Daily Archives: July 26, 2007

Agriculture secretary: Bush will veto House farm bill because of too generous subsidies

Agriculture secretary: Bush will veto House farm bill because of too generous subsidies

MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated Press Writer


President George W. Bush would veto a multibillion-dollar House bill extending U.S. government farm and nutrition programs because it does not do enough to reduce subsidies to growers, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Wednesday.

The House is expected to begin consideration of the five-year farm bill Thursday. The leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has backed the legislation but has faced criticism from groups who say it does not go far enough to trim government programs.

American and European farm payments are one of the obstacles stalling the latest round of international trade talks.


Coping with a Short Forage Supply

Coping with a Short Forage Supply

Ron Lemenager, Department of Animal Sciences

Purdue University

Producers across much of Indiana are faced with less than ideal forage supplies.  The Easter weekend freeze this past spring damaged many forage crops, especially legumes, and dramatically reduced early season yields.  Depending on location in the state and previous stress to the forage, first cutting hay yields were reduced 30-70%.  Dry weather in May and June provided another stress and set the stage for poor regrowth of hay and pasture.  At this point, rain will provide some relief, but the hot temperatures typically associated with July and August are not conducive to significant growth of cool-season grasses such as tall fescue, orchardgrass and Kentucky bluegrass.


Pricing Drought Stressed Corn Silage

Pricing Drought Stressed Corn Silage

Joe Lauer, Dan Undersander, Kevin Schoessow, Jim Faust, Lee Milligan, and Greg Blonde

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension

Arriving at a fair and equitable price for corn silage is difficult due to the number of factors involved that are dynamic and biologically variable. Some factors include production costs, grain price, harvesting costs, costs of handling, hauling and storage of forage, grain drying costs, fertility and organic matter value of stover, and forage quality (especially starch content and neutral detergent fiber digestibility-NDFD). The amount of moisture has a major influence on its feed value and needs to be considered to accurately determine fair silage prices.


Vet’s Corner: Analyze input costs to decide if they are worth the premium

Vet’s Corner: Analyze input costs to decide if they are worth the premium

By David Barz, D.V.M., Northwest Vet Supply

Tri-State Neighbor

In the past few years, the profits in the cow/calf sector have been good. The only problem is all our input costs are rapidly rising. Fuel, fertilizer, feed and land rents have increased significantly. If the calf price declines, we must reduce expenses without decreasing productivity. Another scenario is to add value to the calf crop.

A simple way to add value to calves is a good health program. This year grain prices are high. This means feedlots should be willing to pay more for heavier calves so it won’t cost as much in feed to get the animals finished. This might require producers to increase profits by adding weight.

Cow nutrition is important to both the short- and long- term profitability of a herd. A healthy well-nourished cow is more apt to be bred to maintain her place in the herd. The more milk she produces, the larger the calf she will wean. The cow’s water consumption enables her to milk to her potential and maintain body condition. Mineral supplementation allows the physiologic reactions in her body to continue at optimum levels.


Steers in Feedout Have Varied Results

Steers in Feedout Have Varied Results

The Monett Times

Livestock specialist discusses current market, economic impact of corn prices

The 2006-07 Missouri Steer Feedout results are in and show a tremendous variation in performance and profit according to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension Service.

The 243 steers that started in the program in November at Gregory Feedyard, Taber, Iowa were owned by 24 different firms from across Missouri.

When all the data was tabulated by the Iowa State – Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity group, it showed the average profit per head was $29.53. The range in profit was from $241 to a $260 per head loss.


CSC hosts workshops to make farm work easier

CSC hosts workshops to make farm work easier

Muskogee Phoenix

WARNER — Area farmers recently participated in a Connors State College workshop designed to make work on the farm easier.

The workshop was co-sponsored by the CSC Agriculture Department, the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture located in Poteau and the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Participants attended sessions which included hands-on instruction in fence building, chainsaw operations and safety, trailer backing, sprayer calibration, soil testing, forage/pasture identification and compost basics.


Food Safety Scares Boost Organic Sales

Food Safety Scares Boost Organic Sales

Dan Adams


As life-long dairy farmer Tony Azevedo walked through his lush green pastures spotted with some of the 800 head of cattle that graze on his 400 acres, he had a smile on his face. “I think we are the epitome of happy cows,” he said. “I really do.”

In 1971, Azevedo took over the family dairy from his father who immigrated to the United States from The Azores and settled in the small San Joaquin Valley town of Stevinson in Merced County. But in 1995, after seeing many of his fellow farmers lose their ranches, he felt the need for a change. And he decided to go organic.


State vet: Cooler temps will help cattle

State vet: Cooler temps will help cattle

By Terry Woster

Argus Leader.com

A promise of cooler weather after today should reduce chances for more cattle deaths in feedlots across South Dakota, South Dakota State Veterinarian Sam Holland says.

Holland said this afternoon that he’s only heard a few reports of more dead livestock after feeders in the northeastern corner of the state reported as many as 1,100 dead animals because of high heat and humidity on Monday and Tuesday.

“I’ve not heard reports of large numbers of cattle going down,” Holland said. “A few from the areas where they had the large numbers the last two days (were lost). If we can get some cooler temperatures, even at night, and some breeze, it should ease.”


Does Ethanol Raise Food Prices?

Does Ethanol Raise Food Prices?


Is ethanol fueling a price hike at the grocery store? Ethanol has raised corn prices tremendously in the last year. Some say that’s to blame for higher prices we’re paying on everything from popcorn to coffee.

However, those in the ethanol industry say the real culprit is the cost to ship those products to your local store.

Movie theaters in Ohio are raising the price of popcorn. And Forbes Magazine says even Starbucks will have to raise prices. Is ethanol to blame for increasing corn prices?


