Daily Archives: February 14, 2008

Beef Cattle Water Quality

Beef Cattle Water Quality

Dan Grooms, DVM, Ph.D Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Michigan State University

There has been much unpopular press over the past few years on the effect that agriculture may have on water quality. Research is currently being conducted on maintaining water quality especially that which escapes agriculture enterprises. Unfortunately, we often get caught up in water quality leaving a farm and forget about the quality of water needed for efficient livestock production. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good time to review the importance of water in the maintenance of healthy cattle.


BeefTalk: Control Costs, But Don’t Sacrifice Bull Nutrition, Health and Genetics

BeefTalk: Control Costs, But Don’t Sacrifice Bull Nutrition, Health and Genetics

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Are Your Bulls Getting a Balanced Ration? Are Your Bulls Getting a Balanced Ration?

Cost management is critical and the obvious is not always obvious.

Cash costs are up a little bit or, some say, a big bit. However, the real answer is in the checkbook. Monitoring costs should be an ongoing process in all operations and any significant spike should be managed to minimize the impact.

However, the real costs can go unnoticed. If one is not careful, one can cut corners on things that really have significant impacts on production without having a significant impact on costs. One of those discussions could be on the cost of supplements or feed in general.


To Fertilize Or Not To Fertilize?

To Fertilize Or Not To Fertilize?


This winter locally, as we’ve cussed and discussed the cost of feed, fertilizer, land rent, machinery and anything else a farmer might purchase these days, one of the “cost saving” measures I’ve heard suggested is skipping fertilizer this year on hay and pasture land.

Are you skipping fertilizer on your corn ground this year too? I doubt it. If a recent soil test suggests you need fertilizer or lime on hay and pasture land, then don’t think for a minute it’s anything but voodoo economics if you don’t apply it to your hay lands either. After all, an “average” Ohio annual hay yield of 3 tons per acre removes the same amount of potash from the soil as a SIX HUNDRED (yes, that’s 600) bushel corn crop!


NAIS? Oink!!

NAIS? Oink!!

Paul Hein


What would lead a group of Amish farmers in Wisconsin to consider moving to Venezuela? Why are dairy farmers and ranchers in Michigan considering selling their herds? Why, NAIS, of course!

NAIS stands for National Animal Identification System. It was originally designed to protect exporters of beef from cattle disease by tagging the cattle, and thus, presumably, make outbreaks of animal disease easier to detect earlier. But the idea has been expanded to include all farm animals, including those not part of the food chain, such as horses, for example, kept on farms as pets, or llamas. Critics suggest that even cats and dogs will be included, eventually.

NAIS is voluntary, at this point – at least as far as the feds are concerned. However, individual states can make participation compulsory, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages them to do so. Wisconsin, for example, requires dairy farmers to register their farms, thus acquiring an ID number linked to a Global Positional Satellite monitoring system. Failure to register results in denial of a license to produce milk, thus effectively putting the farmer out of business. No wonder the Amish are considering a move to Venezuela! (However, they may be naïve to think that government in Venezuela is any less obnoxious than it is here.)


US hopes new S.Korea leader will end beef dispute

US hopes new S.Korea leader will end beef dispute


U.S. officials are hopeful that a lingering trade spat with South Korea will finally come to an end after the Asian nation’s new president takes over later this month.

An end to the feud over U.S. beef exports, crippled by South Korean restrictions for more than four years, would be welcome news not only for the U.S. cattle industry, but for other industries supporting a massive bilateral trade deal whose fate is tied up with the beef issue in Congress.


USCA offers their view of beef checkoff

USCA offers their view of beef checkoff

Jim Hanna, USCA Director, Checkoff Committee Chairman

The drums are starting to rumble in cattle country about making changes to the 20-plus year-old beef checkoff program, especially about raising the $1 per head fee that you and I pay every time we sell a critter.

Those supporting a 100 percent increase to $2 on every sale are trying to soften the sell by assuring producers that they will have a final say (vote) on any increase. I say let’s step back for a moment and look at some realities.


Selecting Stocker Cattle For Grid Marketing

Selecting Stocker Cattle For Grid Marketing


Retained ownership of cattle has become more popular for cow-calf producers and stockers throughout the southeastern United States. Many of these are sold as fed cattle on the cash market. However, to take retained ownership one step further; many producers are selling their cattle as beef through value-based markets. This trend has continued to grow and now more than half of the fed cattle are marketed through grid or formula pricing.