HSUS Challenges American Agriculture
The President of the Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, spoke to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting this evening. I would characterize his comments as a challenge to everyone involved in agriculture and especially animal agriculture. On the one hand he suggested that we should join with them on areas of common agreement but then on the other hand he made it very clear that the world is changing and farmers have to accept it that things are different. Kind of like saying that we have no choice but to succumb to their agenda so why not make it easy.
Grass Tetany Season is Here
Mark A. McCann, Ph.D., Animal & Poultry Sciences, VA Tech
Early spring is usually the peak period for the occurrence of grass tetany in lactating beef cows in Virginia. Grass tetany is caused by low blood levels of magnesium and is worsened by high levels of nitrogen and potassium and low levels of calcium and magnesium intake. The lush new growth of cool season perennials and annuals consumed by spring calving cows is a recipe for trouble. Heavy nitrogen and potassium fertilization intensify the problem. This makes it more of an issue in the poultry production areas where litter is used routinely as a pasture fertilizer.
Calf Versus Yearling
When corn prices jumped from around $2 per bushel in the fall of 2007 to $3, then $5, then to more than $6, it became clear livestock production would change. Conventional wisdom says one fairly obvious change would be to keep more cattle on forage for longer times, reducing the time they spend in feedlots eating expensive corn.
Mixed Results for Texas Fever Tick Eradication Effort
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has released from temporary preventive quarantine more than 375,000 acres in Maverick, Dimmit and Webb counties.
Financial Outlook Not all Gloom and Doom
Eighty-four percent of U.S. agricultural professionals surveyed say the probability that many producers will experience financial stress in the next three years is “high or very high.”
This from a recently completed survey of 2,300 professionals – agricultural producers, agricultural economists, consultants, educators and lenders – in all 50 states.
Raising animals naturally
Lee Menius grew up on a farm where animals were raised the conventional way for many years. Now he’s trying something different.
Since World War II, his family had bred beef cattle in Rowan County with antibiotics and hormones. Then they sold them to feedlot operations where they would be raised on grain instead of a grass diet.
Student busy on the ranch and at school
Logan Ornbaun is busier than most. When he’s not helping calf his heifers, he’s growing 70 acres of organic rice, or planting a special vetch oat mix in the field, or concocting custom cattle feeds which he sells to local ranchers, or he’s catching up on his school work for Pierce High School, or … well, you get the idea.