Daily Archives: July 3, 2008

Bill Bowman Promoted to American Angus Association® Chief Operating Officer

Bill Bowman has been named the American Angus Association Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. Bowman has been with the Association for 16 years and also serves in other leadership roles such as vice president of information and data programs, director of performance programs and president of Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI), a subsidiary of the Association. He began his tenure at the Association as a regional manager, traveling Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma, and later became the first director of commercial programs.

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Co-Product Storage To Optimize Ration Expenses

Josie A. Waterbury, Graduate Research Assistant, Darrell R. Mark, Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist, Rick J. Rasby, Extension Beef Specialist, Galen E. Erickson, Extension Beef Feedlot Specialist, University of Nebraska

The rapid growth of the ethanol industry in recent years has led to the formation of a new commodity market for ethanol coproducts. The variability in co-product prices over time and across markets suggests fundamental supply and demand factors are influencing prices. However, the relative infancy of these co-product markets presents cattle producers with the opportunity to benefit from seasonal price changes. Until recently, there was no means in which to arbitrage temporal price differences in coproduct prices because storage was not considered feasible. In the past two years, there has been a substantial amount of research devoted to methods of co-product storage (Erickson et al., 2008). Thus, livestock producers can now take advantage of seasonal price changes in co-products, similar to purchasing and storing grain.

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Cost Analysis: SDSU Release Beef Cow Budget

Thebeefsite.com

An updated resource from South Dakota State University can help producers manage feed costs that account for roughly half of the yearly costs associated with the cow herd.

 “All cattlemen need to take a close look at what they are feeding this year," SDSU Marketing/Farm Business Management Educator Heather Gessner said. “They also need to account for shipping costs and fixed costs as they analyze their operations. Profitability is going to be closely tied to efficiency due to the current grain and livestock market situations.”

“All cattlemen need to take a close look at what they are feeding this year,"

Gessner said producers can gain management insights by putting their current costs into the budget.

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KLA: Cattle Feeding Risk Analyzer Available On-Line

cattlenetwork.com

Kansas State University offers an on-line tool to help cattle feeders determine the potential economic risk in specific groups of cattle. Developed in part by K-State livestock economist Ted Schroeder, the Cattle Feeding Return Risk Analyzer uses basic information provided by the cattle feeder to calculate an expected profit or loss. Variables supplied by the user include date purchased, cattle gender, net in-weight, net feeder purchase price, feedyard location, interest rate and expected finish date.

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Pasture Monitoring 101

It is for every operation, large or small

Codi Vallery

Cattle Business Weekly

In the Great Plains there are two things that you do not take for granted. The amount of annual precipitation you receive and the amount of land available for livestock production.

Learning how to jointly monitor these two elements can help establish a management protocol for your beef cattle operation.

Charlie Orchard of Land EKG, a range monitoring, training and management consulting company in Bozeman, Mont., grew up in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming, a ranching area by any standards. In 1992 he began addressing issues that concerned him in regards to native rangelands – conservation by livestock operators and the public’s increasing emphasis on environmentally friendly practices.

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Bovine Growth Hormone and Climate Change

Rogue Pundit

A couple of months ago, I touched on the fact (here) that giving beef cattle growth hormones and antibiotics can lower their greenhouse gas emissions.  Faster growth reduces the amount of feed that the cattle require and thus the waste products that they produce.  Yes, there are also downsides to speeding the growth of cattle in this manner.  The subject makes for an interesting debate on the balancing of environmental concerns…at least when people aren’t cowering from the debate.

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Healthy animals mean healthy food

John Schlageck

High Plains Journal

The stereotypical image of the family farm complete with red barn, a few layers (chickens) scratching in the yard, some pigs wallowing in the mud and contented cows chewing their cuds in the field isn’t commonplace anymore. Neither is the farm as a sterile, mechanized emotionless "food factory" an accurate picture.

Today, raising livestock on the farm or ranch is a dynamic, specialized profession that has proven one of the most successful in the world. Only in the United States can less than 2 percent of the population feed 100 percent of our population–and other people around the world–as efficiently as we do.

Because our livestock are the best cared for we can provide such efficiency. Today’s animal husbandry is no accident. Improvements in housing, handling and animal nutrition are the result of billions of dollars of private and government research.

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R-CALF says latest BSE case supports their case

Bob Meyer

Brownfield Network

R-CALF USA and 10 other plaintiffs have filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority with the District Court – District of South Dakota, Northern Division to inform the court of the latest BSE case in Canada. The Plaintiffs have asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the importation of Canadian cattle born after March 1, 1999. The plaintiffs state this latest BSE-positive cow was born in 2003, well after the Canadian feed ban was implemented. In fact, they point out that half of the 14 BSE-positive animals found in Canada to-date have been born after March 1, 1999. The plaintiffs argue this latest case confirms there have been at least three generations of Canadian cattle infected with the disease and it was much more widespread in the Canadian feed supply than USDA assumes.

