The Cursed Comfort Zone
Here’s one of my favorite jokes:
A rancher is walking through his pasture one day and stumbles on a lamp. He picks it up and, just like the other stories, out pops a genie. The genie thanks the rancher for setting him free and grants him three wishes – one per year.
The rancher thinks for awhile before deciding that it’s been so dry the past few years that he wants lots of rain and belly-deep grass. Sure enough, the rains come and the grass is the best ever.
A year later, the genie returns and asks the rancher for his second wish. The rancher remarks that his current calf crop is the biggest, heaviest and stoutest he’s ever weaned. So he wishes for a six-weight market of $1.25/cwt. Sure enough, the market rallies and six-weight calves shoot to $1.25.
Students fight farming proposal
Students from Oldmans Township School are protesting Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s proposal to eliminate the state’s Department of Agriculture.
In a letter written to Corzine, these 12 students who call their group the “Inside Scoop,” expressed their displeasure with the governor’s supposed money-saving move.
“It’s New Jersey …we’re the Garden State,” said seventh grader Kyle Huntington. “Without the Department of Agriculture it’s pointless for us to carry that name. Don’t these people understand … with no farms how are we supposed to eat?”
U.S., Mexico, Canada announce OIE consistent trade standards for cattle
High Plains Journal
Officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico concluded a series of meetings March 27 that provided all three countries an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern affecting agriculture, food and trade.
On March 27, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz held the first meeting between the countries since full implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Jan. 1. And, the United States, Canada and Mexico announced protocols, effective tomorrow, to harmonize standards for the export of U.S. and Canadian breeding cattle to Mexico consistent with international standards.
Cattlemen urge Congress to OK Colombian trade
by Bryan Salvage
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association supports swift passage of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, as urged earlier this week in President Bush’s correspondence with Congress.
This trade agreement has significant economic, political and national security implications for the United States and for all nations in the Andean region, N.C.B.A. said in a press release. But cattle producers are also anxious to correct the serious inequities that exist between U.S. exports to the region and goods that the U.S. imports from Colombia.
Federal government downgrades Minnesota’s bovine TB status
The federal government has downgraded the state’s status for bovine tuberculosis, meaning the state’s livestock producers will have to spend more time and money to ship their cattle and bison out of state.
The new restrictions, meant to prevent the spread of the disease, take effect Wednesday. State officials had been gearing up for them since the discovery of another infected herd in February.
Handling violations found at 4 beef slaughterhouses
Problems persist despite big recall earlier this year
FREDERIC J. FROMMER
A federal audit of 18 beef slaughterhouses after the nation’s largest beef recall found humane handling violations in four of them, including one serious enough for the plant to be temporarily suspended.
The audit by the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service concluded that a plant was insufficiently stunning animals, failing to make them insensible to pain on the first attempt. That plant has taken corrective actions and its suspension has been lifted, said Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer. None of the plants was identified.
Cattle rustling in Mo. remains problem despite task force
Cattle rustling seems to have declined slightly but is still a problem in Missouri two years after Gov. Matt Blunt created a task force to deal with the issue, Blunt told a meeting of ranchers Tuesday.
Cattle experts say a trailer-full of stolen calves can fetch $12,000. A single 500-pound calf can sell for $600.
Blunt did not provide numbers for total thefts, but he said indications were that rustling has decreased. He said the hardest hit areas have been in southwest and south-central Missouri.
Pasteurella Disease in Beef Cattle 1
E. J. Richey2
University of FLorida
Secondary bacterial infections are caused by certain species of bacteria that wait around for an accident to occur. They are commonly found in the environment or in the animal, cause no problems, and only become a problem if certain tissues or functions in the animal become damaged or stressed.
The Pasteurella bacteria, as we know them in the United States, are just one group that fits this description. Pasteurella haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida are two bacteria that compound respiratory diseases caused by viruses and other bacteria. The two bacteria are normally found in the upper respiratory tract (nose, throat, & windpipe) of most cattle. Pasteurella infection of the upper respiratory is thus very common, even in normal healthy calves. Pasteurella infections are spread by inhalation of aerosol droplets, by direct nose to nose contact, or by ingestion of feed and water contaminated by nasal and oral discharges from infected cattle; hence the bacteria are easily spread between cattle, especially when calves are crowded (as in shipment) or closely confined (as in a dairy calf nursery). The animal’s normal body defenses keep the Pasteurella infections in check; the bacteria reproduce at a slow rate, float around in the mucus of the nose and throat, are destroyed by locally produced antibodies, and are easily removed by a clearing mechanism that is found in healthy animals.
NDSU: Protect Against Anthrax Now
As the season turns and Anthrax infection becomes prevalent, the North Dakota State University has decided to take an early opportunity to say: ‘now is the time to vaccinate livestock against anthrax’.
“In North Dakota, three things in life are certain: death, taxes and anthrax,” says North Dakota State University Extension Service veterinarian Charlie Stoltenow. “Producers should contact their veterinarian about getting their livestock vaccinated before turning the animals out for spring and summer grazing.”
Anthrax usually is a fatal disease in cattle or sheep, although it can affect all warm-blooded species, including humans. Animals generally develop the disease after grazing on infected pastureland.
Put out to Pasture
Region’s dairy, beef producers are learning that grass is indeed greener when they switch to
On a pleasant evening last September, more than 100 people gathered on Steven Weaver’s New York farm to see how his grass was growing. Quite well, it turned out, despite a drought that persisted much of the summer.
Clover, orchard grass, alfalfa, rye and other forage grew so thick it required effort to wade through them on the stroll up the hill to see the Amish farmer’s dairy herd contentedly chewing away.
Ideally, we would like to know the infectious agent of every disease case on the ranch. Certainly, this is a goal that we might move toward. However, even in the best of circumstances, that is difficult to achieve. Several vaccines are on the market that advertise protection for calves against infectious scours by vaccinating the pregnant cow, thereby boosting the colostral immunity of the calf.
Early Spring Has Been Volatile for Beef Market
The Farmer Stockman
The beef market seemed to be searching for its place among many economic factors during March and into early spring.
“Markets, to say the least, have turned volatile with no regard to any kind of historical perspective as we seem to be plowing new ground in all we do,” says J.D. Sartwelle Jr. of Port City Stockyards Co., Sealy and Brenham, Texas. “Crude oil or vegetable oils, feed, food, or ethanol grains, pork, poultry, or beef – a crippled stock market – a sagging economy, are all searching for their place in the new order that seems to be coming on us.”
The Many Costs Of Delayed Re-Breeding
Rebreeding delays can be one of the costliest issues facing a cow-calf producer. Beyond the obvious reduction in total weaning weight of the subsequent calf crop, overall value of these animals can be reduced, long-term reproductive performance depressed, and efficiency of the feeding program challenged.
If we assume a pre-weaning rate of gain of 2 pounds per head per day, simple math shows that for every day later a calf is born, its value at weaning is reduced by 2X market price. If, for example, poor body condition caused ¼ of a 100-cow herd to settle one cycle (21 days) later, the producer is going to see his returns drop:
(25% X 100 cows) X 21 days X 2 lb/day X $1/lb = $1050
What Will Happen if Things Really Get Bad
Hoosier Ag Today
You would have to have been living under a rock for the past year to not know that food prices are on the rise. Average increases in the US range from 5% to 8% with double digit increase on selected items. Considering the US has had some of the lowest food prices in the world for decades, this should not be the end of the world. Yet, judging by the reaction of American consumers, this is the worst thing that could even happen. The whining and gnashing of teeth hit a crescendo last week when the United Nations predicted food prices would stay high for the next 10 years.