HSUS video a new headache for packers, USDA
by Peter Shinn
The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) released a disturbing video Wednesday that appeared to show the abuse of downer cattle at a southern California packing plant. The incident may well represent a fresh black eye for the U.S. meat processing industry.
To make matters worse, the abuse appeared to be an effort to get the downer animals into the human food supply, a practice banned by USDA. And to make matters worse yet, the packing plant involved is owned by Westland Meat Company, which supplies beef products to USDA nutrition programs.
Cattle Transportation: Management Follow-Through
Those who have been involved in baseball, football or softball realize the importance of follow-through. For example, a pitcher throwing a curveball has to start with the correct grip, regulate arm speed and angle, choose the most appropriate point of release, and finish the pitch with a full follow-through. These processes are not unlike managing stocker cattle. To optimize return on investment, stocker operators have to start with the correct cattle and receiving protocol, regulate health and performance, choose the most appropriate time to sell or ship, and finish by making sure the cattle reach their next destination without compromising profit (the follow-through). Most managers who have been operating for several years realize that even transportation from one pasture to another impacts cattle performance. However, one of the most crucial events for stocker cattle is transportation to the next phase of beef production, the feedlot. This transport has more impact on performance because the trip is usually more than 500 miles from locations in the southeast. Furthermore, it includes “middlemen” and a period of time when your cattle are not under your direct management.
Ware’s the beef: Litchfield farm’s cows are anything but mad
BY TRACY SIMMONS
One of the grass-fed beef cattle raised by John Morosani and business partner Jim Abbott in Litchfield. Jamison C. Bazinet Republican-American
John Morosani and Jim Abbott love to mountain bike. And Morosani’s Litchfield property is perfect for it. Miles of trails zip up and down the rolling hills of his acreage and stretch across scenic pastures. But there was just one problem — multiflora.
The thorny, bushy shrub isn’t easy to control, Morosani said, especially when it makes its home on the ledges of hilly meadows.
Ruminant Livestock, Facing New Economic Realities Programs Are Set
Certainly, 2007 was a challenge for cattlemen across the Midwest. On top of strengthening feed grain prices which began in the Fall of 2006 and have continued to the present, we’ve experienced a widespread lack of forage production. In fact, grain and feed prices are as high, and forage inventories as low as they’ve been anytime in recent history. Most Ohio cattlemen have improvised, in many cases by simply purchasing feed, utilizing alternative feed resources, employing a rigid culling program in their herds, or a combination of all of the above in an effort to get through until spring.
Mo. Beef Incentive: 10 cents a pound, here
St. Louis Today
Missouri beef producers will be eligible to receive a 10-cent-per-pound incentive — in the form of a state tax credit — if they put more pounds on their cattle in Missouri rather than sending them to out-of-state feedlots.
Mark Keaton: Be on guard; grass tetany season nears
Beef cattle producers can expect grass tetany to become more of a threat to animals as soon as green grass begins emerging in pastures.
Tetany isn’t unique to poorly run cattle and forage operations. It often occurs on better-managed farms, where the soil gets high rates of nitrogen and potassium from poultry litter or commercial fertilizer.
Grass tetany typically occurs in mature, lactating cows. It more commonly affects cows that are slightly over-conditioned and would likely be referred to as the “best” cows in the herd. However, it also can affect cows with a very poor body-condition score that are excessively thin. Younger animals in the herd rarely have problems with this disease.
Beef on Every Plate
New Billings Outpost
Montana has 47,000 families who often go to bed hungry. There are 314,000 Montanans, from infants to the elderly, who often are malnourished. Ten percent of Montanans over 60 are hungry and approximately 45 percent of the hungry live in rural Montana. This state of affairs is unacceptable and unless more is done the problem may worsen.
Presently, the economy seems to be heading toward recession, foreclosures are at an all-time high, unemployment is rising, fuel costs are at historical highs, the inflation index for the month of December is at a one month all-time high, and the trade deficit for 2007 will be $800 billion.
Since 1998, 3.3 million jobs nationwide have been outsourced. What this means to ordinary hard-working Montanans is tougher times for all.