Cooler temps bring herd concerns
By GARY TILGHMAN
Glasgow Daily Times
GLASGOW — Finally, the temperatures outside are feeling more like fall! With these more comfortable temperatures, now is a perfect time to make sure your feeding program is on target to capitalize on the favorable milk prices. This year’s weather and higher costs and limited availability of some feeds may dictate changes in your feeding program.
By now, you probably have had your forages tested. With the limited amount of forages available this year, it is critical that the best quality forages be allocated to the milking herd. As a result, heifers and dry cows may be fed different forages this year, in an attempt to extend the forage supply. With these changes in forages being fed and lower body condition on cows, it is critical that current forage analysis results are used to balance rations for not only the milking herd but also dry cows and heifers.
NCBA Editorial: Government Meddling Threatens Cattle Industry’s Future
Once upon a time, the 2007 Farm Bill was going to be about free market reforms that would reward the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of our nation’s farmers and ranchers. Time and again, we heard top officials in Washington, D.C., talking of the need to loosen government’s grip on American agriculture. As a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) member, this was music to my ears. NCBA embraces the philosophy of less government control and interference in our industry.
But now the heavy hand of government threatens to make this Farm Bill a disaster for cattlemen. The Senate Agriculture Committee’s version of the bill contains several anti-competitive provisions, including a ban on packer ownership of cattle more than 14 days prior to slaughter.
NCBA Reports Membership is on the Rise
Membership in the nation’s oldest and largest cattlemen’s organization continues to grow. As of Sept. 30, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) counted 29,029 members – an 8 percent increase over the same time last year.
“NCBA continues to provide leadership and solutions, and those answers come from the rank-and-file membership of cattlemen working on the ground,” says Bill Donald, a cow-calf producer from Melville, Mont., and vice chairman of the NCBA Membership Committee. “NCBA succeeds because members direct our policy and have provided real solutions for cattlemen since 1898. With the addition of our field representatives in the country, I’m very optimistic about what we can do in the coming year.”
USDA Funds Genetic Research To Help Breeders Predict Animals’ Makeup
USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service announced $5 million in funding during fiscal 2008 for a four-year research project to investigate methods of using whole genome enabled animal selection.
The research will enable animal breeders to use genetic information to predict what an animal’s physical makeup will be and what genes will be passed to the next generation. Whole genome enabled animal selection scans the animal’s genome and the makeup of its DNA, then predicts its genetic merit as a potential future parent.
Give Young Bulls Transition Period From Sale to Breeding
by: Heather Smith Thomas
The toughest time in a young bull’s life is generally when he’s thrust into the “real world” after being well fed all winter. Most bulls are raised in very unnatural conditions — confined and fed concentrate feeds, pushed for fast growth. Even the bulls on “growing rations” are carrying more flesh than bulls raised on grass or wintered on hay, and it can be a major adjustment when suddenly turned out with cows. Some of them just can’t handle the drastic increase in exercise and decrease in nutrition and fall apart rather quickly. After experiencing wrecks with overfat young bulls, most stockmen become more selective about the seedstock producers they patronize–trying to find a breeder who offers bulls in better working condition.
DDGS use affects phosphorus in hog, cattle manure
Iowa Farmer Today
Feeding ethanol co-products to hogs should reduce the need for supplemental phosphorus in feed rations.
Jerry Shurson, Extension swine specialist with the University of Minnesota, says the P in co-products, such as distillers grains, is more available to the hog than P found in corn. This means less P ends up in manure.
He says research indicates adding 20 percent dry distillers grains (DDGS) to a nursery diet should result in the greatest reduction in phosphorus in manure, if the diet is formulated based on available P.
Who does NCBA represent – U.S. cattlemen or packers?
Farm and Ranch Guide
To the editor:
What should an independent cattle producer believe about the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)?
I recently received a letter from the NCBA requesting my membership in the organization. In this letter, the NCBA claims to be lobbying in Washington, D.C., on issues important to cattle producers. This is true – the NCBA is very actively lobbying on issues important to cattlemen. They specifically claim to have improved language to fix country-of-origin labeling (COOL) in the upcoming farm bill.
You would think by the inference of the letter the NCBA was front and center in fighting for COOL. Well, it is true the NCBA was front and center in the debate and fight over COOL, the only problem is the NCBA was trying desperately to kill COOL. The NCBA was working with the American Meat Institute (AMI) to kill the COOL law or gut the effectiveness of the law. The AMI aggressively lobbies for the packers’ best interests.
