Daily Archives: October 30, 2007


Baxter Black:  O.B. CHAIN MARATHON

Charlie survived and is now a member of that elite group of cowmen who have run the O.B. Chain Marathon.

“O.B. chain” for you readers who are poultry producers and might think this refers to manacles worn by Over the Border illegals or a delicate veterinary instrument used to spay heifers by Ovary Burglars, it is not. O.B. stands for Obstetrical. Obstetrics, obstetricians…refers to pregnancy, labor and birth.

During a calving…well, let me tell you Charlie’s story. He and his brother run a modest-sized cow ranch in the pretty rolling country north of Lewistown, MT. It was a wet spring and the brothers were in the midst of calving outside. They had bought one hundred bred heifers. They worked together during the day and took turns each night so the other could get some sleep.


Run Cattle Ranches as a Business to Avoid IRS Scrutiny

Run Cattle Ranches as a Business to Avoid IRS Scrutiny

by: John Alan Cohan, Attorney at Law

Cattle Today

In hobby loss audits, the IRS sometimes views various types of ranching activities as a means of generating tax losses, rather than as a profit-oriented venture. Many cases that have ruled in favor of the taxpayer in livestock and other ranching activities involve people who developed a superior line of animal. Taking a scientific approach to breeding is evidence showing a businesslike approach to the activity.

Careful research into pedigrees, for example, shows a concern for the proper application of genetics to your breeding program. Working with experts to develop a superior nutritional program is also evidence that you are using scientific means to enhance or at least maintain the health of your animals, and this in turn suggests you are operating a business rather than a hobby.


Hi, I’m Al, I’ll be your food tonight

Hi, I’m Al, I’ll be your food tonight

A new beef co-op is figuring that the better we know our meat, the more we’ll eat



A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. That’s what Jason Freeman of the Farmer Direct Co-operative believes, so he wants you to know everything about the cow that made it from pasture to your plate: where it lived, what it ate, who raised it, and who killed it. His business is banking on the prospect that, given the right conditions, this knowledge will lead carnivores not straight to a vegan diet but to market, hungry for a sizzling steak.


Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days focus on ethanol

Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days focus on ethanol

Minnesota Farm Guide


University of Minnesota Beef Education Team is pleased to announce the 2007 Minnesota Cattle Feeder Days: “Impact of Ethanol Processing on Cattle Feeding.”

The team will address feeding ethanol processing co-products that can lead to greater protein and sulfur feeding.

Members will also speak on high corn prices, the abundance of corn processing co-products and the economic impact of ethanol processing on the beef industry.


Foot-and-mouth summit set for Dec. 12

Foot-and-mouth summit set for Dec. 12

Montana State University

BOZEMAN — A six-state summit to address the threat of foot-and-mouth disease will be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.

The free, all-day summit is open to anyone from Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Colorado. It will be presented by the Montana Beef Council and the Montana Beef Quality Assurance program at Montana State University.

Foot-and-mouth disease, also called FMD, is a severe, highly communicable viral disease for cattle and swine. It can cause severe losses in meat and milk production. It is characterized by fever and blister-like lesions followed by erosions on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between hooves. The disease can also infect sheep, goats, deer and other animals with cloven hooves, but it is not recognized as a human disease. The United States has been free of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929, but summit organizers said a 2001 outbreak in Great Britain showed that the disease can spread widely and rapidly.


Cattle genetics have changed and backgrounders may need to react.

Cattle genetics have changed and backgrounders may need to react.

Cattle Today

Frank Brazle, retired Kansas State University Extension beef specialist, has studied the stocker industry for more than 30 years.

“There used to be just acres and acres of light-weight cattle, and they had to be backgrounded,” he says. “The cows didn’t milk as well and the calves didn’t have the growth.”

Now most of those lighter calves are specific to the “fescue belt”—from southeast Kansas to the southern Appalachians—where endophyte fungus can retard milk production. Otherwise, calves are coming off the cow weighing more than ever before, says Brazle.


Make sure alternative forages contain adequate nutrients

Make sure alternative forages contain adequate nutrients

AG Professional

WOOSTER, Ohio — For livestock producers facing hay shortages this winter, finding alternative forages is not as much of a challenge as providing feed sources with adequate protein and energy for overall ruminant health.

Francis Fluharty, an Ohio State University animal sciences researcher, said that maintaining a high-protein, high-energy combination can be achieved. It just takes a bit of juggling to get the right nutrient balance.

“We have several sources of alternative high-energy feeds such as corn, distillers grains and pelleted soybean hulls. However, the prices of these are going up rapidly. Additionally, many producers do not have the facilities to store distillers grains or soybean hulls,” said Fluharty, with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “This has led many people to turn to corn stover or even soybean stubble bales as a primary source of feed. However, neither is high in protein, so a readily digestible protein source must be supplemented if these feeds will be used.”


