Daily Archives: August 14, 2007

The Farmer’s Nightmare?

The Farmer’s Nightmare?
New York Times
Only a few years ago, ethanol was just a line in a farm-state politician’s stump speech – something that went down well with the locals but didn’t mean much to anyone else. Now, of course, ethanol is widely touted – and, within reason, rightly so – as an important part of America’s search for energy independence and greener fuels. One day, we may be using cellulosic ethanol, the kind derived from grasses. For now, the ethanol boom is all about corn. And the real question is whether that will finally kill American farming as we know it.


DDG Glut May Be On the Way

DDG Glut May Be On the Way

By Todd Neeley

DTN Staff Reporter

Ethanol industry growth in Eastern Corn Belt states could eventually pose a problem: A glut of dried distillers grains.

While DDGs have gained international popularity as an animal feed, states such as Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan just don’t have enough animals to keep up with supply, said Jim Hansen, chief operating officer of Poet Nutrition based in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Declining Quality Grades: A Review of Factors Reducing Marbling Deposition in Beef Cattle

Declining Quality Grades: A Review of Factors Reducing Marbling Deposition in Beef Cattle.

Larry Corah and Mark McCully, Certified Angus Beef


Marbling role in eating quality:

Three factors govern consumer acceptance of beef: tenderness, flavor and juiciness. All add to the eating experience in their own way. Consumers clearly want some tolerable level of tenderness, granting that preference varies somewhat by the individual. However, the overriding factor behind the desire to eat beef is its unique flavor.

Meat flavor has been an extensive basis for research, and the flavor profile by animal species is very well understood. In beef, the unique flavor and aroma derive from the carbonyl compounds found in marbling (Smith, 2005). Thus, as the USDA quality grade increases from Standard to Prime, the flavor profile intensifies and improves to create a more acceptable eating experience (Smith, 1990).


W.D. Farr, Former NCBA President, Cattle Pioneer, dies at age 97

W.D. Farr, Former NCBA President, Cattle Pioneer, dies at age 97

By The Denver Post

W.D. Farr, 97, a key figure in creating Colorado’s water projects and a legend in Northern Colorado, died at his home in Greeley early Monday afternoon.

Farr had been in ill health for the several months.

Former Colorado State University president Al Yates has known Farr since 1990, when Yates first came to Colorado, he said.

“I admired him and thought he was a mentor to all of us – all of us who cared about the land, and cared about Colorado, and cared about water,” Yates said.

Yates viewed Farr as a friend and mentor, he said, and also described him as a “quintessential scholar.”

“I’ve combed a great number of documents over the years,” Yates said. “None were more impressive than those that were written by W.D. Farr.”


About to tip over

About to tip over

Mike Apley

Beef Magazine

We’ve all misread a few trends in life, some of which evolved into forces that drastically changed lives and entire industries.

Thirty years ago, who would have thought that the roughest, most mismanaged, cedar-infested grassland in the Flint Hills of Kansas would bring as much or more at auction than well-managed parcels? A lot of this market pressure results from the spillover of disposable income from urbanites looking for recreational ground, combined with some pretty reasonable interest rates.


Dramatic Changes in Valuing Cattle

Dramatic Changes in Valuing Cattle


We’ve all misread a few trends in life, some of which evolved into forces that drastically changed lives and entire industries.

Thirty years ago, who would have thought that the roughest, most mismanaged, cedar-infested grassland in the Flint Hills of Kansas would bring as much or more at auction than well-managed parcels? A lot of this market pressure results from the spillover of disposable income from urbanites looking for recreational ground, combined with some pretty reasonable interest rates.

And what about the increasing effect of energy costs on agricultural production? We used to just shake our heads at the cost of fuel, but now we’re witnessing the effects of society’s need for SUVs competing with our need to feed livestock (ethanol).


Management practices can reduce risk

Management practices can reduce risk

Land & Livestock Post

The basis of a beef cattle operation is a forage system that provides quality forages, in the right quantity, to livestock. Forages supply the major portions of protein, energy, minerals and vitamins in the diets of most beef cattle.

