BQA program takes beef production, management science to market
By SHANNON RUCKMAN,
The Prairie Star
A new age is dawning in the Beef Quality Assurance program, where producers are not only participating for their more profitable operations but for the certified trust it develops with consumers.
“In the past, we did Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) for ourselves, as a health management program for blemish-free beef,” said Ryan Ruppert, NCBA BQA director, during the recent Montana Cattle Buy-ers Summit in Billings, Mont. “Now, we do it for the certified trust it has with consumers. We are doing something different to keep that trust and confidence in our product despite the contrary efforts of animal rights activists.”
Understanding cattle cycle allows ranchers to better market their animals
Farm and Ranch Guide
September may not be the best time to buy replacement heifers, but it is a good time to sell weaned calves.
At between $1.30 and $1.40 a pound, sellers were getting historically high dollar for their product. This is all just a part of what is termed the “cattle cycle.”
A roller coaster ride rising and falling according to supply and demand, the cattle cycle is an industry term used to describe the cattle market over a 10-year period. This year, 2006, brought cattlemen to the top of the cattle cycle, according to Errol Rice, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association.
Businesses to visit Russia
Representatives of two Montana companies that want to sell beef genetics in Russia plan a return visit to that country on June 16.
Stevenson Basin Angus Ranch near Hobson and Holden Herefords near Valier will be represented in meetings with Russian businessmen and a ranch owner. A member of the Montana Department of Agriculture staff will be part of the delegation making the eight-day visit.
The United States recently was authorized to export live breeding cattle and embryos to Russia.
Stock growers eye state animal ID
Wyoming ranchers could benefit from a state-wide animal identification program, according to assistant state veterinarian Jim Logan.
Logan shared his views on the much-debated issue Saturday at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association convention at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper.
“I’m here to talk about developing a Wyoming system that will be designed in Wyoming that will work for Wyoming, basically as an insurance program for our livestock,” Logan said.
Controversy over identifying livestock began when the U.S. Department of Agriculture began the National Animal Identification System, or NAIS, in an effort to identify the origins and trace the movements of livestock quickly in the event of a disease outbreak.
Cattle experiment expected to breed progress
Central Florida Future
Three UCF professors are conducting an experiment, discovering how to conserve Florida’s wetlands and its inhabiting cattle.
UCF professors John Fauth, David Jenkins and Pedro Quintana-Ascencio have worked with the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center in Highlands County for the past two years, evaluating different conditions on 400 wetlands.
Archbold Biological Station, a nonprofit, independent research facility, manages the MAERC. The station is funded through an endowment supervised by Archbold Expeditions, a nonprofit foundation established by Richard Archbold. The station is dedicated to long-term ecological research and conservation.
The experiments carried out by the professors consist of mixing factors into each wetland. By either fencing off wetlands (excluding cattle from feeding), allowing prescribed fires, or growing improved or semi-native pastures, the professors hope to find the perfect combination for preserving wetlands, while still allowing the cattle to thrive.
“Preg” Check and Cull Replacement Heifers Early
By Glenn Selk
Many Oklahoma ranchers choose to breed the replacement heifers about a month ahead of the mature cows in the herd. In addition, they like to use a shortened 45 to 60-day breeding season for the replacement heifers. The next logical step is to determine which of these heifers failed to conceive in their first breeding season. This is more important today than ever before.
As the bulls are being removed from the replacement heifers, this would be an ideal time to call and make arrangements with your local veterinarian to have those heifers evaluated for pregnancy in about 60 days. In two months, experienced palpaters should have no difficulty identifying which heifers are pregnant and which heifers are not pregnant (open). Those heifers that are determined to be “open” after this breeding season, should be strong candidates for culling. Culling these heifers immediately after pregnancy checking serves three very economically valuable purposes.
Fall calf marketing process should start now
Tim Petry, Livestock Marketing Economist NDSU Extension Service
The Prairie Star
Many cow-calf producers are finishing another successful spring calving season.
Thoughts of marketing those new calves in the fall may be far from their minds. However, spring is an ideal time to start the marketing process, even though the actual sales date is still months away.
Last fall, the range in prices for similar weights and grades of calves at the same sale was wider than at any other time in history. Northern Plains auction markets recorded $15 per hundredweight (cwt) or even greater ranges in prices. Fall 2008 price ranges could be even wider.
A group of 550-pound calves that brings $15 per cwt more than another group at a sale returns an additional $82.50 per head. Keep in mind that an additional $50 to $100 per calf may be the difference between profit or loss this fall. Trying to reduce costs by that amount may be difficult due to rising feed, fuel and land costs. So, selling calves near the top of the range rather than close to the bottom will be important.
