Daily Archives: March 26, 2008

South Saint Paul Stockyards to close

South Saint Paul Stockyards to close

—Facility was once the largest in the U.S.

Western Livestock Journal

The Central Livestock Association (CLA), owner of the historic South Saint Paul Stockyards, recently announced that the facility will close its doors after one final feeder cattle sale on April 11, 2008. CLA plans to commemorate the event with a celebration honoring the truckers and patrons who have helped keep the facility operating for so long.

Founded as the South Saint Paul Union Stockyards Company in 1886, the stockyards have weathered a number of drastic changes in the livestock industry since the initial opening. The land was developed primarily for the feeding and yarding of livestock en route to slaughter, as well as providing adjacent lands for the operations of private packing houses and for the offices of livestock commission firms.


Trent Loos: Who is fooling whom?

Trent Loos:  Who is fooling whom?

High Plains Journal

I can say without one shred of doubt that the dynamics of agriculture in 2008 will be unlike anything I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Land prices continue climbing like there is no end in sight. Land sale representatives foster that by telling potential buyers the world food stocks are short and 6.5 billion people need to be fed. I would assume similar logic was used in justifying unsound loans from Bear Stearns which led to its buyout by J.P. Morgan for little more than a song. The promise of $5 corn, $10 wheat and similarly high soybean prices have people thinking that they can pay $10,000 an acre for land in places like Sioux County, Iowa and it will turn out well. Maybe so, particularly if our history doesn’t teach us anything.


Protein Supplementation, 1 + 1 Can Equal More Than 2!

Protein Supplementation, 1 + 1 Can Equal More Than 2!


Cattle make use of protein from two sources: dietary protein that “by-passes” the rumen and becomes available for digestion in the small intestine, and microbial cell protein (MCP), which forms in the rumen and is then passed on to the intestines as well. Dietary protein comes from forages and supplements; MCP is formed by the rumen bacteria using nitrogen from degradable proteins or nonprotein nitrogen (NPN) compounds in the feed, or from urea recycled to the rumen via blood and saliva. A primary goal of any feeding program is to ensure that this total volume of available protein is adequate to meet animal requirements – for maintenance, pregnancy, milk production, and/or weight gains. The drivers behind both dietary protein supply and MCP production are forage quality, forage intake level, supplement type(s) and feeding rate, and the interactions between these factors. As a result, we manage overall protein nutrition by being aware of the quality of the roughage being fed, and then designing a supplementation program to match.


Grass Tetany Can Cause a Serious Grazing Problem

Grass Tetany Can Cause a Serious Grazing Problem

by: Twig T. Marston, Ph.D., Professor of Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University

Cattle Today

Grass tetany can be a serious cattle grazing problem. It is often associated with dramatic diet changes caused when cattle are allowed access to extremely lush, high quality forage. Early spring when cattle are turned out on wheat pasture, ryegrass pastures, and other lush, green forages is the usual initiation of disease onset. However, anytime cattle diets are suddenly switched from an extremely low quality forage (like long grazed crop aftermath) to a very high quality forage (like dairy quality alfalfa hay) grass tetany should become a concern. It is sometimes called “grass staggers”, wheat pasture poisoning, or hypomagnesemia. It is associated with an imbalance in the mineral components of blood serum with an especially reduced magnesium level. Stress seems to increase the likelihood of its occurrence, so things like frost, diet changes, and weather can complicate management for tetany.


Tips on basic cattle operations offered at Soils and Crops conference

Tips on basic cattle operations offered at Soils and Crops conference

By Murray Bishoff

Monett Times

Speculation aired that ethanol boom may run its course over next five years

Basic cattle marketing, economics of feeding cattle, and options available were discussed by Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with the Extension Service, at this year’s Soils and Crops Conference in Barry County, held recently at the Butterfield Community Building.


Three isn’t a crowd on cattle farms

Three isn’t a crowd on cattle farms


WCF Courier

POSTVILLE — Northeast Iowa cattle farmers are on a lucky streak.

According to Iowa State University statistics and local veterinarians, triplets occur in about one out of every 100,000 beef cow births. The odds of the calves all being the same sex are even higher: one out every 700,000.

Area farmers are lucky, but not that lucky.

A little less than two weeks ago, a purebred Hereford cow owned by Lenth Herefords just south of Postville gave birth to two bulls and a heifer. In late January, a cow owned by Keith Franck of Quasqeuton also had two bulls and a heifer.


Feed Byproducts: Economics

Feed Byproducts: Economics


The main factor producers should consider when using by-product feeds is economics. Producers should check with several brokers to determine the market price and nutrient profile of each by-product feed considered. Prices vary throughout the year, so a few phone calls can save several hundred dollars over the course of the year. Once a delivery price has been established, the next step is to calculate the true cost for using the by-product feed. A sample worksheet for computing the total cost of a by-product feed is presented in Table 1. For example, a producer is considering a by-product feed that can be purchased for $125 per ton delivered to the farm. If 23 tons are delivered, then the initial cost is $2,875. Interest costs equal $71.88 assuming an interest rate of 10 percent and that the load will be fed in three months. Shrinkage losses vary, but range from 15 to 30 percent for wet by-product feeds, 4 to 10 percent for dry feeds stored in a commodity shed, and 2 to 6 percent for the dry feeds stored in bins. If shrinkage and storage losses are maintained at 7 percent, an additional $201.25 is added to the cost. Extra time for handling the by-product feed can easily add another $50 or more to the cost. The total cost of the by-product feed is actually $139.05 per ton. Failure to include these costs does not provide the producer a true evaluation of the by-product feed’s potential for reducing feed cost.


