Daily Archives: July 24, 2008

Nebraska woman given Beef Quality Assurance award

Cattle Business Weekly

Quality. It’s not only a word written in an instruction manual but a responsible action – one must live it and then teach it. Recently two producers were honored with the national Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) award, created to recognize outstanding beef and dairy producers from across the country who incorporate BQA principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their operations. The winners were selected based upon their commitment to beef quality assurance while operating sustainable cattle operations.

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Legal Defense Fund Files Suit to Stop Animal ID Program;

Suit Targets USDA and Michigan Department of Agriculture

Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund today filed suit in the U.S. District Court – District of Columbia to stop the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) from implementing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country. 

The MDA has implemented the first two stages of NAIS – property registration and animal identification – for all cattle and farmers across the state as part of a mandatory bovine tuberculosis disease control program required by a grant from the USDA.

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Effect of Weaning Method on Calf Performance

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

The objective of this Michigan State Univ. study was to determine the effect of weaning method on the subsequent performance of beef calves. A total of 227 Angus x Simmental calves averaging 173 days of age were allotted to three treatments: 1) Abrupt-weaned (AW); 2) Fenceline-weaned (FW); and 3) Two-step weaned (TW). Dams of AW calves were moved to remote pastures. Dams of FW calves were moved to adjoining pastures with fenceline contact. TW calves had a plastic nose flap fitted, on day ¬¬¬¬5 had the nose flap removed, and all dams moved to remote pastures.

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Ethanol Basics: Wet Milling Co-products

cattlenetwork.com

Corn Gluten Feed

Corn gluten feed is the highest volume co-product of the wet corn milling industry and is a popular feedlot cattle protein and energy source because it is an intermediate protein product that is rich in highly-digestible fiber. Dry corn gluten feed is often pelleted and marketed to domestic and European dairy industry. Corn gluten feed actually contains no gluten, but a mixture of corn bran and condensed steepwater solubles; it may also contain corn germ meal, as well as other co-product streams from the plant.

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JBS Plans to Fund 4,000 Brazilian Feedlots to Speed Up Supply

Carlos Caminada and Flavia Lima

Bloomberg

JBS SA, the world’s biggest beef supplier, plans to finance as many as 4,000 Brazilian cattle producers to help them fatten calves faster in feedlots after supplies dwindled and prices surged.

JBS aims to have as much as 350 million reais ($222 million) in outstanding loans by 2011, Jose Geraldo Dontal, the head of a new JBS finance unit, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The loans will fund investments in feedlots, he said.

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Drought forces ranchers to cull herds

By David Stone

The Marlin Democrat

Dwindling water supplies coupled with high grain costs have many Central Texas ranchers heading to auction barns.

Stock ponds are drying up as temperatures continue to hover near the century mark, forcing beef producers to either move cattle to pastures with deeper water supplies or cull their herds, according to Russ de Cordova, president of the Buffalo Livestock Commission.

"It’s a bad situation, and it’s going to get worse," de Cordova said. "A lot of producers will have to cut their herds in half – some even a third."

Although Marlin and most of Central Texas received much-needed rain last week, it was far from the drought-buster the ag community needs.

The National Weather Service has declared that much of Falls, Milam and Robertson counties are in an extreme drought. Year-to-date rainfall totals for the area are as much as 10 inches below normal, and one-year deficits are in excess of 17 inches.

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Farmers basking in high hay prices

Emily Hone

Morning News

Farmers who grow hay are finding themselves sitting on fields of green gold this summer as the price per ton clilmbs higher and higher.

    As hay farmers head into their second cutting of the season, Judi Hale, who operates a custom hay harvesting business with her husband, Don, said they’re receiving calls from all over the country from people looking to buy hay.

    Hay that a few years ago was selling for $80 to $90 a ton is commanding as much as $220 per ton, this summer Hale said.

    Although the Hales won’t be asking quite that much, Judi said, there are dairies in the Twin Falls area that are contracting hay out of the field for that price. “And they’re paying a bonus for quality,” she added.

    “We’re asking $200,” Hale said, “but telling people to ask around to see whether they can get it cheaper.”

    Cole Erb, co-owner of the Blackfoot Livestock Commission, said the slaughter cows and bulls are being sold at high rates because ranchers are culling their herds early this year due to the high cost of hay.

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Illinois Beef Day focuses on increasing profits

Katie Allen

Brownfield network

Improving herd profitability will be the focus of the annual University of Illinois Beef Day July 31st at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center near Glendale.

