Daily Archives: July 1, 2008

A Strategy To Survive

A Strategy To Survive

As the beef industry struggles, this Texas cow/calf producer put a plan in place to stay in business.

Del Deterling

Progressive Farmer

According to some experts, over the next few years the beef cattle industry will undergo some of the most dramatic changes in recent history. Greatly increased production costs, economic factors and environmental policies will impact the entire cattle industry, squeezing profits and forcing consolidation from cattle producers to packers.

The bottom line is there will be fewer players in the industry. E.C. Crump intends to be one of those remaining in the game.

With 400 Angus/Brangus cows at Henrietta, Texas, 20 miles east of Wichita Falls, Crump has outlined a plan he hopes will enable him to survive during a stagnant beef economy. And once economic conditions improve, he believes he will be in the driver’s seat to capitalize on new market opportunities.

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Super science creates super cattle

Super science creates super cattle

Report finds genetically engineered animals a benefit to public

 Codi Vallery

The CattleBusiness Weekly

Genetically engineered animals and public health may appear as an oxymoron in this article’s headline, but two medical and biology professionals say that isn’t necessarily the case. Scott Gottlieb, MD with the American Enterprise Institute and Matthew B. Wheeler, PhD, Institute of Genomic Biology say there is compelling evidence of benefits to health care, nutrition, the environment and animal welfare by using technology to genetically engineer animals.

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Black ink possible with cattle

Black ink possible with cattle

 Jeff DeYoung,
Missouri Farmer Today

Cattle feeders could find some black ink this fall if they are willing to play the market.

Shane Ellis, Iowa State University Extension livestock marketing specialist, says with fall fed cattle futures around $107 per hundredweight, producers may find some profitability.

“Those fall futures prices look pretty good, so if you can lock in your corn price, there is a chance you could lock in some profitability,” he says. “I think the futures may be overestimating prices right now and could well back off some, so if you are going to do it, I would jump right in now.”

Ellis says corn prices that are expected to approach $7 per bushel could minimize any profit-making. There could be some pricing opportunities for corn, he adds and much of that depends on the weather.

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Effect of Body Condition on Rebreeding

Effect of Body Condition on Rebreeding

William E. Kunkle and Robert S. Sand

University of Florida

The income and profit of a beef cattle operation is closely related to the rebreeding and reproduction rate of the herd. A 1986 survey of cattle producers in nine counties in central Florida indicated the number of calves sold was only 69% of the breeding age beef cows. Forty-eight percent of the 284 producers that responded indicated that nutrition was their biggest problem with reproduction and another 24% indicated that parasites were their biggest problem.

Nutrition and parasites were factors identified by over 70% of producers surveyed and both will affect the body condition of the beef cow. The body condition of the beef cow is related to reproductive performance and can be used by cattle producers to make management decisions. Grouping of cattle and the type and level of supplemental feed for maximum profit are decisions that must take body condition into consideration.

The purpose of this chapter is to review the relationship of body condition to performance, provide pictures of beef cattle representative of different body condition scores (BCS) and give a few examples of the use of body condition in making management decisions in your herd.

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Trent Loos: Pride of ownership

Trent Loos:  Pride of ownership

High Plains Journal

Here I sit in my “playground of mental gymnastics for food production” on another airplane. I am en route from Orlando to Omaha, returning from the 61st Reciprocal Meat Conference, which is sponsored by the American Meat Science Association and was hosted by the University of Florida, Gainesville. Ironically, I had the great opportunity of addressing over 600 meat scientists from around the nation and I did share a few of the airport conversations I have had on previous flights. The most common response I heard from attendees after my presentation was that most of them had passed on opportunities to tell people about meat science on their recent flights and I made them realize that they had missed a great “teachable moment.”

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HSUS Videos Engender Varied Emotions

HSUS Videos Engender Varied Emotions

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

If you haven’t seen the latest Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) video on YouTube, it’s probably worth viewing. It was shot at the Portales Livestock Auction in New Mexico.

Most cattlemen seem to go through a similar range of emotions upon viewing these videos. It starts with revulsion at the treatment of these animals, and anger that some people can put the industry in such a terrible position, followed by sadness over the bad perception that these videos engender among those with no other experience or exposure to livestock production. Next comes denial due to the fact all these debacles involve dairy cows, which constitute such a small portion of the population but produce an overwhelming number of the “black eyes” in animal handling and welfare.

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Hay Storing Considerations

Hay Storing Considerations

Dr. Bruce Anderson, Professor of Agronomy, University of Nebraska

Over one-fourth of your hay’s nutrients can be lost due to weathering between now and feeding next winter. To minimize these losses, begin by making dense, evenly formed bales or stacks. They will shed water better and sag less than a soft core or less dense package. Use net wrap or plastic twine spaced no more than four inches apart on round bales to maintain bale shape and provide a smooth surface that encourages water runoff.

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