Daily Archives: June 16, 2008



A big part of the cowboy culture is the music that celebrates the West; the trail drives, the danger and the romance of the life.

“…all day I face the barren waste without the taste of water…” “…tryin’ to catch the devil’s herd but they ain’t caught’em yet…” “…for hours he would ride on the range far and wide…” “…where seldom is heard a discouraging word…” “…we’re up in the morning at breaking of day, the chuckwagon’s ready, the flapjacks at play…”

What? Flapjacks at play? Are there signs posted on the perimeter of the chuckwagon warning: CAUTION…FLAPJACKS AT PLAY!


Purdue Web Page A Comprehensive Resource For Flood Victims

Purdue Web Page A Comprehensive Resource For Flood Victims

Hoosier AG Today

Purdue University Extension has assembled a comprehensive Web page with information and resources for Indiana flood victims. The Disaster and Emergency Management Resources page is linked to the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) Web site. The page is located at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/eden/disastertopics/floodstorms/index.html

The page also can be accessed from the Purdue Agriculture home page http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/

The Web page contains information on a wide array of flood recovery topics, said Bruce Erickson, a Purdue Extension cropping systems management specialist.”In the past few days we have been assembling flood recovery information on Purdue Extension‘s Emergency Management page,” Erickson said. “There are categories set up for homeowners, field crops, livestock, lawn and garden, and several other categories. Our goal is to make it as quick and easy as possible for people to find the information they need.”

Factors Affecting the Economics of Corn Co-Products in Cattle Feeds

Factors Affecting the Economics of Corn Co-Products in Cattle Feeds

Iowa State University

As the ethanol industry rapidly expands across Iowa and the Midwest, the supply of various corn co-products have become more abundant and available. Opportunities to reduce feed costs and improve profi tability of livestock operations are and will continue to be more plentiful by the utilization of these feeds. However, proper ration formulation, economic analysis and feeding management are important in developing the most cost competitive and profi table feeding system. Some of the factors that weigh heavily in decisions relative to co-product feed pricing and inclusion rates include nutrient value of the feeds, nutrient value of competing feeds, consistency of product, reliability of supply, consistency of pricing, transportation and storage losses. The effects of transportation and storage costs and losses become more important with wet feeds. These effects are also greatly infl uenced by storage methods and handling on the farm.


Beef Checkoff Funded Hispanic Toolkit Makes Impact on Customers at Meat Case

Beef Checkoff Funded Hispanic Toolkit Makes Impact on Customers at Meat Case

The performance results are in for the Beef Checkoff Program’s newly developed beef checkoff-funded Hispanic Toolkit … and they’re excelente (great)!

With 44.3 million people, the Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States and is growing faster than any other ethnic group. To best reach Hispanics and address their shopping needs, the beef checkoff developed a Hispanic Toolkit, designed to help supermarkets to better serve their growing Hispanic customer base by providing beef cuts and information needed to prepare authentic Latino dishes.


Cow Calf: Changing Expectations In The U.S. Economy

Cow Calf: Changing Expectations In The U.S. Economy


The shock waves of dramatically higher energy prices are reverberating through every corner of the U.S. and are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. The impacts are obvious in some regards and much more subtle in others, but are widespread and only just beginning to be manifested in many cases. There is a growing cry of hysteria-tinged voices asking how we will survive in a world of high energy prices.

A change such as this ultimately must lead to a change in the expectations of all consumers and producers. This process takes time and involves several stages. The first stage is one of assuming the impact is a short run shock that will soon pass. Consumers make no or very minor temporary adjustments in spending habits and accept the fact the costs are higher and the money does not go as far. Producers accept smaller returns and margins but make no significant changes in the production process.


Mindful meat, Manchester farm treats animals humanely, and that leaves a good taste in the mouth

Mindful meat, Manchester farm treats animals humanely, and that leaves a good taste in the mouth


Detroit Free Press

You notice the difference in Kris Hirth’s Old Pine Farm in Manchester the moment you turn into the dirt driveway — and have to swerve to avoid a chicken.

Poultry rules: The birds are sunning themselves in the grass, taking dust baths (wings flapping and dust puffing up as they chortle contentedly), pointedly ignoring the horde of barn cats that patrol the property.

Old Pine specializes in grass-fed meat, including beef, pork, chicken and emu. Hirth’s customers are mostly locals who, like 95% of Americans, eat meat — but want to be more responsible about the way they do it.


