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association join forces on 2008 National Alfalfa Symposium

Hay & Forage Grower® today announced an agreement with the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (N.A.M.A.) to hold the 2008 National Alfalfa Symposium in conjunction with the Mid-America Alfalfa Expo in Kearney, Neb. The Symposium will take place February 4-5, 2008, just prior to the annual Expo February 5-6. For event information, visit http://www.hayandforage.com.




D.R. Hicks and P.R. Peterson

Agronomists, University of Minnesota

Corn that is drought stressed can be used for forage, either green chop or as silage.  The purpose of this newsletter is to address some of the questions that growers should consider when using drought-stressed corn.

Determining Ear Development

For most of the drought-stressed corn, the ear (cob) has no grain.  If there is no grain, florets on the ear were either not pollinated or have not started to grow because of lack of moisture.  If there is no grain now, the plant will continue to be barren.  If pollination of some florets has occurred, there should be evidence of growth, which has slowed or stopped because of the moisture shortage.  These kernels may grow some now if the plant is not dead and in those areas where some rain has occurred.  If kernel growth is occurring, one should wait to harvest to allow more dry matter to accumulate in the grain, which will increase the yield and quality of the forage.  If the plant is barren and or dead, harvest should occur when the whole plant moisture is appropriate for preservation and storage.


Interval feeding of protein supplement to cows on range

Interval feeding of protein supplement to cows on range

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

Dry, pregnant beef cows grazing low quality warm season pastures in late summer, fall, and early winter are usually supplemented with high protein supplements.  It would be desirable to feed the supplement at less frequent intervals (than daily) to reduce labor and equipment costs.  A study done at OSU in the 1990’s has indicated that cows fed the same amount of total 40% crude protein supplement either 3 or 6 days per week perform similarly.  Interestingly enough, similar research was reported almost 40 years ago with similar results.  Below in table 1 are the results of the most recent experiment.  Cows were fed 21 pounds of protein cubes per week from November 17 until March 9.  From March 10 to April 22, cows were fed 28 pounds of supplement and only 17.5 pounds per week from April 23 to May 15.


Stocker Cattle Forum: Vaccinating Against The Organism

Stocker Cattle Forum: Vaccinating Against The Organism


Several effective commercial bacterins are available for treating and preventing Pinkeye, including applications by injection, implanting and even airdriven “vaccine pellets” that can be administered  from the back of a horse. However, consultation with a veterinarian is advised in order to determine what organism and what form of it is the problem so the proper vaccine can be used.

When vaccines are matched to the right organism and are administered properly, research indicates a 6:1 return on vaccination investment, generated by saving pounds that would otherwise would have been lost.

Keep in mind cattle already suffering from health or nutritional stress have a difficult time mounting an effective immune response, no matter how high the efficacy of a vaccine.

Also, since infected animals become a source of infection, they should be isolated from uninfected animals until the Pinkeye is controlled.


Does Sex Classification Affect Beef Tenderness?

Does Sex Classification Affect Beef Tenderness?  

Checkoff report looks at pre-harvest heifer management to minimize variances       

DENVER, Colo. (July 18, 2007)  – Tenderness, the gold standard for beef products, is a complex trait influenced by a variety of factors, many of which can be managed to reduce the incidence of tenderness problems in the final product. One inherent tenderness variation often overlooked in pre-harvest management plans, however, is sex classification, according to a new beef checkoff-funded report.  

Young, grain-fed steers and heifers make up 80 percent of cattle processed each year in federally inspected U.S. beef plants. Steers comprise about one-half of the total federally inspected harvest, while heifers represent about 30 percent of the slaughter mix.


Rehabbing Pastures Need Rain and Rest

Rehabbing Pastures Need Rain and Rest

by: Clifford Mitchell

Cattle Today

Mother Nature is the original steward of the land, using herds of nomadic beasts to graze one patch of grass and move to the next, giving plants adequate times to rest before animals returned to graze them again. When called for, her own form of controlled burning was implemented through wild fires clearing the way for new vegetation.

