Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

Ammoniation Considerations

Ammoniation Considerations

Jennifer Kiko

Angus Journal

As the livestock industry adjusts to higher feed costs, alternatives such as ammoniating low-quality forages may be worth considering this fall.

Treating wheat; barley and oat straws; cornstalks; or very mature, low-quality grass hay with anhydrous ammonia can boost crude protein (CP) levels to 8%-9%, increase digestibility 10%-30%, and improve livestock intake of those feeds by 15%-20%.

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Grazing managers discuss sustainability

Grazing managers discuss sustainability

Kindra Gordon

Cattel Business Weekly

Alternatives for Sustainable Grasslands was the theme of a joint meeting between the Nebraska and South Dakota sections of the Society for Range Management and the Nebraska and South Dakota Grassland Coalitions. About 100 people gathered in Valentine, Neb., Oct. 6-8 for the event.

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Role of Ethanol Seen as Balancing Act

Role of Ethanol Seen as Balancing Act


Consumer Scott Kroll assumes production of ethanol means higher prices for eggs, milk and bread. “Gas prices will go down, but food prices will go up,” said Kroll, of Oglesby. “One way or another, we’re going to get slammed.”

Those perceptions are something Mark Marquis wants to combat.

Marquis, president of Marquis Energy, an ethanol plant in the Central Illinois community of Hennepin, understands why consumers blame ethanol for higher grocery bills. He doesn’t deny ethanol has raised corn’s price, but said it’s the fourth reason down the list. Marquis even argues consumers would pay more for groceries without ethanol.

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National Shorthorn Show To Be Held

National Shorthorn Show To Be Held

The 2008 National Shorthorn Show November 15-17, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky

The 2008 National Shorthorn Show will be held during the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) in Louisville, Ky. Nov. 15-17, 2008. NAILE hosts one of the largest purebred cattle shows in the world, where more than 20 breeds compete, with the Shorthorn breed being one of the largest. The weekend will include Open and Junior Purebred Shorthorn Shows, Open and Junior ShorthornPlus Shows, as well as the Shorthorn Steer Futurity and Breeders’ Cup.

The Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) will be host to the expected 722 Purebred Shorthorns for the Open Show as well as 281 entered for the Junior Show. Juniors will exhibit their animals on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 at 8:00am. The Open Show will take place Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 at 8:00am ending with the selection of the National Champion Purebred Shorthorn Female.

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Using harvest forages

Using harvest forages

Zanesville Times Recorder


The 2008 hay crop is history. The wet weather in the spring delayed making first cutting which resulted in some poor quality forage. Subsequent cuttings were impacted by dry conditions which resulted in better quality hay but not much in terms of quantity. Livestock producers are encouraged to get their own hay analyzed or request an analysis when purchasing hay to determine its real nutritional value. The following information from the livestock specialist at the University of Nebraska discusses more about forage analysis.

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Ethanol and Intensive Confinement Factory Farms–A Toxic Synergy

Ethanol and Intensive Confinement Factory Farms–A Toxic Synergy

Environmental News Network

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.

CAFO’s = Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Also known as Factory Farms, Animal Factories, and blots on the U.S. rural landscape. They produce smelly wastes from “farm” animals including cattle and pigs — variable wastes that are then disposed of in a wildly under-regulated, chemical witches brew commonly called Sludge. Also commonly mislabeled “Fertilizer,” it’s hazardously dumped in enormous quantities on U.S. food-growing farm fields.

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Food As A National Security Issue

Food As A National Security Issue

National Public Radio

In a open letter to the next president, author Michael Pollan writes about the waning health of America’s food systems — and warns that “the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close.

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Prevention Should Be Primary Focus With Calf Scours

Prevention Should Be Primary Focus With Calf Scours


Calf scours is one of the most frustrating experiences in a cow calf operation. Actually, “scours” is just the symptom of a disease that can be caused by many different bacteria and viruses. Adverse environmental factors can also contribute to an outbreak — cold, wet and muddy conditions are the most common culprits. It is also one of the most costly diseases. Mortality can be more than 50 percent in severe outbreaks, and morbidity can be even higher, resulting in astronomical treatment costs. As with all diseases, prevention should be the primary focus.

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Currency decline hurts beef exports: CBW EXCLUSIVE

Currency decline hurts beef exports: CBW EXCLUSIVE

Steve Kay


Sharp declines in the value of the South Korean and Mexican currencies against the US dollar are hurting U.S. beef exports. Mexico’s suspension of exports from several U.S. beef plants also threatens to cut exports. The action has already caused a decline in the price of shoulder clods. U.S. exports of beef and beef variety meats from Jan 1 to August 30 this year totaled 652,276 metric tones, up 32% on last year. Even more significant, values totaled $2.360 billion, up 41%. But the pace of exports slowed in September and has slowed even more this month, according to anecdotal evidence and USDA data.

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“Lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin eats in Blacksburg

“Lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin eats in Blacksburg

Roanoke Times

Joel Salatin, the self-described lunatic Virginia farmer made famous in Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” railed against the “chicken police” and other obstacles put in the way of local food production by government and the industrial agricultural lobby at The Lyric Theater in Blacksburg this afternoon.

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Horse slaughter bill update

Horse slaughter bill update


H.R. 6598, the bill that could turn ranchers, farmers and horse owners into felons for selling their horses to the wrong person, has been sidelined for now by a parliamentary maneuver.

But a careful study of the comments from members during the Judiciary Committee session that approved the bill and sent it to the House floor is revealing and disturbing.

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A look at the major beef industry players

A look at the major beef industry players

Fremont Tribune

Regulators filed a lawsuit Monday to block the nation’s third-largest beef packer, Brazilian-based JBS S.A., from buying the fourth-largest, National Beef Packing Co. Here’s a look at the implications:

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The end of an era: Milnes getting out of the Gelbvieh game

The end of an era: Milnes getting out of the Gelbvieh game

Fairview Post

John and Jean Milne have decided that the time has come to let others put up the hay, tend the fields and feed the cows. The couple, whom were instrumental in introducing the Gelbvieh breed to Canada, will be dispersing their entire herd this Saturday.

John and Jean came to the Waterhole area nearly four decades ago and sank their roots deep into its fertile soil as well as the community they’ve grown to love. For them it’s “the end of era.”

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California Proposition 2: Farm Animals

California Proposition 2: Farm Animals

Proposition 2 would change animal agriculture, a major industry in California. It would impact not only cattle and chickens but eggs and some other industries.

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SD joins lawsuit to block packer acquisition

SD joins lawsuit to block packer acquisition


The Justice Department went to federal court in Chicago today to try to stop the nation’s third-largest beef packer from acquiring the fourth-largest packer.

And Attorney General Larry Long joined colleagues from 12 other states in supporting the legal action.

JBS-Swift, headquartered in Brazil, proposes to acquire National Beef Packing Company of Kansas City.

Long says the combination would result in lower prices paid to cattle suppliers and higher beef prices to consumers.

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