Daily Archives: May 7, 2008

Video Feature: Tennessee, Kentucky Beef Producers Enhance Cattle Marketing

Video Feature: Tennessee, Kentucky Beef Producers Enhance Cattle Marketing

University of Tennessee

As the years go by, one thing remains constant in Tennessee agriculture – beef cattle farming is our number one commodity. Tennessee farmers are joining with producers from a border state to enhance markets and improve their overall product.

The Politics of Ethanol Seem To Be Changing – A Little

The Politics of Ethanol Seem To Be Changing – A Little

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

Even though ethanol has been the primary driver in our industry the last couple of years, the beef industry has always been on the outside looking in on the debate. It makes issues like BSE, country-of-origin labeling, industry consolidation and international trade seem trivial by comparison.

Initially, the argument seemed to be over whether ethanol made economic sense, the answer to which is obviously “no” or it wouldn’t require massive subsidization. So ethanol advocates argued that it might make sense down the road, which ethanol opponents couldn’t much refute. It seemed that ethanol’s support came from the no-harm, no-foul mentality – while it might not help, it’s preferable to pay U.S. farmers than sheiks in the Middle East.


High quality forages are important for cattle producers

High quality forages are important for cattle producers

Jennifer Bremer

High Plains Journal

High quality forage is important to all producers, but determining how to get the high quality forage is different for all producers.

Gary Zimmer, president of Midwestern Bio-Ag, a biologically-based agricultural consulting company based in Wisconsin, spoke to a group of cattle producers at a grazing conference held in Sioux Center, Iowa, recently.

“As we move agriculture into the 21st century, we remain biological farmers,” he said. “Our goal is to mineralize and balance our soils to provide healthy food and feed, and sustain healthy, profitable farms.”


Now is time to plan for summer forage

Now is time to plan for summer forage

Rusty Evans

Leaf Chronicle

Last year’s drought showed many cattle producers that summer is a critical time in a cow-calf operation.

Droughts can be devastating to the feed supply. Late April and May are the months to start working on your summer forage production.

If you wait until summer is here, you have waited too long. You can’t depend on tall fescue/orchardgrass pastures to provide much forage during July and August.

Start thinking about planting a few acres of grass that will provide production during the summer. These grasses are generically called warm-season grasses.


Got calving problems?

Got calving problems?

Fond Du Lac Reporter

Ahead of calving, your dry cows look great, only to have several fresh cows develop complications within a few days post partum.

What to do?

You’ve analyzed your forages and balanced the dry cow ration in hopes that your cows would transition through calving with minimal problems. With all the fresh cows you calved this winter, you were expecting to increase your milk production so you could pay cash for a substantial amount of your spring crop inputs, especially this year with fertilizer prices going through the roof.


Fertilizing Forages Probably Still Pays

Fertilizing Forages Probably Still Pays

Hay and Forage Grower

Fertilizing hayfields and pastures might still be a paying proposition given today’s high hay prices, says Eric Peterson, a University of Wyoming extension educator in Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton and Uinta counties. Hay growers have asked if it makes sense to apply high-priced fertilizer to hay meadows, he says.


Drylot Feeding For Beef Cows

Drylot Feeding For Beef Cows


Conventional wisdom tells us that low-cost cow/calf operations are frequently characterized by minimal use of harvested feedstuffs. Letting cows harvest more of their own feed, through combinations of warm- and cool-season pastures, annual forage crops, and extensive utilization of field crop residues or stockpiled grass, can typically result in significant savings in the total feed bill.


Use annual forages to enhance limited grazing, hay supply

Use annual forages to enhance limited grazing, hay supply

Aberdeen News

Much of North Dakota has received limited rainfall, creating a need for additional forage for haying and grazing. One option for adding forage to your operation is planting an annual forage crop.