As time evolved, cattlemen joined her in partnership to take care of grazing lands, dependent on each other for ultimate success. Any good cowboy knows he must be a good “grass farmer”, first and foremost, to be successful producing beef. To be the best steward of the land, cattlemen must understand nutrients needed, plant physiology and, most importantly, be able to sharpen his pencil and identify the most cost-effective options to manage his most valuable resource.


Cattle may be impounded due to lack of grazing permit

Cattle may be impounded due to lack of grazing permit

By Sven Berg

South Idaho Press

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Friday issued a notice of intent to impound livestock owned by Bruce Bedke, saying he had failed to obtain a permit allowing his cattle to graze on BLM land.

Under the terms of the notice, Bedke has until Thursday to sign a 10-year grazing permit or his cattle, which are considered to be in trespass, may be confiscated by BLM authorities.

Bedke’s prior grazing permit expired Feb. 28, and a new permit has not yet been issued.

Mike Courtney, rangeland management specialist for BLM’s Burley field office, said he visited the Bedke ranch on five separate occasions and offered him a new permit with terms and conditions identical to those in the prior permit. He said Bedke refused it each time.

Bedke could not be reached for comment Friday. A family member said Bedke was not aware of the notice of intent and he would not be available over the weekend due to a personal engagement.


Cattle Rustling On The Rise In Southwest

Cattle Rustling On The Rise In Southwest

Special Rangers Have Been Assigned To Elite Task Force Investigating Agricultural Thefts

Carmen K. Sisson

Christian Science Monitor

This story was written by Carmen K. SissonLike all good cowboy stories, this one’s been told and retold, passed down and around, shaped and honed until it shimmers with firelight and the red-orange blaze of a thousand Oklahoma suns. It doesn’t matter if everyone in the room knows the ending. Tommy Morgan’s eyes are bright with merriment, and it’s clear he’s enjoying every minute of this.

“I was at the Tulsa Stockyards when I saw ’em, and my friend said ‘Let’s go over there and I’ll choke the — out of ’em,’ ” the rancher says, demonstrating what his irate buddy would have done to the two guys they suspected had stolen 12 saddles — $18,000 worth — from Mr. Morgan’s barn. “I was yelling, ‘I’ve got ’em, I’ve got ’em,’ flipping through the phone book tryin’ to find someone to call.”


Identigen Opens North American Laboratory for World’s First DNA-Based Meat Traceability System

Identigen Opens North American Laboratory for World’s First DNA-Based Meat Traceability System


Lawrence, KS–– IdentiGEN, a leading provider of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries, today announced the official opening of its North American laboratories and facilities in Kansas in the heart of America’s meat industry.

The new, state-ofthe- art labs will initially focus on DNA analysis for the global TraceBack™ program, IdentiGEN’s proprietary meat traceability system.

The Kansas facility will also be the launching point for commercialization of DNA TraceBack in North America.

“Comprehensive meat identification programs like IdentiGEN’s DNA traceability system are important to our food exports, to our domestic food production and to help assure consumers of food quality and safety,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Adrian Polansky, who will attend the official opening.


Drought Relief for Cattle Farmers

Drought Relief for Cattle Farmers

Some Local Farmers Won’t Benefit from Aid


Immediate steps are being taken to provide additional hay and forage to livestock producers in drought stricken states.

The move allows eligible producers to get hay and use grazing for land in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, up to 210 miles away from counties declared drought disaster areas.

Most local cattle farmers say they won’t profit from the relief, plus the help is a little too late.

Many cattle up for auction at the Dothan Livestock Company are lighter due to the lack of hay and grass caused by drought conditions.

Most cattle farmers had to sell off their cows because there’s no food to feed them.

Now that the rain has started to come down, many farmers are seeing greener fields for their cows.

So, the farmers that have CRP land, or land the government pays them to mow but not use, say the help is a little too late.


