Monthly Archives: July 2008

Keep Toxic Plants From Livestock

cattlenetwork.com

Summer can often mean dry conditions in pastures, despite the amount of rainfall earlier in the season. Especially if grazing unimproved bluegrass pastures, there can become a general lack of forage available and there may be more temptation by the livestock to feed on toxic plants that may be present as weeds. Livestock would not normally readily eat most of these plants, but under dry or overgrazed conditions, they may try to find more succulent feed.

Plants such as white snakeroot and nightshade growing in pasture areas can be toxic.

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JBS May Buy Rivals as Their Margins Decline, UBS Says

Alexander Ragir

Bloomberg

JBS SA gained in Sao Paulo trading after UBS AG said the world’s biggest beef producer may purchase Brazilian rivals because rising cattle prices have left them vulnerable.

Margen, a Brazilian meatpacker controlled by Mauro Suaiden and Geraldo Prearo, missed a payment this month on 169 million reais ($107.3 million) of bonds that may trigger a change in ownership, Valor Economico newspaper reported yesterday. Margen has been hurt this year by rising cattle prices and the European Union restrictions to Brazilian beef, Valor said.

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New Extension guide discusses custom feeding

Tri State Neighbor

A new publication from South Dakota State University discusses custom feeding arrangements for cows.

It includes a spreadsheet to help producers calculate their variable costs and fixed costs for wintering cows. SDSU Extension Extra 5042, “Custom Beef Cow Wintering/Dry Lot Cost,” is available at http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx5042.pdf.

Additional SDSU spreadsheets, budgets and management tools are available at an SDSU Economics Department Web site, http://econ.sdstate.edu/Extension/otherlinks.htm.

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Country-of-origin labeling to take effect Sept. 30

Megan Parker

The Country Today

Two months remain to comment on mandatory country-of-origin labeling, which takes effect Sept. 30.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an interim final rule July 28. It requires retailers of meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts and ginseng to label the product’s country of origin.

The rule was part of the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. The 2008 Farm Bill added chicken, goat, macadamia nuts, pecans and ginseng to the list of products that require labels.

Country-of-origin labeling for fish and shellfish took effect in October 2004.

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Cattle take to really slow lane

Seattle Post Intelligencer

A stretch of Interstate 84 is the really, really slow lane once a year.

A Morgan County family drives its cattle from one ranch to another annually and there is no getting around the freeway, which the cattle trod for about half a day as the ranchers control traffic.

The Utah Department of Transportation doesn’t like it, and neither does the Pentz family, but they say there are few other options.

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Farmers pass on rising expenses

Joe Napsha

TRIBUNE-REVIEW

For the past two years, Sewickley Township cattle farmer Regina Carpenter said she and her husband, Derwyn, have absorbed the rising costs of fuel and feed, but they can no longer afford to hold the line this year.

"This summer is the first year we were not able to hold back on raising prices. People don’t realize how the cost of (diesel) fuel has affected all farmers," said Carpenter, who sells beef from the cattle the couple raise on their Shaner Valley Farm Inc. The couple, who raise about 45 cattle on their 92-acre Westmoreland County farm, grow the corn and hay feed for their animals.

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Pasture profits: Cattle producers learn how to manage forages, springs

Clinton Thomas

St. Joe News

With profits tightening in the beef industry, cattlemen are on the lookout for new ways to maximize production on their pastures.

Producers from Andrew County braved the rain for a pasture walk for this reason Tuesday evening at Johnnie Hubach’s farm northeast of Whitesville. The cattlemen compared notes on topics like spring development, weed control and even a forage measurement system developed in New Zealand.

The group initially gathered at a spring that Mr. Hubach had converted into a water source for his cattle. With a concrete pipe, a pump and 1,350 feet of electrical cable, Mr. Hubach can move water from a 2,000-gallon storage area 13 feet deep to any one of seven watering sites for his cattle. Such easy water access takes a lot of the guesswork out of pasture rotation.

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By the Numbers, EPDs and what they tell us

Sally Northcutt

Angus Journal

Sometimes, in our attempt to always access and use the most current information or understand the latest in decision-making tools, we take for granted that all who read this column on a monthly basis have been exposed to the basics of animal breeding tools. It may seem redundant to say that an expected progeny difference (EPD) predicts “differences” in how future progeny are expected to perform. Yet a commonly asked question received in the Performance Programs Department at the Association regarding EPDs is “what will the calves weigh?”

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Watch Your Withdrawal Periods

cattlenetwork.com

Do you know what the withdrawal period is for the various animal health products that you administer to your livestock?  For that matter, do you know what a withdrawal period is established for?

As livestock producers, we are the first line of defense in ensuring that the American meat supply is a quality, wholesome, and safe product.  To help meet that goal, withdrawal periods have been established for many of the animal health products that are used in livestock production.  This is a period of time beginning with the administration of a pharmaceutical product and lasting a set length that has been pre-determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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$37 Million To Pen Up Excess Wild Horses?

Robert M. Thorson

Hartford Courant

Wild horses: Let’s kill ’em.

That’s my opinion, based on a recent spate of articles and blog postings about the excess population of so-called wild horses on our federally owned Home on the Range. The Bureau of Land Management, which has the responsibility for managing these "feral equids" on publicly owned land in 10 Western states, hopes to euthanize those it can’t find the money to take care of.

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Farmers try to shrug off rising fuel costs

BRIGITTE RUTHMAN

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Farmers who are typically fatalistic about bad news like a wet growing season are trying to shrug off rising fuel costs.

