Daily Archives: May 18, 2017

Beef Roundtable: Farm bill hurdles for Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Agriculture won’t be an easy job for Sonny Perdue. The newly appointed Perdue will face the upcoming hurdle of developing and ultimately passing a Farm Bill in 2018.


The United States, indeed the whole world, wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Donald Trump took the oath of office of perhaps the most powerful nation in the world. Now, with Trump’s first few months in office behind him, the picture is becoming a little clearer.

Our first guest is Steve Dittmer, who has nearly 30 years’ experience in management, marketing, and communications in the beef industry. Currently, Steve is the executive vice president of the Agribusiness Freedom Foundation, which provides information and analysis for food chain participants

Our second guest is Jay Truitt, a longtime Washington insider and principal in the organization Policy Solutions; Motley, Scher, Truitt, a bipartisan government relations and public affairs firm. Jay has served as vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and CEO and executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the Missouri’s Cattlemen Foundation.

Choice-Select Spread

Choice-Select Spread

Brenda Boetel

Ohio BEEF Cattle Letter

The Choice-Select spread has widened in the last few weeks. Although it is occurring slightly early, this widening of the spread is a seasonally expected occurrence. This widening of the Choice-Select spread provides incentives for increased production of Choice beef as compared to Select beef. Over a 12 month period of time, the Choice-Select spread is typically narrowest in the January to March time-frame as the demand for Choice graded middle meats is at its lowest and the supply of Choice graded cattle is typically at its highest.

Full Story

The Risk and Reward of Holding Calves Longer this Year

The Risk and Reward of Holding Calves Longer this Year

Becky Mills

Progressive Farmer

This year, for those willing to take a gamble on retained ownership, there may be more ups than downs. It all depends on the operation, says Lee Schulz, who believes the practice could help improve margins. But it won’t come without added risk.

Full Story

The 5 Barriers to Agtech Adoption

The 5 Barriers to Agtech Adoption

Ben Potter

Farm Journal AgTech

When it comes to the state of agtech, Ken Zuckerberg, likes to toss out a baseball analogy. “It feels like it’s the second inning, and the coaches are back on the bench thinking about the game plan,” says Zuckerberg, a senior research analyst with Rabobank. Zuckerberg says the industry is in a so-called fourth wave of agricultural innovation – digital agriculture – which he loosely defines as farm management software and predictive/prescriptive data gathering. Many products have entered this marketplace, but few have broken through. In fact, Zuckerberg estimates that fewer than 5% of farmers have deployed some type of digital agriculture on their operations. What’s the hold up?

Full Story

Feeder calf marketing – Using data and genetics brand adds value

Feeder calf marketing – Using data and genetics brand adds value


Minnesota Farm Guide

When the time comes to sell feeder calves, for many cow/calf producers it can be difficult to ensure they are getting the best price. Breeders who work toward producing high quality calves and have the genetics that will perform well in the feedlots can have a hard time proving their calves’ worth to the buyers.

Full Story

To shade or not to shade: no one asks the cattle

To shade or not to shade: no one asks the cattle

Fred Miller

Delta Farm Press

Providing shade for grazing cattle is a hotly debated topic among producers and animal science researchers. “I have heard a Kansas rancher say that when cattle are in shade, they don’t graze,” said Dirk Philipp, associate professor of animal science for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Full Story

Tips to help prevent grain bloat in self-fed cattle

Tips to help prevent grain bloat in self-fed cattle

Peter Vitti


Self-feeders are both a blessing and a curse. A handful of self feeders makes life a lot easier by augering in tonnes of creep or grower ration into each one for growing beef cattle. They can also be a curse when a few cattle become victims of grain bloat.

Full Story

Musings on how much cattle eat and drink

Musings on how much cattle eat and drink

Charlie Gracey

Canadian Cattlemen

Conventional wisdom holds that beef cattle are wasteful users of grain and in direct competition with humans for finite supplies of food grains and water. Thus the large acreages devoted to feed grains might better be deployed in the production of crops directly consumable by humans.

Full Story

Missouri offers opportunities for beef producers

Missouri offers opportunities for beef producers

Benjamin Herrold

Missouri Farmer Today

In 1999, Lynn and Bob Fodge were looking to move their farming operation from Indiana, where both were born and raised. Their oldest son was interested in raising cattle, and if the Fodges were going to expand their operation, they needed to relocate. “Bobby, our oldest son, is a cattleman, has been since the day he was born,” Lynn Fodge says. “In Indiana, there just wasn’t room to expand there.”

Full Story

Comparing Holstein and beef breed cattle cutouts MSU Extension

Comparing Holstein and beef breed cattle cutouts MSU Extension

Jeannine P. Schweihofer

Michigan State University

The finished Holstein cattle market has experienced severe discounts in recent months compared to the historical $7- to $12-per-hundredweight relationship to finished cattle of beef breeds. In recent months, there has been a $20- to $40-discount per hundredweight for finished Holstein cattle.

Full Story