A Tender Relationship with Beef
What makes people choose beef? This is the question that has recently been posed by the brand Certified Angus Beef (CAB) in their quest to discover what shifts 24 billion pounds worth of US beef from shelf to plate each year.
Beef: the nation’s favorite
“People who prefer beef over pork, lamb and poultry do so because of beef’s unique flavor,” says Gary Smith, Colorado State University (CSU) meat scientist.
Even though beef was approximately 31% more expensive than pork and 128% higher than chicken in 2007, consumers still turned to beef as a favorite.
What Do We Know About The Future?
What do we know about the future? The “easy” and only certain answer is simply that the future will be both dramatically different and yet strikingly similar. That isn’t an attempt to be clever, nor is it meant to restate the obvious.
One thing we know is the trend of industry consolidation that’s been occurring for the last 40 years will continue. For one thing, it’s the natural course for business and life, in general. Those endeavors that are most successful tend to grow and expand; those that aren’t as successful are generally absorbed by those that are.
Re-evaluate Traditional Postweaning Heifer Development
Barb Baylor Anderson
Traditional approaches to postweaning development of replacement heifers during the last several decades have primarily focused on feeding heifers to achieve or exceed a target weight to maximize pregnancy rates. But changes in cattle genetics, economics and research may suggest it’s time to re-evaluate those traditional approaches.
FULL STORY PDF
DDGS Boosting Reproduction Rates
A recent study has claimed that including dried distillers grains plus solubles (DDGS) to the diet of a heifer in late gestation can help boost her reproductive rate.
The study, conducted by researchers from the South Dakota State University’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences, was published in the Journal of Animal Science.
Chanda Engel, now with Oregon State University’s Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center, did the research as a graduate student under the direction of SDSU Extension Beef Reproduction Management Specialist George Perry and former SDSU Extension Beef Specialist Trey Patterson.
Disease of the respiratory tract is a major problem for cattle and it continues to cause serious economic losses for producers. Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) causes increased death losses as well as medication costs, labor, and lost production. Many different infectious agents may cause similar clinical signs. Multiple agents are often involved in the development of BRD.
What We Know About Fetal Programming
When managers of cow herds ponder nutrition programs, a primary concern is the fueling of optimum reproduction. Cow-savvy managers know that quantity and quality of feed sources infl uence the cow’s ability to breed in a timely fashion and deliver a healthy, vigorous calf. Producing that annual coupon is really tough when cow nutrition isn’t up to snuff.
And producers are often reminded of how important it is to provide adequate nutrition to cows during the third trimester of pregnancy. Most of an unborn calf’s growth occurs during that latter part of gestation, with about 75% of growth occurring during the last two months. The cow’s nutritional status during those later months of pregnancy also infl uences how quickly a cow’s reproductive system recovers postpartum and resumes normal estrous activity. It’s hard to get a cow ready to breed if she was in sorry shape at the time of calving.
FULL STORY PDF
Weaning – Keys To Success
Many producers are preparing to wean this year’s calf crop, and deciding when and how these animals will be marketed. A successful weaning / preconditioning program adds value to calves. It is then up to the producer to ensure that he is rewarded for this extra value.
Weaning management practices can improve a calf’s chances of successfully coping with future stress and disease challenges. Primary goals must be to get and keep calves on feed, enhance and manage the immune system, control stress level, and minimize exposure to pathogens. Payback comes in the form of better health and fewer treatments, lower death losses, faster gains, more efficient performance, and even potentially higher-value carcasses.
Rising Fuel Costs Force Cattle Producers to Focus on Efficiency
Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
Unless you have been completely asleep the last year or so, it is obvious that we now live in a very different economic environment. While all individuals and businesses have been affected by the changes, largely manifested by the world fuel situation and federal fuel policy that is faulty at best, few groups have been harder hit than the family farm and agriculture in general. Hardly a single input has not seen a very significant increase in cost over the recent year and most of it can be tied to the dramatically increasing fuel prices and what is being done to compensate for this situation.
Senate Presents another Farm Bill Plan
Senate farm bill conferees presented another farm bill proposal to House conferees Friday. Harkin described the offer as the 10-billion dollar package that’s basically been agreed to by both sides – and a 2.4-billion dollar tax package offset by farm tax reforms.
Ag shippers await next steps in U.S.-South Korea trade relations
Agriculture shippers are eager for Capitol Hill lawmakers to approve the pending U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement now that the South Korean government has agreed to accept imports of American beef products.
“While this is momentous news for the U.S. beef industry, it also clears one of the major obstacles to the approval of a formal free trade agreement between our two nations,” said Philip M. Seng, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, in a statement.
Once the free trade agreement is ratified, and the current 40 percent tariffs on U.S. beef are lifted, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects the country’s beef exporters to South Korea will save about $500 million a year in import tariffs. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the free trade agreement will increase U.S. beef exports to South Korea by $600 million to $1.8 billion.
Statement by Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer on South Korea Reopening Market to U.S. Beef and Beef Products in Line with International Standards
“Today’s announcement that South Korea has fully complied with international trade standards regarding beef and beef products is great news for America’s ranchers and beef industry. By allowing complete market access for U.S. beef and beef products from cattle of all ages, South Korea has made a decision that is based on science and in line with international guidelines. As a result of a constructive and steady dialogue, Korean consumers will again have access to safe, affordable, high-quality beef at a time when global commodity prices are tightening.
World Brahman Congress to be Held May 18-21
The World Brahman Congress is coming to the United States and specifically to Cowtown, May 18-24th. The event will be held on the grounds of the Southwestern Livestock Exposition and Rodeo, who have joined as title sponsors of the international event.
“We are pleased to bring Brahman breeders worldwide to Fort Worth and very excited that the officials of the Southwestern Livestock Exposition and Rodeo have joined as a title sponsor. We are looking forward to having Brahman breeders from more than 22 countries at the Congress,” remarked Dr. Kevin Bryant, World Brahman Congress chairperson.
Footrot – Fact Or Fiction
Footrot is only a problem when there are wet conditions. FICTION. While it is true that in wet conditions the skin around the hoof will soften and thin, allowing bacteria to enter, dry conditions also can lead to footrot. In dry conditions, mechanical injuries to the foot can happen easily and crowded loafing areas can lead to a concentrated amount of bacteria.
Cattle Industry Feels Heat of High Prices
The cattle industry is in a period of adjustment to the new realities of higher feed prices, lingering drought, shortage of forages, and the biofuels era.
Beef production in the first quarter of 2008 was up a surprising 3 percent and continues to rise by an even more troubling 7 percent so far in April. The sharp rise in production is probably attributable to heavy placements of feedlot cattle last fall. Those placements were up 9 percent from August through November. Why such heavy placements at that time? First, corn and other feed prices were much lower late last summer and into the fall. The average price received by farmers for corn in the August through November period was a mere $3.32 per bushel. High protein soybean meal at Decatur, Illinois averaged $253 per ton. Second, live cattle futures were overly optimistic. As an example, during the August to November 2007 period, the February 2008 live cattle futures averaged near $100 per hundredweight while the contract expiration price was about $93.