Daily Archives: March 25, 2008

Baxter Black: I LIKE OIL

Baxter Black:  I LIKE OIL

I must confess I like oil and I like factory farming And I think factory health care is absolutely charming And factory education lets us school the huddled masses While Conoco and off shore rigs produce our natural gasses.

Factory transportation is a middle seat in coach It’s soccer moms in minivans, the thrifty man’s approach. If there ain’t no fancy Lear jet parked outside your bungalow It still means you can pack your lunch and stand in line and go!

I love the pharmaceutical who’ve given us new life From cancer cures to botox shots, reduced our stress and strife And doubled up our life span, though you hear them cursed a lot By the very ones whose world they’ve changed, I guess they just forgot?

Forgot that all the coal they hate gave birth to industry That heats our homes and gives us cars and opportunity And jobs, and time to stop and rest, take respite from the toil. We built a country, good and great, with blood and sweat and oil.


Black Ink: Worth doing it right

Black Ink:  Worth doing it right

By Miranda Reiman

Buy one, get one free! The pitches and semi-annual sale ads pop up in the media continuously. Everybody has a deal for you, the latest stuff at the “hottest” prices of the season.

You can see through the hype. First, it’s not a deal if you don’t really need it. Second, if it’s half off, maybe it’s half value.

The cattle business is in an age of thin margins and rising costs. You don’t want to pass up a chance to save some dough, but it’s no time to get swindled, either. Sometimes it really is this simple: “You get what you pay for.”

Cattlemen certainly don’t lack options for spending. In the categories of supplements, wormers and vaccinations, you can compare costs for hours on hundreds of products. You could take the easy way out and just use the cheapest one, but what if the price point says something about quality or effectiveness? Maybe you need to do a little research of your own.


Angus Association Launches Producer Priority Finder

Angus Association Launches Producer Priority Finder

Cattle Today

The American Angus Association® has created an online tool to help commercial cow-calf producers identify the most important management priorities for their individual operations. This interactive tool allows producers to assess where they are the strongest and weakest in their management strategies to determine where they should place their management priorities in order to increase profitability in their cow herd.

“We realize that there are so many management areas that effect profitability on the ranch. Some producers can control such as labor and herd health, and others that are some what out of their reach like the climate and economy,” says Ty Groshans, Association director of commercial programs. “The Prodcer Priority Finder allows producers to look at 15 management practices to evaluate where they might need to place more emphasis to make their operation more profitable.”


Cattle Raisers applaud added funds to fight fever ticks

Cattle Raisers applaud added funds to fight fever ticks

Crystal Bryant – Information Coordinator, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association

“Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association applauds the decision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make an additional $5.2 million available in the fight against cattle fever ticks,” said Jon Means, president of the beef producers’ organization.

“USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s decision to make additional funds available will help provide more resources in the fight against fever tick outbreaks.  Last summer, TSCRA requested that USDA release and the Office of Management and Budget approve $13 million for the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program.  We will continue the push for more funding.


K-State Beef Specialist Coming To UNL Extension

K-State Beef Specialist Coming To UNL Extension


A beef specialist has been hired as the director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Northeast Research and Extension Center at Norfolk. Twig Marston currently is a professor of animal science and industry and a beef extension specialist at Kansas State University. “We are delighted to have attracted Dr. Marston to this key academic leadership position for Northeast Nebraska,” said John Owens, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan vice chancellor of the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


Nebraska beef being branded for international markets

Nebraska beef being branded for international markets


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – College students have teamed up with state officials to create new logos and marketing materials to help sell Nebraska beef around the world.

The promotional materials were developed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln advertising students and the state Department of Agriculture.


Local cows make short journey to the dinner table

Local cows make short journey to the dinner table

Ryan Burns/

The Eureka Times-Standard

In “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” author Michael Pollan attempted to trace the history of a fast-food hamburger in reverse — a labyrinthine journey that led him from a California McDonald’s to a Kansas feedlot to the cow’s food source, an Iowa cornfield.

If you wanted to trace the history of a burger made from Humboldt Grassfed Beef, on the other hand, the entire journey could be made in a single day. By bicycle.

Cows born and raised in grassy pastures near


Fire destroys Cargill beef plant in Arkansas

Fire destroys Cargill beef plant in Arkansas


A Cargill Meat Solutions beef processing plant in Booneville, Arkansas, was destroyed by a fire that broke out Sunday afternoon and was still smoldering on Monday morning, a Cargill spokesman said.

No injuries were reported, but parts of Booneville were temporarily evacuated on Sunday amid concerns about leaking ammonia gas and heavy smoke.

“There was some welding work going on in one of the production areas of the plant and a fire broke out and got out of control. Everybody got out safely, but it did cause some disruptions in the city of Booneville,” said Mark Klein, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc.


