Daily Archives: October 24, 2008

Video Feature: The McDonald’s You Don’t Know: Opening Our Doors

The McDonald’s You Don’t Know: Opening Our Doors

In September 2005, McDonald’s invited six MBA students from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley to explore our beef supply chain-the ranches, feedlots and processing facilities that supply burgers to our restaurants. Learn more about their “fork to farm” journey.


Planning Fencing Systems For Controlled Grazing

Planning Fencing Systems For Controlled Grazing

Susan Wood Gay, Extension Engineer; S. Ray Smith, Extension Forage Specialist; and Gordon E. Groover, Extension Agricultural Economist; Virginia Tech

Controlled grazing can be an economical way to provide forage to grazing animals. Utilizing pasture as a major portion of the forage plan can significantly reduce feed costs during the grazing season. Virginia’s soils and climate are especially favorable for the growth of a wide range of productive, high-quality grasses and legumes suitable for grazing. However, optimizing a controlled grazing system requires careful planning and good management of a fencing system.

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Forage testing can increase feed buying efficiency and predict potential toxicity

Forage testing can increase feed buying efficiency and predict potential toxicity

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Most Oklahoma producers find themselves in a better situation as far as the hay stacks and hay barns look this year as compared to recent falls and winters.  Hay, however, is not a “one size fits all” commodity.  Tremendous differences in the nutritive quality of grass hay exist.  Therefore it is extremely important to know as much as possible about the hay that has stored this summer and will be fed this winter and spring.

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Manage Body Condition By Timing Weaning

Manage Body Condition By Timing Weaning

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


Many times I have discussed and you have read the importance of managing body condition of your cow herd. Body condition at calving, for spring-calving cows, has a major impact on reproductive performance during the next breeding season. Cows and 1st-calf-female in good body condition at calving, BCS 5 for cows and BCS 6 for 1st-calvers, will resume estrous cycles and breed early in the breeding season. How cows are managed late in the grazing season will have a major impact on their body condition as they enter the winter.

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Nutrition And How It Effects Reproduction

Nutrition And How It Effects Reproduction

Cornelia Kreplin and Barry Yaremcio

Southern Livestock

   The nutritional quality of feeds and forage can have a tremendous influence on the reproductive performance of cattle. Although reproductive failure may occur for several reasons, management and the environment are often important contributing factors. Part of the environment and management of any animal is nutrition.

Producers must be aware of daily changes in a cow’s feed requirements if they want to wean calves from at least 90 per cent of cows exposed to the bull. For instance, cows in the last third of pregnancy or those producing milk have special needs. If these needs are not met, reproduction is the first body function that is sacrificed.

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Commodities Are Dangerous In More Ways Than One

Commodities Are Dangerous In More Ways Than One

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

In my industry and marketing talks, I refer to the trap of commodity marketing as one of the drivers behind many of the changes we’ve seen in our industry. By definition, in a commodity market, prices over time will hover in and around breakeven. And unless you’re a low-cost producer with a business model that eliminates any significant risk, that is not an appealing proposition.

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BeefTalk: Fewer Cows, Less Feed

BeefTalk: Fewer Cows, Less Feed

Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Lack of Feed? DREC Inventory Response Lack of Feed? DREC Inventory Response

Feed and transportation costs limit the number of cows the Dickinson REC can keep for the winter.

The affects of the drought continue. The cow count must come down and the tough decisions on which cows to sell or keep must be made right now.

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NAILE to be Held November 8-21 in Louisville

NAILE to be Held November 8-21 in Louisville

Cattle Today

Louisville, Ky., October 12, 2008 – The North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE), the largest purebred livestock show in the world, returns for its 35th consecutive year to the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) this November 8-21. Attracting exhibitors and entrants from 48 contiguous states and six continents, NAILE draws more than 22,000 entries, 200,000 visitors and an estimated economic annual impact of $11.6 million to the state.

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Ethanol By-Product Good for Beef

Ethanol By-Product Good for Beef

Shelly Sites


The use of energy sources closer to home seems to be a growing concern in these unstable economic times. The agricultural business is no exception. Research has been on-going at the USDA facilities in Bushland. Cattle have been fed, distiller’s grains, or what’s better known as a by-product of ethanol production. Experts tell us, the results have been encouraging.

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Q&A: How do I figure the price difference on Modified versus Wet distillers on a dry matter basis?

Q&A:   How do I figure the price difference on Modified versus Wet distillers on a dry matter basis?

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

A:   The energy and protein content of WDGS and MWDGS are the same and the only difference is the moisture content of the two products. The plant will have the moisture content of their products and 100% – moisture % = % dry matter. For WDGS, if the plant says their product is 65% moisture (water), then the product is 35% dry matter (100 – 65 = 35).

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Cargill Adopting COOL Program

Cargill Adopting COOL Program


Cargill says it is beginning to move its beef and pork programs to the “Product of the USA” and “Product of USA, Canada, Mexico” labels. The company has begun working with many of its largest beef and pork customers and producers to ensure that labeling can be done effectively and efficiently. Cargill expects to have a minimum of 70 percent of product meet the “Product of the USA” labeling standard beginning January 1, 2009.

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Think Tank looks at beef consumer priorities

Think Tank looks at beef consumer priorities


A beef industry group met last month in Denver to find ways to better link producers to consumers. Consumer First Beef Partners brought leaders together Sept. 18-19 for a roundtable discussion on beef quality issues.

By identifying obstacles to consumer satisfaction, the leaders from each segment of the beef supply chain aim to help producers focus.

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A Solution to Overgrazing

A Solution to Overgrazing

The Quivira Coalition brings together cattle ranchers and environmentalists to help preserve Western grasslands

Ragan Sutterfield


In the 1990s, ranchers and environmentalists in the west were at each others’ throats. For decades, the ranchers had been granted permits by the federal government to graze cattle beyond their property lines so they could raise enough steers to make ends meet. But the Western grasslands are a brittle environment, and after years of overgrazing the land was showing signs of stress: Grasslands were turning into deserts, invasive plants were moving in from Mexico, and crucial topsoil was eroding. On some ranches, fences could be seen floating in the air over gullies ten feet deep.

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Smithfield Foods Completes Sale of Beef Processing and Cattle Feeding Operations to JBS

Smithfield Foods Completes Sale of Beef Processing and Cattle Feeding Operations to JBS


Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that it has completed the previously announced sale of Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. (“Smithfield Beef”), its beef processing and cattle feeding operation, to JBS S.A. (Bovespa: JBSS3) for $565 million in cash.

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Montanans can market beef as certified, natural

Montanans can market beef as certified, natural


Montana ranchers now have the option of marketing their cattle and beef under the Montana Certified Natural Beef Cattle Program.

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