BeefTalk: Decreasing Markets Are a Good Time to Ponder
Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
Input and questions from readers of this column always are welcome. Following is one such note: “I read with interest a recent column of yours dealing with selling calves in the fall at the same weights year after year despite the increasing overall carcass weights. The point of this email, though, is to question what the other alternatives are.”
Breeding Soundness Exam Can Prevent Financial Wreck
Stan Beyers, AgriLife Extension economist in Vernon, shared the data from a large New Mexico ranch recently during the 62nd Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course in College Station. In his evaluation of the past 25 years of income and expenses on the ranch, veterinary services and breeding per herd accounted for 3.1 percent of total expenses, or $27.88 per breeding female. But in 2003, disaster set in. Beyers said pregnancy rates in 2003 dropped 50 percent.
High Nematode Levels in Pasture May Be Monitored Online
A new parasite pressure tool will allow cattle producers to monitor pressure in pastures, making them aware of conditions that could threaten herd health. The tool, developed by Merial, is free and can be found on the company’s website.
Producers adjust DDGS rations
Iowa Farmer Today
Dan Loy, Extension beef specialist at Iowa State University, says roughly 95 percent of ethanol plants are removing part of the oil from the kernel. Prior to this, most distillers contained 7 to 8 percent oil. That number is now 3 percent.
An unwanted bank deposit
With commodity prices where they are, most producers would welcome cash deposits right now. However, a different kind of bank is receiving a massive deposit this year — the weed seed bank. Most farmers in our area would agree that weed control has been troublesome this year. The main offender is common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis), and its success this year may point to difficulties down the road.
Don’t Let Misconceptions About Low-Stress Livestock Handling Get In Your Way
Low-stress livestock handling (LSLH) suffers from many common misconceptions, mostly as a consequence of its name. Without knowing anything about it, as soon as people hear the term “low stress,” all kinds of unfounded notions come to mind. My purpose here is to identify and clarify some of these before they become established, through shear force of repetition, as truth.
On-farm feed mixing and VFDs
One of the topics of conversation among feed regulators across the country is the enforcement of VFD rules and on-farm inspection. This shouldn’t concern you as long as you are complying with VFD instructed use and complying with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP). CGMP may not be a term you are familiar with, but are probably complying with by good old fashioned common sense management.