Health problems are usually minimized by the availability of adequate quantities of high-quality forage. There are however, certain situations which may occur that lead to health disorders. One such disorder, know as prussic acid poisoning, may occur in certain types of forages under certain weather conditions.

Beef cattle producers throughout the Brazos Valley area should be reminded that the first frost of the season comes, on the average, around Nov. 30. But as you well know, it may come sooner. Frost can spell trouble for beef cattle that are grazing pasture grasses such as Johnson grass, Sudan grass, sorghum or hybrids of these.


Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Dr. John B. Hall Extension Beef Cattle Specialist, VA Tech

August is usually a hot but fairly easy time in the cow calf operation.  However, this year the dark clouds on the horizon don’t appear to have much rain in them.  The drought continues to expand and worsen in most parts of Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic.  This August is a good time to take stock of your resources and cattle.  Then use this information to make management decisions.


Drought raises potential for cattle to be exposed to plant toxicities

Drought raises potential for cattle to be exposed to plant toxicities

By: Christine Navarre

DVM Newsmagazine

Watch out for plant toxicity during drought conditions.

In some cases, plants become even more toxic to cattle during a drought, but, more than likely, cattle ingest toxic plants because of the lack of other feedstuffs.

This article examines some of the plants to watch out for and addresses additional factors that contribute to this problem.


Minimizing Heat Stress in Beef Cattle

Minimizing Heat Stress in Beef Cattle

Ropin’ the Web

Soaring summer temperatures not only affect humans, but cattle as well. Heat stress is hard on livestock, especially in combination with high humidity.

Heat stress is defined as any combination of temperature, humidity, radiation and wind producing conditions higher than the animal’s thermal neutral zone. The upper limit of which is the so called upper critical temperature. Beef cattle cool themselves primarily through a combination of respiratory tract (most important) and skin evaporative loss (sweating).

Heat stress occurs when the body temperature is elevated due to excessive heat production or high ambient temperatures, or reduced heat loss. High temperatures (above 28°C (82°F)) coupled with high humidity can cause heat stress in cattle, which can lead to a reduced breeding efficiency, milk production, feed intake, and weight gains. In the worst case, heat stress may increase the chance of illness and may even cause death.


Cattlemen Invited To Town Hall Meetings With NCBA CEO Terry Stokes

Cattlemen Invited To Town Hall Meetings With NCBA CEO Terry Stokes


Pierre, SD (August 9, 2007) – National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO, Terry Stokes will be in  South Dakota August 22, 23, and 24 to join the president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA), Scott Jones in addressing local producers.  Stokes will be speaking August 22 at Dakotafest in Mitchell addressing several important industry issues, including the 2007 Farm Bill, the impact of activist agendas on agriculture, trade, and environmental and renewable fuels issues.  The issues update and panel discussion is scheduled in the DakotaFest Forums Tent at 1:00 PM (CDT).


Santa Gertrudis Breeders international Elects New Leadership

Santa Gertrudis Breeders international Elects New Leadership

Cattle Today

Kingsville, Texas – The historic Menger hotel in San Antonio, Texas was the location of the 56th Santa Gertrudis Breeders International annual meeting and conference. With many in attendance it certainly was a meeting to remember.

History will be made within SGBI when the first female president takes the gavel this year to lead the association. Jane Wendt, Wendt Ranches, Bay City, Texas has been elected to serve as President of Santa Gertrudis Breeders International Jane and her husband Dan, former SGBI President, have been in the Santa Gertrudis business for over 50 years. Serving with Jane as her officers are: Robert Briggs, Briggs Ranches, Victoria, Texas – Secretary/Treasurer; Lamar Kelly, Southern Breeze Ranch, Midway, Alabama – Vice President Marketing and Promotions; Robert Silva, Krebs, Oklahoma – Vice President Breed Improvement and Ira Barrow, Liberty Ranch, Kiowa, Oklahoma – Vice President Youth Activities.


Factory farming, online

Factory farming, online

How does your county stack up?


Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

A new interactive map posted by Food & Water Watch shows concentrations of American factory farms at the national, statewide, and even county-wide level.

The map allows a variety of searches: by animal quantity, by farm quantity, even by type of animal (beef cattle, hogs, dairy cows, broiler chickens, and laying hens). A scrollable list at the right of each map shows the top farm polluters, by state and by county, for each type of animal.


Missouri cattleman says State Fair important

Missouri cattleman says State Fair important

by Julie Harker

Brownfield Network

The Missouri State Fair in Sedalia is about showing livestock, but it’s also about getting together with other producers. Central Missouri cattleman Jim Puyear says it’s a chance to see livestock people you don’t get to see but once or twice a year…

“You get their ideas, find out who they’re breedin’ to, so on and so forth. It isn’t like we call each other on the phone every night. It’s nice to have a fair to put us together to where we can see each other, exchange ideas.”


Keeping Cattle Cool

Keeping Cattle Cool 


Reporter: Sara Geake

If you’re feeling the heat, imagine what the hundred degree temperatures would be like with fur.

The excessive heat is hard on Nebraska’s livestock and as the heat index tops 100 degrees for the second week, Nebraska’s cattle are feeling it.

It’s an annual concern for T & E Cattle Company.

“Cattle don’t have the physical ability to cope with heat such as sweating. They can’t sweat like humans and so the only means they have of cooling their bodies is simply by panting the air in and out,” explained Greg Baxter, T & E Cattle Company Operations Manager.


Dry Weather Across the Heartland

Dry Weather Across the Heartland

By: Holly Brantley


Local farmers across the area say current weather conditions are some of the driest they’ve ever seen.  For crops, heat damage means less total production.  For cattle farmers, animals don’t have as much to eat.


Feeding distillers’ grains with gluten feed

Feeding distillers’ grains with gluten feed


For feedlots close to ethanol plants, wet distillers’ grains can cost-effectively substitute for some corn in finishing rations. In a trial reported in the University of Nebraska’s 2007 Beef Cattle Report, researchers tested various levels of wet distillers’ grains with solubles in rations that also contained 30 percent wet corn gluten feed.

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Drought hits cattle farmers

Drought hits cattle farmers

The State

Damage to grass and hay causing major problems in S.C.

You know that dead grass in your yard. Imagine if you had acres upon acres of dead grass and hungry livestock who normally munch on that grass.

That’s the dilemma facing cattle farmers throughout South Carolina as the worsening drought kills their pastures.

‘You have to have grass to feed the cows, and what grass is there isn’t good for nothin’,’ said Stan Keels, who raises cattle and horses on a farm in Elgin. ‘There wasn’t even a month this year when the grass was any good.’

Officially, all of South Carolina has been in a moderate drought for months. But the consequences were hidden by a slightly wet June and an unseasonably cool July.


1 Million Served

1 Million Served

Hoosier Ag Today

by Gary Truitt

  Tuesday night Indiana cattlemen will serve the 1 millionth Hoosier Ribeye sandwich at the Indiana State Fair. “Our numbers tell us that sometime Tuesday evening some lucky person will buy the 1 millionth sandwich and win some great prizes,” said Julia Wickard with the Indiana Beef Cattle Association. For the past 25 years, Indiana cattle producers have been selling their legendary sandwiches at the fair. “It is a coincidence that the anniversary and the 1 millionth sandwich came together at the same time,” said Wickard. The prize for the winning customer includes a gas grill and a large supply of Hoosier Ribeyes.


National Angus Tour and Conference set for August 29-31

National Angus Tour and Conference set for August 29-31

Cattle Today

Angus enthusiasts should plan now to attend the 2007 National Angus Conference and Tour, set for Aug. 29-31 in Peoria, Ill. The event features a day-long conference program followed by a two-day tour of Illinois Angus herds. The American Angus AssociationSM sponsors the event, along with corporate partners Purina Mills LLC and Alpharma Animal Health. The Illinois Angus Association will host the tour, a “Heartland Homecoming” in the state where the American Angus Association received its charter nearly 125 years ago.