USDA Grass-Fed Beef Label in the Works

USDA Grass-Fed Beef Label in the Works

by Union of Concerned Scientists

Tree Hugger

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.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced new rules for labeling meat from grass-fed livestock. The rules stipulate that meat labeled “grass fed” must come from animals fed solely on grasses, hay and other non-grain vegetation.

This label will help consumers choose meat from ‘smart pasture operations’ that are better for the environment. Unlike massive confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), these farms use sophisticated land management practices to maximize productivity without despoiling our air, water and soil.


Are rising obesity rates linked to U.S. farm aid?

Are rising obesity rates linked to U.S. farm aid?

Free Republic

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.

WASHINGTON — If you’re feeling fat these days, blame Congress.

That’s just what the nation’s doctors are doing, saying that federal lawmakers are responsible for the fact that a salad costs so much more than a Big Mac.

Hoping to produce thinner waistlines, many doctors — including the American Medical Association — want Congress to stop subsidizing the production of foods that are high in fat and cholesterol and spend more to promote fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains that are not.

Farm Belt lawmakers are on the defensive.

“I agree that obesity and health are serious issues in America today,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “However, blaming the cause on the crops that we grow in Kansas and/or the U.S. farm program is overlooking the personal responsibility we all have in our daily lives and diets.”


Bush to urge Fukuda to abolish age limit on beef imports: official

Bush to urge Fukuda to abolish age limit on beef imports: official


     U.S. President George W. Bush will urge Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda during their planned talks next month to repeal the age limit on U.S. beef imports, Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said Monday.

     ”We’re going to continue to press this point,” Conner told reporters after a speech in Washington, stressing that it is taking ”too long” to resolve the bilateral beef trade row stemming from Japanese fears of mad cow disease.

     ”We’re frustrated,” he said.

     Japan limits U.S. beef imports to meat coming from cattle aged 20 months or younger. Since June, the two countries have held talks on easing Japan’s beef import terms for U.S. beef. Tokyo is considering raising the limit to cattle aged 30 months or younger.


Fall Beef Cattle Nutrition Meetings Set

Fall Beef Cattle Nutrition Meetings Set     

            Tom J Bechman

Indiana Prairie Farmer

The shortage of hay and high hay prices has evolved into a crisis on some Indiana livestock farms, especially those with beef cattle. Feeding $6 plus small square bales hay to mature beef cattle is a no-win proposition, but the real kicker is that there isn’t a lot of hay out there to find anyway. As cattlemen turn to other forages, including low-quality grasses and corn stalks, specialists advise they make sure they understand that extra supplementation with minerals or other feedstuffs may be necessary.


Drought Hurts Cattle Supply, Beef Prices

Drought Hurts Cattle Supply, Beef Prices

By TIM HUBER AP Business Writer

Houston Chronicle

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An intense drought that scorched the Southeast this year is going to cost Americans at the meat counter.

Weather wiped out hay crops across the region, forcing cattlemen from West Virginia to Alabama and from Maryland to Kentucky to sell large numbers of current and future breeding stock this fall. The region produces some 30 percent of the calves sent to U.S. feedlots and experts predict it will take three years or more for the nation’s beef supply to recover.

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t keep regional statistics, market reports for Southeastern states show higher numbers of cattle are going to market this fall.


Groups sue to block expanded import of Canadian cattle

Groups sue to block expanded import of Canadian cattle

International Herald Tribune

PIERRE, South Dakota: Cattlemen and other groups worried about the risk of mad cow disease have asked a federal judge to stop the U.S. Agriculture Department from relaxing rules on Canadian cattle imports into the United States.

The lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in South Dakota, seeks to block an Agriculture Department rule change announced in September that would allow the import of Canadian cattle older than 30 months into the U.S. starting Nov. 19. Live cattle under the age of 30 months have been allowed to move across the border since July 2005.


Livestock compensation program signup begins

Livestock compensation program signup begins


For the Herald – The Agricultural Assistance Act of 2007 authorized the disaster assistance programs of Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), Livestock Compensation Program (LCP), Crop Disaster Program (CDP), and the Dairy Disaster Assistance Program (DDAP) which are available to Chippewa County farmers.

The LIP program reimburses livestock producers for commercial livestock mortality that can be directly attributed to natural disasters that occurred from Jan. 1, 2005 and Feb. 28. Eligible livestock for LIP include dairy cattle, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, catfish, crawfish, equine, sheep, goats, swine, poultry or deer. Payments will be determined based on commercial market value of the livestock on the day before the date of death.