Managing feed costs in beef production
By Bret Oelkem Regional Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, University of Minnesota Extension
Minnesota Farm Guide
Producers are aware that the cost of production for corn and other feed grains have increased along with the demand for corn as we accelerate the need for feedstock to produce biofuels. The implications for beef producers, both cow/calf operations and feedlots, can be immense.
We have seen some of the largest swings in price for grains and oilseeds ever in the last year and a half and producers who made higher cost input purchases and/or relatively low price commodity sales may have adversely impacted their operation financially.
Many challenges for beef producers
BY Ian Kucerak
Peace Country Sun Writer
Raising cattle has been a tough business since the 2003 BSE crisis. Producers have faced the closing of the U.S. and international markets to Canadian beef, high feed prices, and the soaring Canadian dollar. While the border situation looks to be improving with the coming opening of the border under U.S. Department of Agriculture Rule 2, Canadian ranchers still face competition for grains from biofuel producers and the soaring dollar. To say the industry has been on its heels for the past four years is an understatement, but the fall zone meeting of the Alberta Beef Producers in Grande Prairie was also about hope for the recovery of producers in Alberta.
One Million Electronic ID tags purchased by Michigan Beef and Dairy Producers
Michigan Department of Agriculture
Lansing – Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Don Koivisto today announced that Michigan cattle producers have purchased over one million electronic identification (ID) tags.
“Over 11,000 Michigan farms supported this milestone by purchasing ear tags as part of our effort to eradicate bovine Tuberculosis (TB) from Michigan,” said Koivisto. “These radio frequency tags are helping protect the food supply by providing source verification and 48-hour traceability.”
The one millionth tag was purchased by Ken Nobis of Nobis Dairy Farms in St Johns. These tags highlight Michigan’s efforts to protect human and animal health, provide meat and milk safety, and provide producers with a marketing advantage. Michigan is the only state in the nation electronically identifying all cattle leaving a farm premises.
Bull Sale Results a 180 Degree Turnaround from Spring
The Monett Times
Decline in available bulls, greater interest stimulates prices
The 70th sale of tested bulls by the Southwest Missouri Beef Cattle Improvement Association on Oct. 29 was a 180 degree turnaround from the mood and prices paid at the late-March sale.
“Although the crowd size was about the same, bull numbers were down and the mood of the crowd was upbeat. A good growing season and favorable cattle prices helped in that regard,” said Eldon Cole, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.
The 24 bulls in the offering were sold in 35 minutes for an average of $2,250. This is in contrast to the sluggish March market when 36 head averaged $1,528.
Concerns about disclosure in farm bill
CAPITOL HILL (AP) – Journalists and government watchdog groups say they’re worried that crucial food safety data could be hidden from the public under a farm bill the Senate is debating.
At issue is the national animal tracking system. The program was created after the nation’s first case of mad cow disease in 2003.
The watchdog groups say an effort is under way to exempt some Agriculture Department documents from freedom of information laws. A spokesman for the journalists’ group calls it “essential” that citizens be made aware of dangers in their own communities, including livestock that can cause serious illness and death.
Swift gaining competitive edge under new ownership
JBS-Swift & Co. reached its goals for the third quarter of 2007 and the company’s CEO said its U.S. operations are now competitive.
That competitiveness may just take the U.S. beef industry by storm.
“JBS has given the U.S. beef processing industry a very loud wake-up call,” said Steve Kay, publisher of the trade magazine Cattle Buyer’s Weekly, after analyzing the company’s third-quarter earnings results on Thursday.
New CD Can Help Cattle Producers Beef Up Their Operations
Texas A&M University
COLLEGE STATION – Texas Cooperative Extension has developed an interactive CD-ROM to help beef cattle producers manage their herd’s health.
The program was developed by Wayne Thompson, Extension agent for agriculture in Harris County. It was based on the herd management practices and educational programs presented by Dr. Floron “Buddy” Faries, Extension program leader for veterinary medicine.
Tennessee’s cattle cost share application deadline is Dec. 1
Southeast Farm Press
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers the deadline for applying for Cattle Improvement cost share funding through the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program is Dec. 1.
“Although funding in some categories of the Ag Enhancement program is limited, farmers are encouraged to continue applying for cost share opportunities in all program areas,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens. “With winter weather just around the corner, we encourage farmers to go ahead and make their purchases, file for reimbursement; and, any unused dollars will be redirected to farmers who may be on a waiting list.”