Video Feature: Humane Animal Handling in the Meat Industry, Part 1 of 3
This video details the U.S. meat industry’s partnership with animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin. The video details the benefits of humane handling and how the industry strives for low-stress cattle handling.
Cow Calf Production Costs On The Rise
With the rising costs of pasture, feed and fuel, production costs in the beef industry are well above previous years. “Total cow/calf operating costs are expected to be more than $800 per cow this year, an increase greater than 25 percent since 2005,” said a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.
While costs have increased, calf prices have declined since a peak in 2005, said David Hoffman. “Beef producers are facing a challenge to find ways to remain profitable in light of the current increase in input costs of raising cattle,” hesaid.
BeefTalk: Pounds Weaned Per Cow Exposed Holding at 500 Pounds
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
CHAPS 2008 Production Benchmarks CHAPS 2008 Production Benchmarks
All those “naysayers” that claim you cannot wean 500 pounds per cow exposed to the bull should look again.
The market talk was casual until the producer leaned over and said, “We just marketed a 90.8 percent calf crop with an average weight of 560 pounds at 189 days of age.”
USDA Considers Irradiation as a Processing Aid
The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), has said that it will consider irradiation of meat as a processing aid.
The inspection service announced this week that it has received a petition from the American Meat Institute (AMI) to recognize the use of low penetration and low dose electron beam irradiation on the surface of chilled beef carcasses as a processing aid.
Low-dose electron beam irradiation can kill bacteria such as E. coli. The technology is seen by the industry as a means of ensuring food safety and extending shelf life.
“Based on its consideration of the data and information contained in the petition, FSIS believes that the petition has merit.” a statement said.
Clovers Can Reduce Dependence on Expensive Inputs
Forage legumes can provide livestock producers some relief from the skyrocketing cost of applying nitrogen fertilizer to their pastures, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.
But there is a lot of “hype” surrounding forage legumes such as crimson or arrowleaf clovers, said Dr. Ray Smith, AgriLife Research legume breeder based in Overton.
“They’re not a ‘get-out-of-jail card.’ They’re not a silver bullet, but they do offer some valuable alternatives to high-cost nitrogen,” Smith said.
Food companies shy away from “natural” label
Food manufacturers are shying away from using the term “natural” on their labels. A new study from Packaged Facts says the definition has become fuzzy because the Food & Drug Administration has not specified what defines “natural”. Manufacturers say the use of “natural” just raises skepticism about a product.
So, You Want To Feed Cattle?
Angus Beef Bulletin
What makes a cow-calf producer want to establish a cattle-feeding enterprise? In the past, producers who also raised corn or other feedgrains may have viewed cattle feeding as a way to add value to their crops. At today’s grain prices, that’s an unlikely reason. It could be, however, that marketing finished cattle looks like the best way to capture more value from the cattle.
If the cow-calf producer has invested well in genetics and quality-focused management, he or she may decide the best payoff comes from marketing finished animals, rather than feeder cattle. And, if selling calves has been a producer’s traditional marketing method, the forecast for lower calf prices could give cause to ponder alternatives.