Daily Archives: July 15, 2008

Market Now Or Later?

Market Now Or Later?

Wes Ishmael

Beef Magazine

In sizing up calf marketing this fall, Dillon Feuz, Utah State University livestock marketing specialist, says there will be some profit opportunities, but they may not come from doing the same things you’ve always done.

“The past two years, anyone forward contracting or selling on video sales for fall delivery early received a better price than waiting for fall sales,” Feuz says. That’s because corn prices rallied the past two falls, depressing calf prices.

Considering weather-induced, later-than-normal corn planting and emergence, projected trend-line yields were already in jeopardy by the first week of June 2008.


Delay Implant, Increase Beef Quality

Delay Implant, Increase Beef Quality

CAB Partners

Many feeders administer growth implants on the front end of the finishing phase, keeping far from the harvest date so as not to hinder marbling development. But research at South Dakota State University in the mid-1990s proved marbling is a consistent component that can develop throughout an animal’s life. Therefore, early management decisions affect marbling development, both ongoing and later. Using a delayed implant strategy leads to the same percentage of cattle grading Choice as non-implanted cattle—but with added weight and efficiency.


Self-fed Supplements for Range Cattle

Self-fed Supplements for Range Cattle

John Paterson, Extension Beef Specialist


During the late summer and early fall months, range grasses are deficient in both crude protein and energy for cows in lactation. Because of limited forage quantity and (or) quality, supplemental feeding of protein-energy, minerals and vitamins is practiced by the producer. Nationally, the USDA estimated that ninety four percent of cattle producers utilized pasture or crop residues, while 83% fed hay from November to March and, 49% provided supplements.

The overarching goal of supplementing beef cattle is to provide nutrients that are lacking in the basal diet and to increase the intake and digestibility of lower quality forages and crop residues. It is evident that reproduction is impacted the most by nutrient deficiencies. Table 1 partially summarizes the consequences of inadequate intake of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals by beef cattle and lays the foundation as to why supplementation is often necessary.


Montana State University’s software calculates the profitability of putting steers or heifers on summer pasture.

Montana State University’s software calculates the profitability of putting steers or heifers on summer pasture.

University of Minnesota


Infectious Diseases that Affect Cattle Fertility

Infectious Diseases that Affect Cattle Fertility

Nolan R. Hartwig, DVM, Iowa State University


Calving percentage, the number of calves weaned divided by the number of females exposed to bulls the previous year, is the most important production parameter that can be measured. The first priority of cow/calf health and production programs should be to emphasize reproduction.


Q&A Should you feed grain to beef cattle before slaughter?Is it best? How long before slaughter?

Q&A Should you feed grain to beef cattle before slaughter?Is it best? How long before slaughter?

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

There are forage finished beef that do not receive grain. It usually take a longer period of time to finish these cattle (harvested at a specific weight or a specific backfat) as average daily gain is lower for forage finished diets. Forage finised diets will have yellow colored fat due to the carotene in foages. Most cattle in the United States are grain finished as there is an increase in efficiency of gain.


Justice Department Takes Its Time Reviewing JBS Deal

Justice Department Takes Its Time Reviewing JBS Deal

Bill Jackson

My Cattle

This may come as a surprise, but the federal government doesn’t always work real quick.

Take the Department of Justice, just as an example.

JBS S.A., the parent company of JBS Swift & Co. of Greeley, announced back in early March that it had reached an agreement to buy National Beef of Kansas City, the Smithfield Beef Group of Green Bay, Wis., and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, which is headquartered in Loveland.

It would make JBS Swift & Co. the largest of its kind in the United States, hopping over Tyson Foods of Springdale, Ark., and Cargill Meat Solutions of Wichita, Kan., which are Nos. 1 and 2 terms of the number of beef plants and daily slaughter capacity. Swift is third, while National is fourth and Smithfield fifth.

That got the attention of the Justice Department, which must approve or deny the deal, based on what it may or may not do to competition.

That review has been under way for about five months.