Daily Archives: December 23, 2009

New Energy Economics: Impact of Climate Change Legislation on Cow-calf Feeder Livestock Prices

New Energy Economics: Impact of Climate Change Legislation on Cow-calf Feeder Livestock Prices

Cole Gustafson, biofuels economist, North Dakota State University


Joseph Glauber, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief economist, recently testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Agriculture Subcommittee. He described the impacts of proposed climate change legislation on the agricultural sector.

By 2015, he said, corn production would decline by 1.4 percent, while prices would rise from the baseline estimate of $4.03 per bushel to $4.32 per bushel. He also predicted that fed-beef production would fall 0.4 percent by 2015 and that prices would rise by 1.4 percent.

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Backgrounding Calves Part 2: Herd Health and Feeding

Backgrounding Calves Part 2: Herd Health and Feeding

Homer B. Sewell, Department of Animal Sciences, Victor E. Jacobs, Department of Agricultural Economics, James R. Gerrish, Department of Agronomy, University of Missouri

Backgrounding calves, or taking weaned calves at about 450 pounds and feeding them up to 750 pounds or so, is becoming more popular among cattle producers. It can be a profit maker for the producer who wants an alternative to the cow/calf business, wants to use excess forage or other roughages, has extra time during parts of the year, or wants to add flexibility to his current cattle operation.

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Lawmakers Seek to Ban Common Antibiotics

Lawmakers Seek to Ban Common Antibiotics

Fred Minnick


In the shadows of the health care and green energy debates is a bill that could compromise animal agriculture, many lawmakers say.

Introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), H.R. 1549, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), alleges human antimicrobial resistance is, in part, caused by non-therapeutic antibiotic use in livestock. PAMTA seeks to withdraw FDA approval of these animal drugs, including penicillin, tetracycline, macrolide, lincosamide, streptogramin, aminoglycoside and sulfonamide.

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A Weighty Matter

A Weighty Matter


The Cattleman

Bull gain test stations can help herds get on the fast track to genetic improvement – and buyers notice.

Compiling data based on figures derived from different measurements has been a tool for corporate firms to tell a success story. Profit margin, increase in individual stock price and statements of net worth — all created a comfort zone if they were on the rise.

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Guidelines for Culling Cows

Guidelines for Culling Cows

Deke Alkire

Noble Foundation

For most cattle producers, culling cows is not an easy task. However, some culling needs to be done each year to maintain optimal productivity. Records on each cow’s yearly production would be beneficial when making culling decisions, but collecting some information when the cows are processed can give you a good place to start.

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What Joel Osteen Needs to Learn About Scripture and Pork

What Joel Osteen Needs to Learn About Scripture and Pork

Holly Spangler

Indiana Prairie Farmer

It incensed me when a first saw it, and reviewing it again after a month’s time didn’t do it any favors.

During a session at last month’s Commodity conference, Wes Jamison, a Palm Beach Atlantic University professor, presented his research and findings on the Humane Society of the United States. He’s spent a career studying the animal rights movement, and specifically the communication behind it. He revealed that HSUS in 2002 decided that they needed a moral component in order to be effective.

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Selecting for Efficiency Improves Profitability, Sustainability

Selecting for Efficiency Improves Profitability, Sustainability

Troy Smith


Why is efficiency important to the beef industry? According to Missouri cattleman Nick Hammett, it’s because improvements to efficiency help cattlemen lower costs, increase returns or both. While speaking to producers gathered for the 2009 Range Beef Cow Symposium in Casper, Wyo., Hammett said, in short, efficiency improves profitability and sustainability.

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Consequences of Underfeeding Beef Cows

Consequences of Underfeeding Beef Cows

Karl Hoppe, Area Extension Livestock Specialist, Carrington Research Extension Center, North Dakota State University

Beef cows that have been underfed during gestation and lactation will be less productive than cows fed adequate diets. For adequate production, a beef cow’s daily ration must meet nutritional requirements. Cows will lose body weight when consuming less energy than needed for maintaining body functions and production demands.

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Staying Off The Environmental Hit List

Staying Off The Environmental Hit List


Tom Dodge

Livestock producers know their futures rely on smart management of soils, wastes, nutrients, grasses and forage. They also must make a profit. Following are examples of three families who do both.
Reining In Runoff

Cattlemen Bruce and Derek Carney, a father-and-son team from Maxwell, Iowa, have taken the bull by the horns in monitoring their farm’s runoff into two streams that pass through their property.

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Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers

Signs of Impending Calving in Cows or Heifers


As the calving season approaches, 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.

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Teaching Consumers About “The Real Farmville”

Teaching Consumers About "The Real Farmville"

Beef Today

Every day, more than 65 million people log in to harvest their virtual crops on the popular Facebook application "Farmville." The Animal Agriculture Alliance recently released a video designed to help online farmers learn what it really takes to feed the world. In Farmville, pink cows produce strawberry milk and soybeans take only two days to grow.

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A Small Sample

A Small Sample

Mathew Elliott

Angus Journal

Pregnancy checking is an important management tool that can be used to make culling decisions. Open cattle cost producers money and resources, but inaccurately identifying pregnant cows as open can be costly, too. New technologies are being used to improve preg-checking accuracy, convenience and cost.

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Agriculture offsets may lead to land shift, food shortage

Agriculture offsets may lead to land shift, food shortage

Pat Kopecki

Wilson County News

Legislation on greenhouse-gas emission reductions could have a major impact — not only on agricultural producers in production costs, but on consumers in the prices paid for food and clothing. The United States may have a difficult time providing food for itself, if the cap and trade program, as proposed, is enacted by Congress.

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Mixed blessings

Mixed blessings

Steve Suther

When you count your blessings, remember to include the ones disguised as challenges. Some of them you decided to take on as calculated risks; others intruded on your farm or in your life, but turned out to be “mixed blessings.”

The challenges you have willingly taken on may include another off-farm job, a bank loan, new cattle enterprises, expansion, relocation or going into business with other family members.

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That Shrinking Feeling

That Shrinking Feeling

Gary DiGiuseppe

American Cattlemen

The amount of land in production agriculture declines every year. In the 2007 Ag Census, USDA estimated there were 922 million acres of land in farms, a decline of more than 16 million acres in just five years. The loss has been consistent; 25 years ago, there were nearly 987 million acres in farms in the U.S. Much of that land is developed, as a steadily growing American population needs more room and the cities and their suburbs slowly radiate out into the country.

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