Daily Archives: March 16, 2009

Beef’s double whammy

Beef’s double whammy

Reuters Video/Yahoo Video

The American beef industry is facing a double whammy of rising input costs and a decline in consumer demand as the economic downturn worsens.Roller coaster feed costs coupled with a decline in global demand for prime cuts of beef are having an unprecedented impact on the American farmer. The million dollar question is, when will consumers once again start saying “Where’s the beef?” Ruben Ramirez reports from Goodhue, MN.

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Group Launches Online Welfare Training

Group Launches Online Welfare Training


An animal welfare group has announced that it will launch an online Humane Care Training Program for food producers to use in educating employees, growers and contractors who handle animals.

The new American Humane Certified Humane Care Training curriculum will be developed by John J. McGlone, Ph.D., animal and food science professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, in association with Farm Animal Care Training and Auditing (FACTA, LLC), which provides independent, professional, science-based animal care training and auditing services.

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Hay low in magnesium can cause grass tetany

Hay low in magnesium can cause grass tetany

Southern Livestock Standard

While most associate grass tetany with lush pastures and rainy weather, it is important to note that it can also occur, when fed hay that is low in magnesium. With this in mind, Chris Allison, New Mexico State University Range Management Specialist offers the following information on this sickness.

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Know the Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers

Know the Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers

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

As the calving season approaches, the cows will show typical signs that will indicate parturition is imminent. Changes that are gradually seen are udder development, or making bag and the relaxation and swelling of the vulva or springing. These indicate the cow is due to calve in the near future. There are many difference between individuals in the development of these signs and certainly age is a factor. The first calf heifer, particularly in the milking breeds, develops udder for a very long time, sometimes for two or three months before parturition. The springing can be highly variable too.

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Book Review: Salad Bar Beef

Book Review: Salad Bar Beef

Where’s my plan blog

This is now the third book by Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia that I have read, and it has very much shaped my ideas about what is possible for agriculture going forward into the future. From his other books (particularly You Can Farm), I already had the basic idea of his model for raising grass-fed beef, but this book fleshed out the concepts and practices that he uses to raise what he hopes is the best beef inthe world.

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Moran wrangling ‘cow tax’

Moran wrangling ‘cow tax’

Tim Carpenter

The Topeka Capital Journal

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran is sponsoring legislation in Congress to help ranchers avoid a “cow tax” tied to possible adoption of federal greenhouse gas regulations.

The Kansas Republican said the House bill, identical to a measure introduced in the Senate, would block the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing rules requiring agriculture producers to obtain permits under the Clean Air Act.

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House Holds Animal ID Hearing

 House Holds Animal ID Hearing

Western Livestock Journal

On Wednesday, House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a hearing on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Bill Nutt, President-Elect of the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, testified on behalf of National Cattleman’s Beef Association Cattle Health and Well-Being Committee.

 Several key Congressmen, including Subcommittee chairman David Scott (D – Ga.) and full Committee chairman Collin Peterson (D – Minn.), indicated their intent to push forward with efforts to create a mandatory NAIS program.

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Lots of labor on farm leads to honor, good quality of life for Starnes family

Lots of labor on farm leads to honor, good quality of life for Starnes family

Steve Huffman

Salisbury Post

Robin Starnes paused but a moment when someone asked the hours her husband, Jason, works.

“From sunup to 30 minutes after dark,” she said.

And then she and her husband both laughed.

Still, they admitted Robin wasn’t exaggerating. In fact, truth be told, the hours that Jason works are often quite a bit more than that.

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Cattlemen’s group developed for youth

Cattlemen’s group developed for youth

Amanda Nolz

Tri State Livestock News

According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of a rancher is 55.7 years, up from 53.3 years in 2002. The reasons behind this are many. Escalating input costs, increasing land prices, start-up investments and a struggling economy are a few of those reasons that explain why young people are unable to return to the ranch to continue to a career in food production. However, as the average age of ranchers increase, it’s time to start wondering: where is the next generation of ranchers?

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Texas drought losses approaching $1 billion

Texas drought losses approaching $1 billion

El Paso Times

Even with recent rains, Texas farmers and ranchers are rapidly approaching $1 billion in losses in the past year caused by drought, according to an agriculture report.

Figures from the Texas AgriLife Extension Agency show cattle producers have lost around $852 million in the last year, $569 million of that since November. The report said the losses were mostly because farmers and ranchers had to purchase feed to compensate for grazing land lost due to lack of rain, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported Sunday.

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Building Beef Demand in Tough Economic Times

Building Beef Demand in Tough Economic Times

Gary Truitt

As US unemployment continues to rise and consumer confidence worsens, retail demand for beef is being affected. US consumers are changing what they pick up from retail meat cases or select from restaurant menus. As household budgets tighten and uncertainty increases, Lucinda Williams, chairperson of the Cattleman’s Beef Board, says consumers are turning to less expensive cuts of beef, “We are seeing consumers choosing hamburger rather than the higher priced cuts of beef.”

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2009 Flint Hills Beef Fest Cattle Contests calling for entries

2009 Flint Hills Beef Fest Cattle Contests calling for entries

High Plains Journal

Entries are being accepted for the 2009 Flint Hills Beef Fest Cattle Contests. This is the 23rd year for the Flint Hills Beef Fest, which is headquartered in Emporia, Kan.

What is the Flint Hills Beef Fest? The Flint Hills Beef Fest is a celebration of the Kansas Flint Hills grass cattle industry to promote the kind and quality of cattle that graze the Kansas grasslands. Four contests for stocker cattle are conducted in pens of three head with separate divisions for steers and heifers.

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NY Beef Week Seminars travel through North Country

NY Beef Week Seminars travel through North Country

Katie Gibas


When you eat a steak, you probably don’t think about what your steak used to eat. But that’s exactly what beef farmers do.

Speakers at the New York Beef Week seminar talked to local farmers about a new way to feed cattle- Grass feeding. Most of it’s life, a cow eats grass. But within it’s last few months, the cow is normally fed grains to fatten it up and give your steak the flavor you like.

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License Will Soon Be Needed to Spread Manure

License Will Soon Be Needed to Spread Manure

Gary Truitt

Hoosier AG Today

Legislation making its was through the Indiana General Assembly would add oversight and regulations to your manure manage process. If you apply chemical fertilizers, you need to be certified by the State Chemists office. Under HB 1191 sponsored by Representative Joe Pearson, you will soon face a similar process for spreading manure on fields. “This would bring both organic and chemical fertilizers under the auspices of the State Chemists Office,” Pearson told HAT during a Statehouse interview. He said the move is needed to make the industry proactive when it comes to protecting the Hoosier environment.

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Obama bans ‘downer’ cows from food supply

Obama bans ‘downer’ cows from food supply


The Obama administration on Saturday permanently banned the slaughter of cows too sick or weak to stand on their own, seeking to further minimize the chance that mad cow disease could enter the food supply.

The Agriculture Department proposed the ban last year after the biggest beef recall in U.S. history. The recall involved a Chino, Calif., slaughterhouse and “downer” cows. The Obama administration finalized the ban on Saturday.

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