International Bison Conference being held in the Black Hills

International Bison Conference being held in the Black Hills


On Wednesday the International Bison Conference focused on educational aspects associated with the buffalo. The conference addressed a variety of buffalo topics ranging from food and clothing to crypto preservation. Visitors were able to learn more about the history and heritage of the bison from numerous guest speakers including Ed Iron Cloud and Bob Jackson, who talked about the importance of the bison in the Native American culture.


Farm bill faces threats from right, left

Farm bill faces threats from right, left



A multibillion-dollar farm bill already facing a White House veto threat ran into new challenges Wednesday as farm-state Republicans threatened to defect from the measure in a spat over taxes.

Just hours after the White House said the bill failed to cut growers’ subsidies enough, Republicans said they would withdraw support for the legislation scheduled for the House floor Thursday if Democrats pressed ahead with last-minute plans to include a tax increase.


Feed cross-contamination likely cause of BSE case

Feed cross-contamination likely cause of BSE case

Kim Covert, CanWest News Service

OTTAWA – The mature dairy cow that became Canada’s 10th case of mad cow disease was probably infected by commercial feed that it received after weaning, says a report by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency released Wednesday.

The Holstein, which was destroyed earlier this year, had spent its entire life on the same dairy farm in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.


Late-summer seeding of forage crops

Late-summer seeding of forage crops

by Stephen K. Barnhart, Department of Agronomy

Iowa State University

Late summer can be an excellent time to establish forage crops, provided there is sufficient moisture for germination and good seedling growth. It is also a good time to seed in bare or thin spots in forage stands established this spring. The following steps will improve the chances for successful forage stand establishment in late summer.


Cattle Identification: ID/Traceability Experts Will Address ‘Technical’ Issues

Cattle Identification: ID/Traceability Experts Will Address ‘Technical’ Issues


While government officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will discuss policy issues, attendees at the ID•INFO EXPO 2007 will have numerous opportunities to hear the latest on animal identification and traceability from people who are working in those areas every day. 

ID•INFO EXPO 2007, which has become the premier event on these issues, will be held August 28-30, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City.  

 “While government policies are set at the cabinet/ministerial level, it is the people in the various agencies (state and provincial), academia and industry that have the responsibility for making these programs work.   Thus our theme ‘Where Traceability Needs Intersect: Animal Health, Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), Food Safety and Consumer Demand’ will be discussed by an amazing array of experts from government, academia and industry,” says program chairman Robert Fourdraine.  


Bills Calls for Meat to be Labeled by Origin

Bills Calls for Meat to be Labeled by Origin

By Renae Merle

Washington Post

An ordinary trip to the supermarket meat department could turn into an experience in international comparison-shopping under House legislation scheduled to be debated today that for the first time would require meat products to be labeled by their country of origin.

The farm bill House members will consider includes a provision mandating that meat — including beef, pork and lamb — include a label stating where it came from. Only meat from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States would be eligible for a domestic label.


Genex Purchases Alabama Collection Facility

Genex Purchases Alabama Collection Facility

Cattle Today

Genex Cooperative, Inc. has purchased the property which has served as the Genex Alabama Custom Collection site since 2001. The Fort Payne, Ala., facility, which had previously been leased, is part of the largest custom collection operation in the United States. Additional Genex custom collection facilities are located in Baton Rouge, La., Strafford, Mo., and Billings, Mont.

The purchase of this “state of the art” facility was a long-term strategy which allowed for the flexibility to expand as needed. Future renovation plans for the site include installation of climate control in a portion of the sire barns allowing for more effective semen collection during the summer heat.

Genex Alabama serves as the premier custom processing facility for the southeast, offering large individual pens with natural flooring and spacious runs for ultimate sire comfort. Display pens are also available for promoting sires during the peak semen sales seasons. The facility is designed to qualify bulls for both export and domestic sales.


Nevil Speer – Why Buy Preconditioned Calves?

Nevil Speer – Why Buy Preconditioned Calves?


Why purchase preconditioned calves?   Namely, preconditioning programs strategize to address both sides of morbidity:  they are designed to reduce the incidence of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) by increasing resistance while simultaneously reducing stress prior to and after shipment.

The clearest industry-wide documentation of BRD’s negative impact relative to feedyard closeouts stems from the Texas A&M Ranch to Rail program; a marked difference in economic return exists among cattle which remained “healthy” throughout the feeding period compared to those classified as “sick”.  Cattle treated at least once possess higher production costs and poorer feedlot performance.  Furthermore, treated animals produced carcasses with lower marbling scores and subsequent USDA quality grades.  Over the course of nine years for which data is available, calves remaining “healthy” throughout the feeding period returned nearly $100/head more than those categorized in the “sick” category.



FAMILY AFFAIR: Three generations show cattle

FAMILY AFFAIR: Three generations show cattle


Glasgow Daily Times (KY)

GLASGOW — With lead rope in his right hand and show stick in his left, Chase Coomer takes a deep breath and enters the Barren County Fair show ring with his young, dark Simmental.

The two-year-old is the youngest of a third generation for Glasgow’s Coomer family, who have been showing beef cattle for more than 50 years, said Chase’s cousin Stephanie Mattingly, 13.

“It’s a big family affair,” Stephanie said, wearing a brown shirt and jeans for her showmanship outfit. “We grill out, play around … you get to know the family better.”


Deadly Heat Kills More Cattle

Deadly Heat Kills More Cattle


This week’s heat and humidity have killed at least 1,100 head of cattle in northeastern South Dakota; most of them in feedlots.

The largest losses were reported in Brown, Marshall, and Spink counties. State veterinarian, Sam Holland, advises farmers to start spraying their cattle with water early in the morning and keep it up all day.