Keys to Ag’s Success
A vibrant U.S. agricultural economy needs just four main components: a strong, effective food safety system; a workforce of trained professionals, particularly a younger, up-and-coming generation of veterinarians that will practice on large animals; an animal identification (ID) system; and science-based decision making for trade agreements. That was the message of new U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer as he addressed the 300-plus crowd of attendees at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) annual meeting in Indianapolis, Ind., April 1.
Meat Quality and Animal Welfare
The quality of meat can be greatly altered in the last days, hours or even moments of an animals life. A small slip en route, slight dehydration, or too much exercise can all devalue the price of meat when it comes to market. Research has proven how seemingly unnoticeable levels of stress and exercise can have dramatic effects on meat quality, so how can we open our eyes to these problems?
Today, the issue of animal welfare has stepped out of the arena of just ethics; it has become an essential requirement of meat quality and one that producers and slaughterers alike must strive towards in order to improve the economic potential of their businesses.
Farm Credit Services Pledges Help for Flood Victims
Hoosier AG Today
Disastrous floods in south central and northern Indiana are creating hardships on farm families and their operations, and though it is too early to estimate the amount of agricultural damages and losses, it is clearly one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history. Officials at Ball State University estimate floods have caused more than $126 million in immediate losses. Their estimate centers on damages caused by flooding around the White and Wabash rivers alone. However, it does not include agriculture related losses. Prospects for future losses may be even larger because many farms have lost their growing crops – the source of their economic livelihood.
What Is Branded Beef?
A brand is a way to differentiate a product so that it stands out on the shelf, on the menu, in the market and, most importantly, in the consumer’s mind. A brand is built on attributes, those qualities or features that make the product unique and in turn provide a benefit to the person that buys it. Beef brands, in particular, are often built around attributes that relay benefits to the consumer in the way of health, taste, tenderness and food safety while being environmentally sustainable and animal welfare friendly. Providing a beef brand that relays the desired benefit to the consumer will create a unique need and demand for your product.
Gerald Davis Named Head of Product Development and Laboratory Operations at Pfizer Animal Genetics
Highly respected genetic researcher Gerard Davis has been named Head of Product Development and Laboratory Operations at Pfizer Animal Genetics. Dr. Davis will have global responsibilities for research and development of all new products in the Pfizer Animal Genetics portfolio.
“Gerard brings a strong background in genomics research, as well as the foresight to identify and develop the next generations of products our customers demand,” says Nigel Evans, vice president of Animal Genetics for Pfizer Animal Health. “His relevant research in beef genomic technologies, as well as the experience gained from co-founding and building a solid and successful genomics company, Genetic Solutions/Catapult Genetics, will be invaluable as we create and develop a market-leading portfolio of DNA marker-based products.”
Will the Market Ration Corn Use?
It hasn’t yet, but it’s not out of the question, says Gregg Doud, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association chief economist. And if it happens, it’s likely that cattlemen will bear the brunt.
Cattlemen operate in an inelastic market, he says, meaning that in the short term, the producer pays the price when there’s no replacement for a commodity such as corn. Feedyards are currently losing $100 million/week in equity on fed cattle, he says. “When the banker tells that feedlot that it’s over, what’s going to happen? We contract.” And at some point in time, he adds, the red ink running in the feedyard sector will flow into the laps of the cow-calf producer.
Targeting Cowherd Profitability
No matter how we define profitability — net cash income, return to family labor and management, return on assets — it is obviously a primary goal of every cow/calf enterprise. A key to maximizing profits is an understanding of what drives the costs and receipts behind these net returns. Recent summaries completed by several universities give insight into the relative impact that various expenses and production values have on an operation’s bottom line. This data can then be used to identify management strategies with the most potential to affect profitability.