Video Feature: Gabe and Shelly Brown, Purebred cow/calf operation
Our ranch is a purebred cow/calf operation located in central North Dakota. We place a strong emphasis on conservation practices and persistent commitment to both agriculture and quality wildlife habitat. That’s why we’re such strong advocates for no-till farming, which we’ve practiced since 1994.
Audio Feature: Barry Dunn, Executive Director of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, share his suggestions for remaining profitable in the ethanol era.
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Condition Score Cows Early
Rick Rasby Beef Specialist, Cow/Calf Management and Reproduction University of Nebraska
Body condition scores (BCS) describe the relative fatness of a cow through the use of a nine-point scale and is an effective management tool to evaluate nutritional status of the herd. The body condition scoring system allows producers to visually assess their cow herd using a number system that objectively describes the amount of condition or fat reserve of an animal. Because cow/calf producers do not weigh cows on a regular basis, they need a management technique to evaluate their cow herd as it relates to productivity and profit potential.
Will this be your last year in the cow/calf business?
Jason K. Ahola, Ph.D.
Unfortunately, it could be… unless your feed costs can be kept under control. With cow harvest up almost 10% from year-ago levels, it’s clear that a decent number of cow/calf producers are throwing in the towel and leaving the business, most likely due to increasing cost of production.
McCain, Obama Respond To AFBF Questionnaire
The American Farm Bureau Federation today released the results of its presidential election questionnaire completed by Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama. In the Q&A document, both candidates responded to AFBF’s inquiries about farm bill implementation, renewable fuels, climate change and death taxes, among other issues.
Black Ink- Learn From Example
Your dad would climb up on the tractor, pull out the choke, push in the clutch and start it up. “Putt, putt, putt,” and he was off to plant or rake hay or bale.
As a youngster you might have watched this routine over and over again, so it didn’t take too much formal training when you were old enough to take the helm. The first time you started the tractor by yourself and set off to mow, you felt freedom, accomplishment. That’s just one way you’ve learned by example over the years.
California reports three cases of bovine tuberculosis
Bovine tuberculosis is on the rise in California, so people need to be sensible about what they eat — or they could catch the deadly disease.
Because bovine TB has been found in three herds in the state, California cattlemen and dairy farmers have some extra tests to do before shipping cattle across state lines. And lovers of raw milk need to make sure their milk is coming from a raw milk dairy that has been inspected for the disease.
Scientists Study Manure Piles
A pilot study by the Agricultural Research Service reveals that composting beef cattle manure, even with minimal management, can reduce the concentrations of antibiotics in the manure by as much as 99 percent. The researchers found that by adding straw to manure piles tends to result in higher temperatures that speed up the process of degrading antibiotics as well as pathogens.
A preference for local meat
Christian Science Monitor
More chefs like Kurt Friese say grass-fed meat is a tastier choice.
When it comes to vegetables, even urban “locavores” can get their hands dirty in the effort to eat only local foods. All you need is a bit of sun and a patch of soil, and by summer’s end you can decorate salads with your own “locally grown” produce.
Native American tribes form economic consortium
A newly formed consortium of Native American tribes has formed so member tribes can buy from and sell to each other in a collective approach.
Called the Native American Group, the consortium is the brainchild of Richard Bowers, president of the board of directors of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and a leader in the tribe’s cattle operations. It brings together Indian tribes from widespread geographic regions, and from varied economic circumstances.
Tennessee: Grass-fed cows provide growing market for regional beef
Chattanooga Free Press
Some Southeast Tennesseeans are returning to buying grass-fed beef from area suppliers and food markets, experts say.
“It’s good, reasonably priced, it tastes delicious, and I know it’s good for me,” said Paul Blazek, a database administrator in Brainerd and customer of Back Achers Farm in Chickamauga, Ga.
Cattle Basics: Cull Cow Grades
Fall is the time many cattle producers cull problem cows. Cull cow sales can make up 15 to 20 percent of the income on many beef cow/calf operations. Understanding the USDA cull cow grades may help you make smart cull cow marketing decisions. Dr. Glenn Selk at Oklahoma State University summarized the USDA cull cow grades and the following information is taken from his article.
Report: More factory farming but oversight lags
San Luis Obispo Tribune
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.
Some huge livestock farms produce more raw waste than cities as large as Philadelphia or Houston. But federal regulators are failing to control pollution from the gigantic operations or assess health risks from the enormous quantities of manure they produce, according to congressional investigators.
The Government Accountability Office report on the raw waste is to be released Wednesday to a House committee hearing on federal oversight of factory farms.
Cattle Feed Byproducts: New Ethanol Industry Co-Products
The evolving ethanol industry is continually striving to maximize ethanol production efficiency. Changes associated with this progress will provide innovative new co-product feeds for producers to utilize that may be quite different nutritionally when fed to cattle. One example of a new co-product feed is Dakota Bran Cake. Bran cake is a distillers co-product feed produced as primarily corn bran plus distillers solubles produced from a hybrid wet and dry milling process.
Here’s the beef: U.S. beef is safe and healthy
Wilson County News
Jason Peeler of Texana Feeders Ltd. can easily become the spokesman for promoting the beef industry within the state. Peeler not only knows the feedlot aspects of the industry, he also serves as a member of the National Beef Council — the agency that oversees the beef check-off program.
Peeler spoke candidly of what he foresees facing the cattle sector and what he feels is necessary to promote beef to the general public, especially after the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow disease,” scare of 2003.