Oregon version of USDA could boost cattle industry
Portland Business Journal
The state Department of Agriculture and Oregon State University could soon shake up the state’s $465 million cattle industry with a proposal to create a state meat inspection service.
Through the joint-venture Food Innovation Center in Portland, the groups earlier this year began surveying Oregon ranchers and beef processors about the idea. Depending on the response, beef industry officials could put a proposal in front of lawmakers early next year to create the Oregon-equivalent of the USDA seal of approval.
Corn prices batter beef
One day, the world may not be able to afford and enjoy a good steak.
That day may come sooner than you think given the high price of corn hitting local cattle ranchers.
“It’s affected me a great deal,” said Jim Miller, owner of Miller Feed Lots Incorporated in La Salle. “The bottom line is that it made food prices higher. Eventually there will be fewer cattle, less beef and higher prices.”
In 2005, a bushel of corn was only $2. Last month, the price exploded to $6.39 a bushel.
“You’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. I think prices are going higher yet,” Miller added.
Grazing Management 101: Know your cattle and your forages
Ryon S. Walker, U of M Extension Beef Team
The Prairie Star
This article is part one of a two-part series on grazing management. This article will focus on matching animal types to different forages and take a look at the grazing behavior of cattle.
Part two of this series will finish up by discussing grazing methods to compliment the good and the bad grazing behavior tendencies that cattle often have.
Understanding the nutrient requirements of cattle, based on their stage of growth and/or production, is crucial in today’s competitive and challenging industry.
Farm Service Agency: Livestock feed loss deadline approaches
Signup under the 2005-2007 Livestock Compensation Program and Livestock Indemnity Program will end at close of business July 18. There are no late-filed provisions.
The two programs provide aid to livestock producers who suffered eligible livestock or livestock feed losses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, because of a natural disaster.
LCP provides payments to eligible livestock owners and cash lessees who suffered feed losses or increased feed costs and it does include grazing loss but not hay losses in the field. The LIP, on the other hand, provides payments to producers who incurred the death of livestock because of a natural disaster.
Handling cattle in a relaxed way pays long term dividends
Farm and Ranch Guide
Looking for a way to improve the bottom line from your cattle operation and also cut down on your stress level? Well, a change in cattle management style might help both situations, according to recent research completed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
In their study, ARS scientists found that proper management of cattle helps to develop a calm herd, which can lead to several benefits in the long term.
The research was conducted at ARS’ J. Phil Campbell, Sr., Natural Resource Conservation Center in Watkinsville, Ga., on their herd of Angus cattle that was first established in the 1950s. Cattle from the ARS Watkinsville Center have been finished at the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity in Lewis, Iowa, where they are given disposition scores ranging from 1 to 5. A score of 1 means the calf is especially docile, while a ranking of 5 indicates it’s extremely rambunctious. In recent years, most of the Watkinsville cattle scores range from 1.0 to 1.9, and most are below 1.5.
Klaus Birkel: Plans For The Future Of Camp Cooley
He’s the top gun at Camp Cooley Ranch, a former pasta executive from Germany realizing the quintessential American dream of operating an American cattle ranch. Right away, you’ve got to think he’s a bit out of the ordinary.
In the late 1980’s, he sold the family pasta business and found himself at odds end in Franklin, Texas where he decided to get into ranching. Today, Camp Cooley Ranch is one of the nation’s largest seedstock operations. It grew to its current size because of the marketing acumen he picked up in Germany and some seriously hard work
Camp Cooley Ranch covers approximately 12,000 acres in East Texas about 100 miles northwest of Houston. He raised cattle, organized hunting parties, kept exotic animals and enjoyed the good life of a Texas rancher…until an exotic disease infected some of his animals and a subsequent USDA hold order caused things to come to an abrupt halt. He had to cancel two spring sales, a blow to his business.
Cattle Feedlot Tours Slated for June 16-19
A series of feedlot tours offering cattle feeders timely information on regulatory compliance, biosecurity and effective feedlot management will be held June 16-19 at four locations in Iowa. “Cattle Farming Matters: A Forum and Feedlot Tour for Cattle Feeders” will provide farmers with the information they need to grow their beef cattle farm responsibly and successfully, meet regulatory demands and enhance their cattle management skills.
Cattle feeders will also receive insight into capturing manure value, enhancing neighbor relations, identifying best locations for new facilities and understanding the economic incentives that make cattle feeding an attractive business option for Iowa farmers.