Daily Archives: November 15, 2007

Black Ink: A share of data

Black Ink:  A share of data

By Miranda Reiman

Anyone with siblings can recall all the ways they were taught to share. With bunk beds and half the closet space, maybe you had double-occupancy bedrooms.

As children, you had to let cousins or friends play with your favorite truck, Barbie or basketball. Remember having to divvy up your Halloween candy so each family member got the same amount?

If you didn’t learn it in your younger years, growing up and getting married certainly teaches some lessons in sharing. There are the joint bank accounts, household chores and personal memories.

Maturity helps you discover the many benefits that come from sharing, the good feeling, the chance for another to reciprocate the favor, and the list goes on and on. Yet when it comes to information, many farmers and ranches have a hard time with the concept.



Cow-calf management tips for November

Cow-calf management tips for November

By Rusty Evans

Ashland City Times

As the fall progresses, the continued “Drought of ’07” has producers considering how they are going to be able to feed their cattle this winter.

Many are already out of feed. Rainfall for 2007 is at a 16-inch deficit across the state. Most of Tennessee has been in the extreme categories of drought measurement. Spring hay harvest was reduced by 50 percent, and there was no “second cutting.”


UT Research Center Honored For 75 Years Of Collecting Data

UT Research Center Honored For 75 Years Of Collecting Data


The Greeneville Sun

The University of Tennessee Research and Education Center at Greeneville was honored on Saturday.

It is one of many weather centers being recognized in November, which Gov. Phil Bredesen has proclaimed as “Tennessee Volunteer Weather Observer Month.”

More than 900 volunteer weather observers throughout Tennessee are being honored for their service to the National Weather Service.

The local Research and Education Center, which is on E. Allens Bridge Road near the Link Hills Country Club, was presented with an award for its 75 years of service as a weather station.


Test Cornstalks Before Feeding To Cattle & Horses

Test Cornstalks Before Feeding To Cattle & Horses


AMES, Iowa    Cattle producers who notice mold on bales of cornstalks should get them tested for toxins before using them for feed, an Iowa State University (ISU) Extension beef field specialist said today.

Heavy rains in October have affected the quality of cornstalks, which many producers use to lessen their winter feed costs. The extra moisture, however, has increased the chance for mold and mycotoxins, or toxins produced by fungi, to develop.

Beth Doran, ISU Extension beef field specialist, said she recommends cattle producers have a mycotoxin test conducted on cornstalks that show any noticeable signs of mold before using them as feed.

“Now if they don’t see any visible mold, then chances are it’s not going to be a problem,” she said of mycotoxins.


Beef producers should avoid surprises, inventory feed resources

Beef producers should avoid surprises, inventory feed resources

Rensselaer Republican

WEST LAFAYETTE – Not all bales feed the same, and producers need to take that into consideration when feeding cattle, said a Purdue University expert.

The actual bale weight is not the amount that cattle will consume. Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef management specialist, said it’s important to not make assumptions based on bale weight alone.


Expanded Canadian cattle imports just days away

Expanded Canadian cattle imports just days away

by Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

Over the next several weeks sale barns across South Dakota will be holding benefit auctions. The purpose? To raise money for the lawsuit filed by R-CALF USA and other groups aimed at blocking the USDA rule that will allow virtually all Canadian cattle born after March 1st of 1999 into the U.S.

R-CALF is calling on Northern Plains ranchers to donate a cull cow for auction. Alan Lund, a beef producer from Selfridge, North Dakota, already has. He told Brownfield the border re-opening comes just as many producers are planning to sell their culls. And according to Lund, it’s having a negative price impact in advance.

“I think it’s probably already started depressing our market probably a month back just because of speculation,” Lund said. “The cull cow runs have been very large the last two weeks.”

Still, USDA spokeswoman Karen Eggers told Brownfield the Agency has already been working with companies who import Canadian cattle in anticipation of the rule’s implementation. And she said the Canadian border re-opening is currently on schedule for next week.


Years Of Experience Earn Oregon Couple Recognition

Years Of Experience Earn Oregon Couple Recognition


In the high desert country near Diamond, Oregon, Harold and Mary Otley own and operate Otley Brothers Cattle. Perhaps the most amazing thing is the fact that Harold is 90 and Mary is 85, but it’s no surprise to anyone that knows them that neither is showing any signs of slowing down. Their ranch includes their children Harry, Fred, and daughter Sherrie along with their families. The Otley’s cowherd is Red Angus based with some South Devon influence. They market their calf crop through Superior Livestock and their calves consistently top the market.

Mary makes the genetic decisions and purchases all of the bulls used on the ranch, the majority of which are obtained from Wedel Red Angus located in Leoti, Kan. Her philosophy is that the cattle need to work not only for them but also for the feedlot and the retail customer.  Their quest for excellence throughout the entire beef cycle has earned them the Commercial Breeder of the Year Award from the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA). The Otley’s received the award at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, Kan., September 26 – 29 at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center. It was presented by Frank Wedel of Wedel Red Angus. “When I called Mary and told her, she said that she felt that there were others more deserving, I can’t think of anyone more deserving, “ stated Wedel.


