Monthly Archives: May 2018

Mark Parker:  The Top 10 hay-making challenges

Mark Parker:  The Top 10 hay-making challenges


  1. The windshield wipers on your hay baler tractor aren’t working.
  2. The bargain net wrap you bought online is so biodegradable that it disintegrates in the baler.

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Study shows danger of short grazing toxic-fescue pastures by cattle herds

Study shows danger of short grazing toxic-fescue pastures by cattle herds

High Plains Journal

New forage research gives reason to not graze toxic fescue grass too short. The bottom 2 inches of infected grass holds highest levels of the alkaloid causing problems for grazing livestock.

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Cows need to keep a low profile in Utah tourist areas

Cows need to keep a low profile in Utah tourist areas

Salt Lake Tribune

Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.

The National Park Service shut down one of the top swimming spots at Lake Powell last week because ranchers didn’t remove two dead cows stuck in the sand. After the rising lake swamped their carcasses, park officials closed “the sweet spot,” a cove near Lone Rock Beach, fearing bacteria levels in the warm lake water.

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A guide to rotational grazing

A guide to rotational grazing


Why rotational grazing? Pastures represent a largely untapped resource for farmers. More than one quarter of the Midwest’s agricultural land is in some form of pasture. Yet, 80% of these pastures suffer from poor, uneven fertility coupled with serious weed and erosion problems.

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Why We In Agriculture Lose To Fake News

Why We In Agriculture Lose To Fake News

Damian Mason

Fake news is a new term but it’s nothing new.

Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America” as CBS marketed him, wasn’t always that trustworthy.  Years after he left the anchor desk, Walter said he missed “being able to affect the outcome of the day’s events.”  Hmmm?  Your job, Mr. Cronkite, wasn’t to “affect outcomes” it was to report them.

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A decade of beef cow herd dynamics explained

A decade of beef cow herd dynamics explained

Derrell S. Peel


The Jan. 1, 2018, beef cow herd inventory of 31.723 million head was very close to the 2009 herd size of 31.794 million head a decade earlier. However, the industry has been through quite a bit since then and some short- and long-term changes are evident in the current situation among major beef cow states.

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Alliance Intends to Improve Water Sustainability in Beef Production

Alliance Intends to Improve Water Sustainability in Beef Production

Wyatt Bechtel


A partnership between the Nature Conservancy, Nestlé Purina and Cargill will launch a three-year program to improve water sustainability across the beef production chain. Irrigation of row crops dedicated to cattle feed accounts for more than 50 percent of water use in U.S. beef production. To start out the project will begin in Nebraska and focus on row crop irrigation with a goal of providing a scalable solution for irrigation that can be utilized across the country by farmers.

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What’s the most disruptive influence in the cattle market?

What’s the most disruptive influence in the cattle market?

Burt Rutherford

Beef Magazine

This is beginning to be far too much of a news story. But then again, the definition of “news” is something unusual or out of the ordinary. And the frequency and intensity of drought, particularly in the Southern Plains, has become so common that it may not qualify as news any longer.

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Beef Supply Facing Mounting Market Pressures

Beef Supply Facing Mounting Market Pressures


The Rabobank Beef Quarterly report shows beef cow slaughter numbers are up ten percent through mid-April from a year ago, driven by ongoing dry pasture conditions, and the likelihood of forced herd liquidation during the coming grazing season, as reported by meat industry publication Meatingplace.

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Rare quadruplet calves born on central Minnesota farm

Rare quadruplet calves born on central Minnesota farm

Robin Huebner

Ag Week

A central Minnesota couple is feeling a little like new parents after a rare birth on their farm. A cow gave birth to quadruplet calves on Chuck and Deb Beldo’s beef cattle farm near Sebeka on May 24 — all tiny, but appearing to be healthy, so far.

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What makes ‘grassfed beef’ different from conventionally raised beef?

What makes ‘grassfed beef’ different from conventionally raised beef?

Pete Bauman and Dr. Allen Williams


This is perhaps the most common, and sometimes most complex question that arises amongst those hoping to understand the similarities and differences between conventional and grass fed beef. There are two similar and important terms that are primarily used when discussing grass-based livestock production as compared to conventional livestock systems: grass fed and grass finished.

