Cow Age and Cow Productivity (When is She Too Old?)
October is traditionally calf weaning and cow culling month for spring calving operations. At cow culling time, producers often face some tough decisions. Optimum culling of the herd often seems to require a sharp crystal ball that could see into the future. If rainfall allows forage growth to be adequate, keeping an older cow to have another calf to wean next year is tempting.
What path will you choose for this cattle cycle?
John F. Grimes
Ohio’s Country Journal
Based on reports from USDA and industry analysts such as Cattle Fax, it appears that the aggressive expansion of the U.S. beef cowherd will peak in 2019 and level off in the early part of the next decade. From the time the most recent herd expansion began in 2014, producers will have added over 3 million beef cows to the nation’s herd. Our primary protein competitors, pork and poultry, have also been in expansion mode recently which adds more competition for the consumer’s food dollars.
Weaning calves at home?
The Cattle Business Weekly
Preconditioning weaned calves for at least 45 days may give producers the biggest bang for their buck. “The goals of preconditioning are to either get more money for your calves or keep the calf alive,” according to Dr. Randy Hunter, DVM – VRCS. Hunter manages a feed yard of stocker cattle and shared with producers important considerations when preconditioning calves during the recent Livestock Exchange 50th / 5th anniversary open house in Brush, Colo.
Cattle Broker Gambled Away Investors’ Money
An Indiana cattle broker pled guilty to one charge of wire fraud in federal court after enacting a plan prosecutors say resembled a Ponzi scheme. Brian D. Jones faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison operated a business buying and selling bull calves from dairy farms in Wisconsin and selling them to cattle ranches in Texas and Missouri, according to court documents.
More livestock producers are seeing the value of traceability and are providing input
The Fence Post
The conversation surrounding livestock traceability has been gaining steam as pilot programs begin in various states testing high-frequency electronic identification tags.
Dangerous game of chasing wrong thing?
Dr. Nevil Speer
Just as I was finishing last month’s column, a friend forwarded a press release regarding country-of-origin labeling (COOL). I was busy at the time with some meetings and didn’t give it much thought. However, I circled back after seeing a response to my column that caught my attention: “The author of the article make [sic] references to identifying his computer in the airport with a beef sticker. Well we once again need to identify our beef with the U.S. label. We need to bring back COOL or a form of it.”
Producers vs corporations
The Catfish Institute of Mississippi supports M-COOL Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for catfish. Mississippi Cattleman’s Association and Farm Bureau Federation don’t support M-COOL for beef and pork producers. Why is that? The Catfish Institute of MS represents the catfish farmers of MS, while the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Bureau Federation have corporate influence that drown out the producers’ voice. What is good for the processor isn’t always good for the producer.