Beef Quality Assurance Takes Another Step Forward

Beef Quality Assurance Takes Another Step Forward   

BQA critical to superior products, consumer trust and producer profitability

 DENVER, Colo.  (July 18, 2007)  — At one point on its 25-year journey to a standardized Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, the beef industry made a key philosophical shift from correcting violations to improving product quality. Now that proactive stance has evolved into a program of sound, science-based production practices aimed at improving consumer satisfaction and increasing market opportunities for beef producers. 

The program’s foundation is the BQA Strategic Plan 2010, which was unveiled at the cattle industry’s annual summer conference here today. As a beef checkoff initiative, the plan still must be approved for funding by the Beef Promotion and Operating Committee in September. If accepted, it will become the first formal long range plan to guide national BQA efforts.

FULL STORY MS Word Document

Worst Drought this Century

Worst Drought this Century

Karen Zatkulak

News Channel 9 (TN)

The sun keeps shining and while we’ve seen some rain, it’s not enough. As the drought continues, the Tennessee Valley Authority speaks out about how it affects you.

The sunshine and lack of rainfall has affected many areas of life in the Tennessee Valley, from lawncare services to crops, to cattle. Gene Gibson with the Tennessee Valley Authority says, “The reason the amount of water used goes up each summer is because people are watering their lawns and gardens so there’s an increase demand on local, municipal water suppliers.”

Today, Gibson pointed out the well below average rainfall, which shows just how bad the situation is getting. He spoke about the drought to the engineers club. “We’re in one of the driest, in terms of overall rainfall, one of the driest periods in the last hundred years or so.”


Keeping them down on the farm

Keeping them down on the farm


Olean Times Herald

Ron and Candy Cooney acknowledge that operating their family farm is hard work, with modest reward, but they feel a sense of satisfaction that has kept them going for more than a quarter-century. Photo by Paul Heimel

The day-long event not only showcased the industry for about 40 community leaders, it also gave farmers the opportunity to air their concerns with decision-makers as they visited successful operations in the county’s northern sector.

Potter County was once the king of Pennsylvania potato farming and one of the state’s top milk producers. Gradually, many farms were sold for real estate development or investment property and younger generations opted out.


Mo. crops doing OK, but pastures are deteriorating

Mo. crops doing OK, but pastures are deteriorating

Topeka Capital Journal

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Scattered rain showers didn’t improve soil moisture levels in drier parts of the state, but crop conditions are still good in most places, the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday.

Deteriorating pasture conditions and declining soil moisture supplies are a concern, the service said.

Topsoil moisture is 10 percent very short, 39 percent short, 50 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus, a decline of 11 points in the adequate and surplus categories.


Farm bill purports to help smaller, U.S. farms

Farm bill purports to help smaller, U.S. farms

by George Lauby

North Platte Bulletin

The House Ag Committee unanimously approved its version of the farm bill July 19, sending the measure to the House floor for approval.

The full House is expected to debate the bill later in the week.

This draft of the bill contains two measures geared to boost U.S. livestock producers and slow the corporate consolidation of farming.

The committee voted to keep mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat. Implementation would be Sept. 30, 2008. Only cattle born, raised and slaughtered in the United States would qualify to receive the ‘Product of the U.S’ label,” said Bill Bullard of R-CALF USA.


2007 Missouri Angus Tour Set for August 24-26

2007 Missouri Angus Tour Set for August 24-26

Angus enthusiasts are invited to cruise the Mississippi at the 2007 Missouri Angus Tour.  The tour, with headquarters in Hannibal, Mo., will feature visits to farms and ranches in the northeast region of Missouri.  On Friday evening the tour will kick off with a social at the hotel headquarters.

Saturday’s events will include five stops and provide tour attendees the opportunity to meet with local breeders and Angus producers.  The first stop on the tour is F&T Livestock Market, Palmyra, Mo., where local breeders will have cattle on display.  Following that, tour attendees will visit Kris Graupman Angus, Palmyra, Mo., T&L Angus Ranch, Monticello, Mo., and B & M Angus, Williamstown, Mo.  From there, the tour will stop at Shelbina Fairgrounds, where local breeders will also display their cattle.  Saturday’s activities will conclude with a dinner cruise on the Mark Twain riverboat where participants will tour the Mississippi River.