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Justice OKs Bayer purchase of Monsanto with divestitures

Justice OKs Bayer purchase of Monsanto with divestitures

The Fence Post

The Justice Department today approved Bayer AG’s acquisition of Monsanto as long as Bayer sells approximately $9 billion in businesses and assets to BASF. In announcing the approval of Bayer’s plan to pay $66 billion to take over Monsanto, the Justice Department emphasized the required divestitures.

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Good silage: a matter of fermentation and stability

Good silage: a matter of fermentation and stability

Luiz Ferraretto

Hay and Forage

Attention to detail is required in order to achieve a successful ensiling process. The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the fermentation process, aerobic stability, and to briefly discuss strategies to optimize each of them.

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Simple Soil Tests You Can Do At Home

Simple Soil Tests You Can Do At Home

Kathy Voth

On Pasture

If you are outside and want to know something about the soil you are working with, and don’t have any fancy equipment, then this is for you. With a little bit of experience you can get an idea of how much organic matter you have in your soil, how much clay you have, and how acidic or basic your soil is. The equipment you need is: 1) your eyes; 2) your hands; 3) a little water; and 4) a piece of pH litmus paper (never leave home without it).

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‘If you like the cow, you like the bull’

‘If you like the cow, you like the bull’

Jamie Hawley

Progressive Cattleman

After receiving an engineering degree and being in the restaurant business, Bill Roe never thought he would become a cattleman. But here he is, 23 years later, operating an Angus seedstock operation in southwest Ohio. Now he and his wife, Bev, take genetics and educational programs to the next level as they market their cattle – directly from their farm.

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Protecting animal agriculture’s roots: Cultivating relationships important

Protecting animal agriculture’s roots: Cultivating relationships important

Hannah Thompson

The Cattle Business Weekly

One way the animal agriculture industry can share their roots is by engaging with media about what they do on their farm or in their company. Jenny Splitter, a freelance food, science and health writer, Tamara Hinton, senior vice president of Story Partners and Phil Brasher, senior editor of AgriPulse gave recommendations to help farmers and ranchers cultivate relationships with journalists and reporters.

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Start creep-feeding calves with the first blades of grass

Start creep-feeding calves with the first blades of grass

Peter Vitti


By the time the first blades of grass shoot up in pasture, I will have asked about of a dozen beef producers whether they plan to creep feed their spring calves in grazing season of 2018. I believe in providing a fresh batch of calves with extra nutrients that complement the essential nutrients taken from nursing their mothers as well as grazed from green grass.

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When Should We Mow Pastures

When Should We Mow Pastures?

Chris Penrose

Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

The spring of 2018 was the latest I can remember feeding hay to cattle and many producers were searching at the last minute to find some extra hay. Pastures were very slow growing this spring until it finally warmed up in early May. On my farm, common orchardgrass typically starts heading out in late April and it was two weeks later this year.

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Allison Schmuck Has a Passion for Beef Cattle

Allison Schmuck Has a Passion for Beef Cattle

Sandra Lepley

Lancaster Farming

In addition to earning the esteemed Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association Young CattleWoman of the Year award, the Somerset County ninth-grader spent last year overcoming Hodgkin lymphoma. After 16 weeks of intensive in-patient chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh last fall, she returned to her country life and her cows. She’s since been diagnosed cancer-free. “She missed out on a lot of shows last year, and the Somerset County Fair at the end of August was the first time she showed,” said her mother Kim. “But, the first place she wanted to be after her chemo treatments was the barn, no matter how good or bad she was feeling. It was the best therapy in the world for her.”

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Tell clients about mineral timing and balance

Tell clients about mineral timing and balance

Alan Newport

Beef Vet

In discussions about mineral supplementation, it’s good to remind your clients that the timing for correcting mineral deficiencies is critical. Since many of these problems manifest in calves and begin in utero, the fast-growth third trimester is a critical time to be certain cows are full-up on supplements, says Dr. Jeffery Hall, toxicology lab manager for the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

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