Cattle producers must be mindful of their clientele
Delta Farm Press
How America eats is changing how cattle producers raise their stock, says Gerald Alexander, Hempstead County, Ark., staff chair for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Most beef produced for human consumption is finished on a high-energy grain diet in a feedlot.
“A new wrinkle in beef production of recent years has been the production of slaughter cattle fed only a grass diet,” Alexander says. While the numbers produced as “grass-fed” are relatively small, the practice is gaining momentum because consumers are demanding a leaner and healthier product.
Several producer associations have emerged to promote grass-fed beef. In 2006, it was estimated that about 60,000 head of grass-fed cattle were marketed in the United States, a number likely to increase this year and in years to come.
2008 RFID Survey
It’s been five years since BEEF magazine and Kansas State University (KSU) teamed up to deliver the industry’s first survey of firms offering radio-frequency ID (RFID) technology for cattle-industry application. And the chart below represents the U.S. cattle industry’s most current and comprehensive look at RFID companies and the technology they offer for cattle ID and monitoring.
Managing and Marketing Cull Cows
Cody L. Wright, Extension Beef Specialist
Department of Animal and Range Sciences, South Dakota State University
Beef cows are culled from the herd for a variety of reasons including reproductive failure, age, and unsatisfactory performance, among others. Depending on the relationships between cull cow and calf prices, and the herd culling rate, cull cow receipts generally account for 15-30% of income from the cow-calf enterprise (Feuz, 1995). However, cows are often sold at the time of culling without regard for opportunities to add value and capture additional revenue.
FULL STORY PDF
Semen Handling Checklist
1. Store the Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) tank in a location that allows you to see clearly into the neck tube and is dust-free and dry.
2. Measure LN2 weekly; level should not drop below 3 inches (8 cm.).
3. Maintain an accurate semen inventory to lessen the risk of semen exposure.
4. Raise the canister just high enough to grasp the top of the cane with a tweezers – 5 inches (12.5 cm) from top of tank.
FULL STORY PDF
SDCA Elects New Leadership During Annual Convention
The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA) is pleased to announce the conclusion of another successful convention.
Last week, the SDCA convention and trade show was held at the Watertown Event Center. A phenomenal line-up of educational speakers, along with the important committee meetings and the annual membership meeting educated and entertained SDCA members. We would like to thank the Coteau Hills Cattlemen for their help in making this one of our largest and most successful events ever!
Failed beef plant sales rep indicted
A former refrigeration sales representative was indicted Tuesday on federal charges that he helped steal $187,725 from Mississippi in a scheme involving a failed beef plant that cost taxpayers millions.
James A. Draper of Mount Juliet, Tenn., faces 30 years if convicted on both counts in the indictment. He is just the latest of several people charged in connection with the failure of Mississippi Beef Processors.
US farm exporters cheer Peru trade vote
WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – U.S. agriculture groups applauded the Senate’s passage on Tuesday of a free trade agreement with Peru, which exporters expect will boost farm sales to the Andean nation by more than $700 million a year.
Senators voted 77 to 18 to pass the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, which was modified earlier this year to include stronger protections for workers and the environment.
The House of Representatives passed the deal last month.
Feeder Council will host Beyond the Bunk III
Farm & Ranch Guide
The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association (NDSA) Feeder Council will present Beyond the Bunk III, an educational program for cattle feeders, cow-calf producers and others interested in the feeding business, on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Doublewood Inn in Bismarck, N.D.
Plans for beef plant shelved for now
By The Associated Press
TULSA, Okla. – After 11 months of delays, Smithfield Beef said it could be years before a decision is finally made on plans to build a $200 million processing plant in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The announcement Wednesday comes amid concern from some residents that the Wisconsin company has all along used an Oklahoma town as a pawn to acquire longtime rival Swift & Co., a buyout that never happened.
“I think they used our governor, I think they used our secretary of agriculture, I think they used everyone,” said John Hairford, a resident of Hooker, the tiny cattle town of 1,700 where the beef plant was to be built. “We’ve been plain jerked around about this whole deal.”
Meat Processors Look for Ways to Keep Ground Beef Safe
New York Times
LEXINGTON, Neb. — In the last decade, Tyson Fresh Meats has transformed its slaughterhouse here to combat a potentially deadly type of food poisoning, adding huge chambers to scald carcasses and wash them in acid, steam vacuums to suck away microbes and elaborate gear to test hundreds of meat samples a day.
Year-round care keeps herd bulls fit for duty
By Mark Parker
He’s big and stout with just a touch of snort to him – the picture of virility and exactly the kind of bull you need for your cowherd.
With a calf crop on the line, though, it’s no time to judge a book by its cover, according to Twig Marston.
Speaking to area beef producers at Fredonia, Kan., recently, the Kansas State University beef cattle specialist stressed that the dollars and cents of the matter are far too important to take bull fertility for granted.
Wagyu Beef: Made in Japan™
Gastronomica details Japan’s fight to make the breeding and sale of Wagyu beef into a trademarked endeavor.
Japan is set to take the battle over proprietary eats to the next level. Suggested guidelines from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries recommend that the name of Wagyu beef be patented … along with its genetic sequencing.
A fascinating write-up in Gastronomica (not available online, sorry) details the ins and outs of the guidelines, which include distribution control over Wagyu breeding by means of mandatory bar codes on every, uh, semen straw. Semen straw. Oh, man. Whoo.
Oil prices factor into livestock industry
By Tim Hoskins
Iowa Farmer Today
WILLIAMSBURG — Higher costs driven by higher oil prices are a factor in livestock prices.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for livestock, said John Lawrence, Iowa State University ag economist.
“Do you have a smoking gun from ethanol to higher meat prices? Not yet,” he said during a recent meeting here.
However, effects are being felt in areas such as Canada, he explained.
“Canada is in a shrinking mode,” Lawrence said.
Montana farm profits down
By SCOTT McMILLION
Chronicle Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Profits for Montana’s agricultural industry took a nosedive in 2006 despite strong prices for wheat and beef, the state’s major crops, a new report says.
Cash sales of crops, mostly beef and grain, fell by only $22 million over the year. But expenses kept growing, which meant farmers and ranchers found themselves paying more for feed, seed, fertilizer and chemicals, property taxes and anything that uses large amounts of fuel, including transportation to market.
Purchased Hay May Carry Liver Flukes
Hay delivered to drought-stricken areas could distribute liver flukes
Drought-stricken producers buying hay from out of state may need to take extra precautions when it comes to parasite control.
“It is possible to move liver flukes in hay that is taken from an area known to have flukes,” says Dr. James Hawkins, Merial Veterinary Professional Services Associate Director. “Under ideal conditions, liver fluke cysts can survive on hay for a period of several months.¹ Cattle can ingest those cysts and become infected with liver flukes.”
Liver fluke infections can rob producers of dollars in the form of reduced weaning weights, pregnancy rates and rate of gain, and, in some cases, can even cause death.² With continuing drought conditions in the West and Southeast, Dr. Hawkins says liver flukes will have more opportunities to spread by hay and through infected cattle being sold and distributed throughout the country.