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Ohio Cow/Calf Operations: For Fun or Profit? (Part 2)

cattlenetwork.com

Needless to say, last week’s article on feeding cattle for fun or profit in Ohio has generated lots of response, discussion and questions. One line of questions revolved around the suggestion that Ohio feedlots can’t afford feeder calves at their current values. What can Ohio feedlots afford to pay for feeder calves? What does it cost to raise a feeder calf? Can the cow-calf producer afford to take any less than the current price?

The Ohio cow/calf budgets will soon be updated and online. In the mean time, let’s look at the cow/calf enterprise as it’s been managed in typical Ohio herds. First, consider that on average a brood cow will require about 11,000 pounds of dry matter feed consumption per year. For example, a 1,200 lbs. cow, consuming 2.5% of her body weight daily needs 10,950 lbs. of dry matter for the year. This has typically come from pasture or hay or hay equivalent feeds.

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Soaring Feed Prices Slap Farmers

Due To Ethanol Boom, Corn Prices Increase – And That Can Trickle To The Grocery Store Shelves

CBS Evening News

Steve Foglesong raises 4,000 head of cattle at the Black Gold Ranch in Illinois.

David Hale helps mind the chickens on his family’s farm in Texas.

What do they have in common? Skyrocketing prices for feed, CBS News correspondent  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

“This used to be 50 bucks for the full barrel,” Hale said, pointing to a barrel of chicken feed.

And now?

“Seventy-five dollars – a fifty-percent increase," he said.

“All these cattle will eat 40 lbs. of feed a day and it went from two cents to nine cents a pound for that feed, that’s a big big difference," Foglesong said.

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Kansas State University’s Beef Cattle Institute hosts international symposium

AVMA

Cattle roaming the range are the iconic image of the American West, but a recent video of abusive animal handling at a California slaughterhouse has increased public scrutiny of the lives and deaths of beef and dairy cattle.

The Beef Cattle Institute, which Kansas State University founded in August 2007, had planned the International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare as its kickoff event long before the headlines. The AVMA became a meeting sponsor because its Animal Welfare Committee recognized a paucity of forums for rational discussion of beef cattle welfare.

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Q&A: Are hormones fed to livestock (beef, chicken, swine) affecting the human consumer i.e. girls maturing at a younger age, life expectancy, muscularity in males?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science,  Animal Science, University of Nebraska

A:   I will only address the use of hormones in beef production systems. Numerous U.S. and international scientific studies have shown that the U.S. cattle industry produces safe and wholesome beef. Growth-promoting hormones help stimulate growth by increasing the efficiency in which feed is converted to muscle. Certain products, when administered to animals in very small amounts, supplement their natural hormone production and improve growth rates by allowing the animal to produce more muscle and less fat. This helps the industry produce leaner beef for consumers.

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Cattle Update: Opportunity Cost

cattlenetwork.com

According to Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, Opportunity Cost is defined as "the cost (sacrifice) forgone by choosing one option over an alternative one that may be equally desired. Thus, opportunity cost is the cost of pursuing one choice instead of another. Every action has an opportunity cost."

Opportunity Cost has always been a factor in agriculture budgeting, and one that has been frequently cussed and discussed over the years at feed mills, grain elevators and anywhere else that farmers gather. With accurately accessing costs during the process of budgeting for cow/calf and feedlot cattle enterprises now at the top of many discussions, Opportunity Costs have once again surfaced as a confusing and somewhat controversial issue.

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Cattle Identification: Freeze Branding

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef; Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef/Sheep; and Cynthia Gregg, Extension Agent, Brunswick County; Virginia Tech

Individual animal identification is essential if beef producers are to properly manage animals and their production records. Yet at present, less than 50 percent of the cattle in the United States have any form of individual identification (USDA-APHIS, 1997). This means most operations are severely hindered in their ability to make selection decisions based on animal performance. Even day-to-day operations such as pairing cows and calves or re-treating a sick animal are made more difficult by the lack of animal identification.

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Is a Big Hunk of Steak Worth Almost 2,000 Gallons of Water?

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

By Collin Dunn, Huffington Post

Summer is heating up, and all the pools, barbeques, lawn-watering and the like that put our water use under the microscope, even more than it is the rest of the year. But did you know that we all have a "water-footprint"?

Quite similar in concept to the carbon footprint, our water footprints are defined as "the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual, business or nation," by Waterfootprint.org. People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The numbers are staggering.

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