Make Pasture Fertilizing Pay

Make Pasture Fertilizing Pay


Spring is approaching and cool-season grass pastures soon will green-up. As with other crops, grass growth is stimulated by fertilizer. With nitrogen fertilizer costing over 60 cents per pound this spring, though, producers may be asking whether it pays to fertilize pasture.

Our Nebraska research shows that you get one pound of additional calf or yearling gain for every pound of nitrogen fertilizer applied. However, this fertilization rule-of-thumb assumes that the amount applied is within our general recommendations, which are based on the potential amount of extra grass growth expected. This is affected mostly by moisture. It also assumes that your grazing management will efficiently harvest this extra growth.


A Missouri family raises beefalo as a low-fat alternative to beef cattle

A Missouri family raises beefalo as a low-fat alternative to beef cattle


The Missourian

Late afternoon sunlight slants across the pastures around La Monte, silvering millions of spider webs strung between blades of grass. The quiet countryside is interrupted only by the trails of dust that fly in the wakes of pickup trucks moving along the gravel roads.

On a farm close to town, John and Karen Fowler stand together in a field, surveying their herd. Black, white, spotted, short and tall, the animals form a motley group as they loiter in a muddy patch along the fence line.

Nolan, a beefalo, lives at Fowler Beefalo Farms in La Monte on Thursday.


Is one of the largest becoming too big?

Is one of the largest becoming too big?

Sarah Gustin


It is greed or just one good business strategy? (Wade Moser / ND Stockman’s Assn.) “How far do we go with this consolidation because you can’t turn the clock back.” JBS is the world’s largest meat packer and this Brazilan company may soon take the number one position in the United States

JBS is announcing its intention to buy National Beef and Smithfield Beef Group, which includes Five Rivers Cattling Feeding- the nation’s largest cattle feeder


Farming a vanishing practice in Beehive State

Farming a vanishing practice in Beehive State

By Dawn House

The Salt Lake Tribune

We’ve lost so much of it – and now state officials are asking Utahns to tell them what to do about saving remaining farmland.

    Farmers and city folks also are being asked to convey their opinions on agriculture’s contributions to the state.

    “We’re looking for your story about agriculture – what farming and ranching mean to you,” said Larry Lewis, spokesman for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

    For Jeanette Drake, farms mean fresh


Short Term Calf Removal

Short Term Calf Removal


Short-term calf removal is the term that describes the temporary physical separation of the calf from its mother. This removes the nursing stimulus from the cow for about 2 days. Removal of calves for 48 hours has shown to improve rebreeding rates of moderately conditioned (BCS=5) cows by 4-8%.   (See table 1.)  This improvement although, seemingly small in magnitude is large compared to the out-of-pocket investment. Short-term calf removal can be used at the beginning of the breeding season, or in the middle, or both depending on the labor situation.  Short term calf removal is not a powerful enough stimulus to “jump start” very thin cows.  Those that are in a body condition score of 4 or less may need to have the calves weaned completely to allow the cow to recycle early in the upcoming breeding season. The care of the calf during that 48 hours is actually quite simple. Most producers will make certain that calves have access to some “sweet” feed and plenty of fresh drinking water. The calves will eat very little during this time.


Getting Cows Bred Back

Getting Cows Bred Back


My newest toy is an MP3 player I received for Christmas. I often run it through the car stereo, but — to my son’s dismay — I am more apt to be playing cattle-related podcasts than music while I drive. I was recently listening to an interview with Dr. Stan Bevers, Texas A&M, who was discussing cow carrying costs. In rounded terms, that figure has jumped from $200 to $500 per year in a relatively short time frame. It really struck me that, in just a few years, our cows have lost any ‘wiggle room’ as far as annually earning more than is being spent on them.

If a female is to have any chance of representing a profitable investment, she first MUST breed back in a timely manner. Open cows certainly represent cost incurred without offsetting returns, and previous editions of CattleSense have dealt with the repercussions of delayed rebreeding: less uniform calf crops, lighter and less valuable calves at weaning, inefficient use of labor and feed resources, increased risk of breeding late in successive seasons. Every day calving date is pushed back represents 2 to 2 ½ pounds of marketable weaning weight.


Raising Cattle a Labor-Intensive Lifestyle

Raising Cattle a Labor-Intensive Lifestyle


It’s no secret agriculture plays a major role in all our lives. It provides food and fuel and a way of life for over three million people in the United States. Each farmer produces enough food to feed himself and 142 others. This week is Ag Week and each day we are shining the spotlight on agricultural leaders. KMEG 14 Farm Director dennis Morrice highlights the cattle industry.