Although the ripple effect of higher petroleum costs has inflated the cost of just about everything from animal feed to utility costs and plastic packaging, farmers here are banking on a strong consumer demand and higher sales volume to offset a shrinking profit margin.

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States help graying farmers find successors

STEVE SZKOTAK

Seattle Post Intelligencer

Mike Cullipher used to juggle his farm chores and a full-time job, working 275 acres on nights and weekends. Now he’s trying to make a go of it as a full-time farmer, and he’s wondering about his father’s plans for the property.

But when he asks 73-year-old Louis Cullipher, who is still active on the Virginia Beach farm, how he will divide the business among his three children, "He just puts his hands up and says ‘we’ll talk another day,’" the younger Cullipher says.

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Proving beef’s worth

By Miranda Reiman

People often measure value by their expectations. 

The bargain bin toolsets are OK for folks with occasional need, but your own shop bench is lined with Snap-On® and Craftsman®. After all, they have to stand up to a lot of heavy use.

You might buy a set of dishes at the “dollar store” because they’ll last long enough for your teenager to get through college, but your cupboards are stocked with those from a brand-name department store.

The bottom line is, you’re willing to pay more for an item if you know it’s worth it. 

Even a routine Saturday night out on the town could illustrate that point. Buck’s Steakhouse might be a bit pricier than the local drive-in, but the food and atmosphere keep you coming back. 

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Beef Queen mixes faith, showing cattle — ‘it’s a lifestyle’

KAREN CAMPBELL

Wapakoneta Daily News

Not that the 2008 Auglaize County beef queen would want to or had to, but she finds it hard to imagine herself doing anything else.

Sarah Wireman, the 19-year-old daughter of Millie and David Wireman, of Waynesfield, grew up in a family where showing steers weighing more than 2,000 pounds was the norm. Her mother and father showed steers when they were their daughter’s age. In fact, that’s how the  couple met.

Showing steer came naturally as they were raising their children, including Sarah, her fraternal twin sister, Laina, and their older brother Drand, 24.

Sarah’s grandfather, R.L. Miller, also served as a big influence in the family’s involvement in cattle.

Starting when they were 8, Sarah and Laina, began showing feeder calves in the open show at the Auglaize County Fair. The following year, as 9-year-olds, the girls were showing 1,200-pound steers in the Market Steer Show.

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Cow Calf Production Costs Skyrocket, Record Cattle Feeding Losses

cattlenetwork.com

As in all of animal agriculture, pro­duction costs have risen sharply in the cattle sector, primarily as a result of rising feed costs. For example, in the cattle finishing sector a monthly survey of commercial cattle feedlots by Kansas State University indicates that the cost of gain increased from an average of about $0.54 per pound in 2006 to $0.74 in 2007 and prelim­inary estimates indicate feedlot costs of gain will average well over $0.80 per pound during 2008, an increase of 54% in just two years. Cattle feed­ing returns estimated by Iowa State University indicate cattle feeders ex­perienced the largest loss on record ($167 per head) during April since the series began in the 1960s.

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The Supply Debate And The National Elections

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

This debate over supply (discussed in the item, “Demand, Not Supply, Is The Key In The Short Term,”) is now front and center in national politics and promises to be for quite some time.

It also explains why the environmental movement has had such anti-capitalist leanings at its core. The chasm between business/standard of living and radical environmentalism will only continue to grow.

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Carcass Ultrasound 101: Ultrasound vs. DNA Testing: Carcass Tools, Not Choices

Patrick Wall, Director of Communications, The National CUP Lab

American Chianina Journal

At first glance, it might seem impossible for a person entrenched in ultrasound to publish any article about DNA testing without sounding biased toward ultrasound. Breeders often consider the two technologies as bitter rivals fighting for the same prize. However, a more in-depth look at each carcass tool reveals that ultrasound and DNA rarely compete directly with one another. Each technology can be aimed at the same genetic “question,” but give entirely different “answers.” Breeders and bull buyers alike need to be aware of what the results mean, not just what they say. In some cases, breeders may be spending money on technology for information their customers don’t want, and buyers may be placing unneeded emphasis on a trait that is not adding to their bottom line. Contrary to what some may believe, carcass ultrasound and current DNA technology can be harnessed together to assess the true genetic value of beef cattle.

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Bovine leukosis — BLV

Rick Rasby

Angus Journal

I receive a number of questions about bovine leukosis or bovine leukemia virus (BLV) every year. This disease has implications for trade with Canada and other countries and can cause minimal to moderate health problems in infected herds. The virus is very common in U.S. herds, and many herds have from a few to most of the cows infected with the virus. The virus does not cause disease in humans and is not associated with leukosis or leukemia in people.

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Development programs add value to females.

Sara Gugelmeyer

Hereford World

It seems everyone is handing out  tips for marketing feeder calves,  but what about females? After  all, if you choose to retain females  to develop and sell, inputs are going  to continue to climb. And increased  inputs mean marketing is even  more important to ensure a profit.  The decision to either sell heifers  as feeders or keep them to sell as  replacements can be a tough one.  And even tougher may be deciding  how and when to market them.

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USDA Takes Action On Mandatory Country Of Origin Labeling

cattlenetwork.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today issued an interim final rule for the mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) program that will become effective on Sept. 30.

The rule covers muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal), lamb, chicken, goat, and pork; perishable agricultural commodities (fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables); macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng; and peanuts — as required by the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills. USDA implemented the COOL program for fish and shellfish covered commodities in October 2004.

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