Deciding what forage to plant becomes your next question. Since planting will occur in mid to late June, warm-season forages remain the primary option for this spring/early summer and include sudangrass, sorghums, pearl millet and foxtail millet. Late summer options for fall grazing include ryegrass and triticale. When selecting a forage type, you must decide when you want to harvest and if you need pasture or hay.


Ethanol waiver bid won’t help food costs

Ethanol waiver bid won’t help food costs

By Elliott Blackburn

Lubbock Online

Texas-based efforts to curb food costs won’t do much to lower the price of a meal this summer, agronomists warn.

Gov. Rick Perry and a group of U.S. senators, including Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to put a process in place to waive large amounts of ethanol that federal law requires be used over the next decade to help ease the fuel’s demand on corn.


Sowing the seeds of pasture renovation

Sowing the seeds of pasture renovation

MIKE MILLER OSU Extension Medina County

The Gazette

Like many Ohio farmers, livestock producers looking to re-seed or renovate their pasture paddocks after last year’s drought and wet winter are facing high input and seed costs. Ohio State University Extension educator Rory Lewandowski offers a variety of management strategies to help producers ease back into productive forages this spring.


Timely Calving Tips

Timely Calving Tips


Spring-Calving Cow Herd

Schedule spring or “turn-out” working in late April or early May – at the end of calving season and before the start of breeding season. Consult with your veterinarian about vaccines and health products for your herd.


JBS Swift CEO to address Nebraska Cattlemen

JBS Swift CEO to address Nebraska Cattlemen

Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

Nebraska Cattlemen issued a press release Tuesday saying JBS Swift President and CEO Wesley Batiste will address the group at its Midyear Meeting on June 13th. That announcement came just a day before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Anti-Trust holds a hearing on the proposed acquisition by JBS Swift of Smithfield Beef, National Beef and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, the nation’s second, third and fifth largest beef processors, respectively.

Michael Kelsey, Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President, told Brownfield the appearance at the group’s Midyear Meeting isn’t the first time Batiste has reached out to Nebraska Cattlemen. He said Batiste made a point of asking to attend the Nebraska Cattlemen reception at the Cattle Industry Convention earlier this year in Reno.


Governor signs bovine TB legislation

Governor signs bovine TB legislation

Thief River Falls

Monday, May 5, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed legislation strengthening the state’s efforts to eradicate bovine Tuberculosis (TB) from beef cattle and deer in northwestern Minnesota. The bill provides the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) with expanded regulatory authorities and funding to implement a bovine TB eradication plan in northwestern Minnesota.

As part of the plan, BAH will increase livestock testing, tighten restrictions on animal movement, provide cost-share assistance for fencing in certain areas, and offer a “buy-out” option to livestock owners in the disease management zone. In addition, the legislation directs that a per-head assessment be collected on all cattle sales in the state between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2009. The funds are to be collected by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), for the purpose of helping fund bovine TB control activities.

Top 10 Things You Can Do To Make Calving Season Easier

Top 10 Things You Can Do To Make Calving Season Easier


The first four items on my top 10 list have to be done the previous year to ensure a successful calving season. As we strive to improve the beef operation over time, it’s never too early to be thinking about the next calving season.

1. Use light birth weight (BW) bulls with appropriate BW and calving ease expected progeny differences (EPDs) for replacement heifers. Granted, you might say it’s too late to worry about that now. To that I say, “yes and no!” Yes, it’s too late for this upcoming calving season, but the spring bull sales are just around the corner, and now is the time to think about subsequent calf crops. Light BW bulls allow a first-calf heifer a better chance of calving unassisted.


Higher costs may force industry to downsize nation’s cow herd

Higher costs may force industry to downsize nation’s cow herd

Escalating feed prices putting profit pinch on all segments

Ada Evening News

Mark Parker

There’s more than one potential path to better beef prices but the most likely road is the one that leads to offering consumers fewer total pounds of product but at higher prices, according to James Mintert.

And that, the Kansas State University economist said, means the beef industry will contract—fewer cows and, probably, fewer cowboys.