Frank Ireland, a university research animal scientist, tells Brownfield that experts will be on-hand to cover everything from selecting the right bull and animal health, to grazing methods and quality hay production.

"The beef day has stemmed out of our bi-annual center-wide field day in that it’s so popular an event that we had to host a separate day for the beef cattle research," Ireland says.

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K-State Economist Sees Beef Output Cuts

KRVN

Soaring grain, oilseed and land prices helped bolster some rural Americans´ incomes over the past year, but livestock producers have not reaped such gains. "Feed is the largest single cost item for livestock and poultry production – accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the total cost in most years," said Kansas State University agricultural economist James Mintert. "Although energy, labor and other inputs have increased over the last two years, feed costs have jumped 40 to 60 percent, depending on whether a producer is feeding swine, cattle or poultry." Mintert, who is a livestock marketing economist for K-State Research and Extension, said corn prices at Omaha, for example, averaged $5.44 a bushel for the January-June 2008 period – a $3.44 or 173 percent increase over the $1.99 per bushel average set in January-June 2006.

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Southeastern Cattle Stack Up

Steve Suther

Angus Journal

A long-held industry opinion is that cattle from the South are worth less than their Midwestern counterparts. Not true, says Darrell Busby, Iowa Extension beef specialist.

“As we began to feed and harvest Southeastern cattle, we found they had similar genetics. Producers also were using similar management practices to those in the Midwest,” he says, noting more than 18,000 cattle from that region have been fed through Iowa’s Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity (TCSCF). “We just did not see the problems with Southeastern cattle.”

A 2002 survey of Southern Plains feedyards, completed by Slaven Associates, identified some of those popular issues with the region’s cattle.

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Audit says USDA lost track of imported cattle

Canada has reported 13 cases of mad cow

Stephen J. Hedges

Chicago Tribune

Despite persistent fears of mad cow disease in Canadian beef, the Department of Agriculture has failed to properly track hundreds of Canadian cattle coming into the United States, the department’s inspector general has concluded.

An audit, completed in March but only recently made public, said that some of the imported cattle did not have proper identification or health records despite federal regulations requiring them.

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K-State Economist Sees Beef Output Cuts If Production Costs Remain High

cattlenetwork.com

Soaring grain, oilseed and land prices helped bolster some rural Americans´ incomes over the past year, but livestock producers have not reaped such gains.

“Feed is the largest single cost item for livestock and poultry production – accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the total cost in most years,” said Kansas State University agricultural economist James Mintert. “Although energy, labor and other inputs have increased over the last two years, feed costs have jumped 40 to 60 percent, depending on whether a producer is feeding swine, cattle or poultry.”

Mintert, who is a livestock marketing economist for K-State Research and Extension, said corn prices at Omaha, for example, averaged $5.44 a bushel for the January-June 2008 period – a $3.44 or 173 percent increase over the $1.99 per bushel average set in January-June 2006. Plus, peak cash corn prices topped $7 a bushel this year in late June and early July.

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Rotational Grazing Systems

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

By mid-July most years, we start to notice our grasslands suffering from a lack of water. But rotationally grazed pastures aren’t hurt quite as bad. Why do rotationally grazed pastures do better in summer? Mostly it’s because their root systems are healthier and deeper than continuously grazed pastures due to the periodic rest they receive. As a result, they can gather more soil moisture from deeper soil depths.

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Heritage Beef Breeds Taste Test

Ethan Book

Epicurious

On June 20th The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Humane Farm Animal Care, Slow Foods USA, and Ayrshire Farm hosted a beef taste test. Except this wasn’t just a run of the mill taste test. The ten breeds of cattle involved in this test included eight heritage breeds that are either listed as “critical”, “threatened”, “watch”, or “recovering” by the ALBC. There were around 70 food professionals, chefs, food writers, and food connoisseurs (are those foodies?) on hand to taste the 10 different samples of roasted chuck. Below you can find the interesting results, my thoughts, and even what some others think of this “taste test”.

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National Beef Ambassadors sponsor summer photo contest

Prairie Star

It’s summer and for most children, that means sleeping in and spending countless hours at the pool. But the checkoff-funded National Beef Ambassadors have a different summer challenge, and it doesn’t involve a couch or pool! They mean branding and of course, county fairs. The Ambassadors are searching for those kids spending long hours grooming, training, exercising and managing show steers in honor of the showing season and the lessons of good stewardship and animal welfare that children across the country learn in their beef production projects. Thus, the Beef Ambassadors are sponsoring a photo contest.

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