Should You Expand Your Cowherd?
While a traditional cowherd strategy for expansion such as buying cows will work for many producers, there are alternatives that may be more appropriate for some people. There are three options for expanding your beef enterprise: raising or buying replacement heifers, leasing breeding stock and retaining ownership of calves
Trent Loos: Farmers are our best spokesmen
I would have never guessed that at 3:00 o’clock on a fall afternoon I would spend a full hour watching Oprah but I did. In her highly promoted one-hour TV show, Oprah dove into the issue of modern food production. Lisa Ling, her roving reporter, actually took the viewers to several different farms, including a free-range egg laying operation in Pennsylvania, followed by a caged hen egg laying farm in the same state. John and Matt Kellogg of Yorkville, Ill., opened their doors and gave her full blown tour of their pork production operation. The viewers truly got to see the pros and cons of each as well as the purpose for the different production methods.
Study Shows Myth of Niche-Marketed Beef Safety
A new report has been release which examines niche marketing production practices for beef cattle in the United States and prevalence of foodborne pathogens.
Niche-marketed food products are rapidly gaining market share in today’s society. Consumers are willing to pay premium prices for food perceived to be safer, healthier, more nutritious, and better tasting than conventional food.
Three Pasture System Helps Forage Availability
Cattlemen are often good stewards of the land. At the same time, many respect the land so much they often take its producing power for granted. In times of low input costs, producers had access to many resources that would enhance forage production ability. Most could also afford to go over their ground as many times needed, putting out fertilizer or cutting and baling hay. When “Mother Nature” turned off the rain, the majority could afford to buy harvested feedstuffs and pay the trucking to move them from one state to another when needed.
The veal deal
A Big Isle cattle rancher sees promise in the marketing of pasture-raised, natural veal
By Betty Shimabukuro
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Logic, gas prices, feed costs, environmental and humanitarian concerns — all that.
“Today, given shipping costs, we’re trying to reduce our carbon footprint, trying to get it to a carbon hoofprint,” Hind says.
The owner of Daleico Ranch in Kamuela has a new product — veal from calves raised on the pasture with their mothers. It’s an idea growing in favor nationwide, as ranchers and chefs seek a way of bringing this prime meat to the table in a manner that addresses concerns about animal cruelty.
Q&A: How do you figure the live weight of a beef carcass that had a hanging weight of 581 pounds?
Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska
A: A beef steer that is fed to a finished weight and fat thickness (usually about 0.5 inches of backfat between the 12th and 13th rib) will have a dressing percent of about 63%.
Eliminating Costs Is Always Better Than Reducing Costs
In the past we’ve reviewed how continually rising costs force us to keep our management strategies always one step ahead of the next price increase. Fuel and fertilizer costs are a couple of the biggest culprits in the current cost-price squeeze. It seems to me we give too much attention to reducing costs and not nearly enough to eliminating costs. If you just reduce costs, you still have to wrestle with the same beast every time that particular item makes another price leap.
Ideal Small Farm Cows: Dexter Cattle
Mother Earth News
Pound for pound, no bovine can match the diversity of Dexter cattle, one of the smallest cattle breeds. Standing just 36 to 44 inches at the shoulder, Dexters are the perfect old-fashioned, family cow. Gentle, versatile and economical, Dexters efficiently turn pasture into rich milk and lean meat, if you’re so inclined. In recent years, interest in Dexter cattle has surged worldwide.
R-CALF Suggests National Policy Changes to Soften Blow of Financial Crisis
R-CALF USA is asking the Bush Administration and Congress to take immediate steps to prevent the harm the current national financial crisis could wreak on the U.S. food production system. According to R-CALF President Max Thornsberry – tens of thousands of cow/calf producers have seen prices for their calves fall by more than 15-dollars per hundredweight from August. For each 500-pound calf – he notes that’s more than 75-dollars. He says those losses – when combined with higher fuel and feed costs – will have a disastrous long-term impact on the ability to maintain an independent cattle production infrastructure in the U.S.
Good Hay – A Good Deal This Winter
High feed prices have many cattlemen concerned about what to feed this winter. Many think that hay is overpriced and all supplements are too expensive to feed. If this is your situation, now is the time to develop a least-cost winter feeding program.
Bowie, TX, stockman Bud Williams says he hopes to live long enough to see his animal-handling brainstorm put to use in every U.S. feedlot and ranch. At 76 years of age, Williams probably won’t see his dreams of a “Bud Box” in every set of working pens, but plenty of folks are becoming converts.
“The people that put them in, I don’t think you could pay them to take it out,” Williams says.
The Angus Connection in Hereford
Scott Keeling wants the best in performance and carcass quality from cattle that don’t waste time or feed. his keeling Cattle Feeders yard, licensed with Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) for little more than a year, sets a great example of those goals.
Pint-size cows part of Prescott ranch’s natural lifestyle
Mary Beth Faller
The Arizona Republic
It’s a small world at Rocking Robin Ranch in Prescott.
The heart of the family farm is the dairy-cow herd, which are Mini Jerseys, about 3 feet high and unbearably cute.
Miniature cattle, a third the size of a regular cow, are sweet-tempered and affectionate, and they are growing in popularity around the country.
Robyn Hutchison, who owns Rocking Robin Ranch with her husband, John, bought her first mini about 10 years ago while the family lived in Queen Creek.
Fall alfalfa management key to healthy spring growth
Fall and winter alfalfa field management can have a substantial impact on spring growth and next year’s harvest. The timing of final cutting, weed control measures and fertilizer applications are production factors for next year’s alfalfa crop, according to agronomy experts from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.
BVD Symposium Precedes NCBA Convention
The 4th U.S. BVDV Symposium will be held Jan. 25-27, 2009. directly ahead of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Convention. The Symposium will be held at the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton Phoenix North, Phoenix, Ariz.