Pasture Management

Pasture Management

Western Livestock Journal

Change is here

It was an interesting week, to say the least. Corn shot well over $7 last week on the flood news and the USDA report lowering yield estimates by five bushels an acre, to 148 bushels, creating a carryover of only 600 million bushels. I suppose you could say the train has left the station and meat production will start to decline this next year causing prices to rise.

Cattle markets responded in a predictable way. Feeder cattle were down over $2 on nearly all contracts, but live cattle contracts were up sharply. April 2009 jumped over $114 and October 2009 was over $113. We may be poised to trade at a new level.

I was fortunate to spend some time with Wesley Batista, the CEO of JBS Swift last week. After an hour-and-a-half conversation, I felt pretty good about this outfit. At least they are thinking the right way and have no intentions of abusing producers.


NCBA Testifies at Fuel vs Food Hearing

NCBA Testifies at Fuel vs Food Hearing


Thursday afternoon the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine the relationship between renewable fuels mandates and food prices. President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Andy Groseta told the panel that – cattle producers have always depended on the free market to drive their business. But now – NCBA feels it is time to level the playing field and allow market forces rather than government intervention guide the production and use of ethanol.


Pilot program expanded to help farmers understand on-farm wildlife management

Pilot program expanded to help farmers understand on-farm wildlife management


Peace Country Sun Writer

Farms can be places where wildlife can flourish, given a commitment to protect them. To assist farmers, Ducks Unlimited has expanded a pilot project, known as Natural Advantage: The On-Farm Wildlife and Biodiversity Planning Service, into a permanent program to help farmers understand how to conserve their land and the creatures that live there.

The free program gives farmers a report into the habitats present on the farm and steps that could be done to protect wildlife.

Fear of diseases, competition drive global concerns of U.S. beef

Fear of diseases, competition drive global concerns of U.S. beef


The Kansas City Star

South Korea’s hamburger revolution — which drew tens of thousands into Seoul streets and almost toppled a government last week—wasn’t just about the fear of U.S. beef.

Protest cries rose because of a poor economy, bungling officials and U.S. influence as much as killer rump roast.

Still, Korean worries about mad cow disease triggered the demonstrations. That, in turn, shows how tough it has become to peddle American food abroad.


Americans are eating bison again

Americans are eating bison again

Catherine Tsai

Daily News

Susan Popp was a manager at Hewlett-Packard and her husband, Peter, was a pilot at the Air Force Academy when they decided to become bison ranchers.

Now the U.S. bison industry is trying to encourage more people – be they veteran cattle ranchers or newcomers like the Popps – to start raising the animals to help meet growing demand nationwide.

“People understand the health benefits of bison. More people are trying it,” said Susan Popp, 42. “It’s not quite so exotic.”


Stanislaus County ranchers feeling drought’s financial pain

Stanislaus County ranchers feeling drought’s financial pain

Modesto Bee


Drought has done an estimated $12.9 million worth of damage to Stanislaus County’s beef industry since last fall, a county official said Friday.

The shortage of rain has stunted grasses on the county’s 349,000 acres of nonirrigated grazing land, Agricultural Commissioner Gary Caseri said.

This has reduced the weight gain that ranchers had expected in the cattle, so they are making less money from meat processors. Ranchers also have had to spend money on supplemental feed and other costs.


Comparing Storage Methods Of Big Round Bales

Comparing Storage Methods Of Big Round Bales


Fuel and labor costs have made hay baling an increasingly expensive chore. Harvesting and storing quality hay will be as important in today’s economic environment as it has ever been. Once the hay is harvested, keeping maximum energy and protein stored for winter feed will help make the best use of the haying expense.

University of Tennessee extension specialists conducted a trial to compare different methods of storing large round bales of grass hay. The hay was cut and baled in June in Moore County, Tennessee.


Cattle Handling Techniques, Demonstrations Planned for Beef Cattle Short Course

Cattle Handling Techniques, Demonstrations Planned for Beef Cattle Short Course

Texas A&M

Cattle-handling, safety and chute-side work will be featured at the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course Aug. 4-6 in College Station.

“The highlight of the Wednesday morning ( Aug. 6 ) cattle demonstrations will be a discussion on low-stress cattle-handling principles and techniques by Curt Pate,” said Dr. Ron Gill, Texas AgriLife Extension Service livestock specialist.

“He’s a well respected stockman from Montana,” Gill said. “He’s a rancher that understands the importance of production efficiency and the economic benefit of handling cattle correctly.”

The short course educational sessions will have a mix of information, addressing current beef industry issues and providing fundamental information on basic cattle management, said Dr. Jason Cleere, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist and conference coordinator.