When does veal become beef?

When does veal become beef?

The Sun –Sentinel

Q. When does veal turn into beef?

A. It turns out that there is no bovine bar mitzvah where the calf tells the congregation, “Today, I am a steer.”

Veal, according to Joe Smith, director of sales for Dutch Valley Veal, is the name given to meat from dairy calves that are about 20 weeks old and weigh about 475 pounds.

Veal can be viewed as a by-product of the dairy industry: Dairy cows must give birth annually to produce milk, but male dairy calves are of little use to dairy farmers — for the simple reason that they will never grow up to produce milk. Thus, most of these male calves are slaughtered for veal and never have the chance to mature into beef.


It’s Not Rocket Science

It’s Not Rocket Science

Tosha Powell

Angus Journal

Cattle get sick. It’s something most farmers know as inevitable. However, the most important thing a farmer or rancher can know is how to be better at managing it from happening. Sounds easy, right? Maybe it’s not such an easy task to accomplish, but with helpful tips from veterinarians and other farmers with the same herd situations, managing cattle to prevent diseases doesn’t take rocket science. .


Steer & Heifer Cattle Slaughter Weights Increase

Steer & Heifer Cattle Slaughter Weights Increase


So far this year, average livestock and poultry slaughter weights have been a mixed bag of some declines but mostly increases, even with surging feedstuff costs.  Recently, slaughter steer and heifer weights have been well above a year ago.  Slaughter hog and broiler weights also have posted year-to-year increases.  Lamb weights have been mostly unchanged from 2007’s.  The most noticeable decline has been in calf weights.

For the most recent 4-weeks of actual slaughter data reported by USDA (through the week ending March 8th), steer dressed weights ranged from 10 to 20 pounds above a year ago.  For the same 4-week period, slaughter heifer dressed weights were 13 to 20 pounds over 2007’s.  Cow and bull slaughter weights were both below a year ago.


Connors offers natural livestock workshop

Connors offers natural livestock workshop

Muskogee Phoenix

Connors State College will hold a workshop Saturday at its Warner campus to help cattle and goat producers profit from the demand for grass-fed beef and goat meat in Oklahoma and around the country.

Registration deadline has been extended to Friday morning. The $50 fee includes lunch.

Experts will share proven strategies for raising beef and goat meat on pasture and marketing these “natural” meats.


Deer populations create problems on farms

Deer populations create problems on farms

The Coalfield Progress

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported a record number of deer harvests for the 2007-2008 fall hunting seasons.

A total of 240,423 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia this past season, representing a 7 percent increase from the 223,775 reported killed last season. The game department also reported that the doe harvest was greater than buck kill for the first time since 1947, when the check station system was initiated.

While an increase in deer harvests indicates a healthy population, the animals can be devastating to farmers’ crops and orchards.


2008 National Junior Angus Show Set For July 13-19

2008 National Junior Angus Show Set For July 13-19


Angus enthusiasts across the nation won’t want to miss the 2008 National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), July 13-19 in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Iowa Angus and Junior Associations will host “Christmas in July” at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  The week-long event features the largest single-breed beef cattle show in the world, with more than 1,000 head of cattle exhibited by youth ages 9-21 years old—all members of the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA).

Youth will compete for top prizes in several divisions within the cattle show including bred-and-owned heifers, bulls and cow-calf pairs and owned heifers, cow-calf pairs and steers.  Youth also have the opportunity to enter steers in a carcass contest.


Where Have All The Poor Farmers Gone?

Where Have All The Poor Farmers Gone?

Hoosier Ag Today

Gary Truitt

Last week we celebrated National Agriculture Day. As we do every spring, we dusted off all the old clichés about how affordable our food supply is, how little of the food dollar goes back to the farm, and how important agriculture is to our community and our economy. We reprinted those informative placements for the countless Ag Day breakfasts that attracted those who already support agriculture and those others looking for a cheap breakfast. While agriculture has undergone some substantial changes in the past decade, the Ag Day message has not. While any day is a good day to talk about agriculture, the venerable message of Ag Day is outdated and, in some cases, may be doing more harm than good.

Let me give you an example. I have been hearing the phrase “rich farmer” a lot recently. This is a phrase used very seldom within farming circles. First of all because there are not that many rich farmers, and second when someone does make a lot of money in farming we call him “successful” or a “good operator”. The people who I have heard use this phrase are people outside of agriculture. My cab driver, my computer guy, and others have used the phrase as they talk about the high prices farmers are getting for their crops and how farmers are getting rich off of ethanol.


Keeping It Clean — Water, That Is

Keeping It Clean — Water, That Is


Agricultural Research Service

Scientist measures environmental factors in lake.Imagine going to dinner in your favorite restaurant, and having the waiter come to your table and ask, “Would you like a glass of water or your steak?”

No, that’s not a typo. Some folks have worried that we could be facing an “either-or” situation between cattle production and clean water supplies, because of the enormous amounts of manure that grazing cattle generate. And manure is only part of the equation; there’s also the fertilizer used to stimulate the growth of the grass that those cattle graze.