NAIS: Do You Want, Or Need, A Radio Frequency ID System For Your Chicken?

NAIS: Do You Want, Or Need, A Radio Frequency ID System For Your Chicken?

by Larry Miller

Ground Report

Ask yourself the following; What’s the dumbest thing you can think of if you have one chicken.

I published this about a year ago and NAIS disappeared from the radar but, as most of us know when big money is at stake and government officials who are more interested in serving themselves than serving the public are involved, things come back to haunt us. The NAIS program was tacked onto the latest farm bill, thanks to the people listed in this article.

If we’ve been paying attention, we’ll have noticed that all the tainted meat and produce recalls have been from the big agri-businesses, not the small farmer. This particular piece of legislation is bought and paid for by those same agri-business interests, plus those who stand to make lots on the radio ID devices.


Senate takes “small” step toward new farm law

Senate takes “small” step toward new farm law


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a 10-day deadlock, Senate leaders agreed on Wednesday to debate farm bill amendments that could range from subsidy caps and Canadian cattle to immigration and tax law reform.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped only a “finite number” of amendments would be offered and said Democrats could limit themselves to five. Reid also filed a motion, due for a vote on Friday, to limit the bill to 30 hours of debate.

“The time is slowly evaporating,” said Reid, to pass a bill. Roughly three weeks are left in this year’s session.

Once the Senate acts, House and Senate negotiators must write a final version of the bill to send to the White House, which has threatened to veto each bill as it now stands.


Focusing on the Details

Focusing on the Details

By Rachel Stuart

York News Times

Visitors from as many as 15 foreign countries attend the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) annually to see livestock that is shown in what is known as the “world’s largest showcase of purebred livestock”. The exposition takes place during the first two weeks of November in Louisville, KY each year.

Technology in recent years has made it possible for international livestock producers to buy and export purebred livestock semen and embryos from the United States. As a result, U.S. purebred livestock producers who compete at the North American International have become “seedstock producers” for the world.


Cattlemen see drought as natural climate cycle

Cattlemen see drought as natural climate cycle

By Jeff DeYoung,

Iowa Farmer Today

Severe drought in much of the country over the past decade has affected the cattle industry.

Joe Schuele, director of communications for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), says Southeastern producers are bearing the brunt of this year’s drought.

“They are really looking at a drought unlike anything they’ve seen this decade,” he says. “The Far West has had a rough year, and of course, the Southern Plains were very dry until this year.” Schuele says NCBA does not believe the dry weather is related to anything more than a cyclical change in the climate


JBS-Swift story turns to positive

JBS-Swift story turns to positive

Greeley Tribune

We admit it: We were worried about the fate of JBS-Swift at the beginning of this year. First, the December immigration raids were a huge hit to the company. On top of the terrible public relations impact, the raids cost the company an estimated $30 million.

Not long afterward came the news that the company was for sale. The fate of the company, which is Weld County’s largest employer, didn’t seem bright.

Then in July, JBS SA, Latin America’s largest beef processor, finalized the $1.5 billion deal. Ever since, things have been looking up.

Instead of being worried, we’re elated about the future of the plant.


Don’t let Canadian cows back in, foes tell USDA

Don’t let Canadian cows back in, foes tell USDA

By Lynda V. Mapes

Seattle Times

Nearly four years after a Canadian-born cow turned up in the Yakima Valley with mad-cow disease, the federal government plans to loosen restrictions on imports of beef across the Canadian border.

The Department of Agriculture maintains that the risk of importing another infected cow into the United States is extremely small. But the plan is continuing to meet loud protest from Washington state ranchers and national consumer advocates.

Both are suing to block the move and have asked a judge to halt the Nov. 19 reopening, saying the government still has not kept its promises to ensure that the disease is kept out of the U.S. meat supply.


Analyzing Your Forage

Analyzing Your Forage


Forage quality changes with maturity and storage. A forage test can supply useful information about the nutritive value of hay or pasture. This information can be used to adjust the amount of supplement fed. If forage quality is high, the producer can feed less supplement, resulting in savings. Conversely, if the forage quality is low, diet supplementation can improve animal performance, and increase profits. This article discusses how to take a forage sample and how to interpret the laboratory results.

Taking a forage sample: Forage testing forms can be obtained from many county Extension offices or from the website of the lab you plan to use. Several labs are listed here. These forms contain complete instructions on how to collect forage samples. Proper collection and identification of a sample is very important. A tool is needed to collect hay samples. Your local Extension office may have a Penn State Forage Sampler or similar device. A hay sampler consists of a long tube with a cutting edge on one end and a shank on the other that can be fastened to an electric drill or hand brace.


November means working among the cows

November means working among the cows

Record Courier

November means weaning around here. With the few animals carrying our brand it is a pretty simple process. But not uneventful.

Beef cattle can get a Tina Turner attitude faster than you can punch a radio station. They might do things nice and easy in a “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” kind of way. Or they might select a more upbeat tune like Ike and Tina’s “Proud Mary,” and roll you on down the river, rough.

Our cattle are usually gentle. Not tame, but settled enough when walking out among them while irrigating they’ll barely raise their heads to investigate.