Livestock



USDA revises national nutrient management standard

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land. Proper application of nitrogen and phosphorus offers tremendous benefits to producers and the public, including cost savings to the producer and the protection or improvement of ground and surface water, air quality, soil quality and agricultural sustainability.

“Protecting America’s supply of clean and abundant water is an important objective for USDA,” Vilsack said. “This precious resource is the foundation for healthy ecosystems and sustainable agricultural production. USDA provides voluntary technical and financial assistance to help producers manage their nutrients to ensure a clean and abundant water supply while maintaining viable farm and ranch operations.”

The nutrient management conservation practice is an important tool in the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation toolbox. The agency’s staff uses this conservation practice to help farmers and ranchers apply their nutrients more efficiently.… Continue reading

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Memorial gifts received by Jersey Youth Academy

The Jersey Youth Academy was created in 2008 by the Board of Directors of the American Jersey Cattle Association to attract, educate and retain talented young people for careers in the Jersey dairy business. The program is conducted every two years, with all program costs paid by the Academy fund.

Calvin and Lorraine Covington, Clemmons, N.C., made a contribution in memory of Norma “Duffy” Lyon, Toledo, Iowa. Known the world over as “the Butter Cow Lady,” Duffy was named an AJCA Honorary Member in 2007 and was World Dairy Expo’s Dairywoman of the Year in 1990.

Memorial gifts were also received honoring Neal F. Schirm, Canal Winchester, Ohio. A lifelong Jersey breeder, Schirm served as Director of the American Jersey Cattle Club and received the AJCA Distinguished Service Award in 2004. He was one of the founders and original delegates to the Central Ohio Breeders Association. Making contributions were J. Lawrence and Barbara C.… Continue reading

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Support Angus youth with holiday gift buying

Get the holidays cooking with Gifts that Sizzle gift boxes by The American Angus Auxiliary and Certified Angus Beef (CAB). The special people on your shopping list will be pleased with CAB, filet mignon, strip steaks, rib eye steaks or a combination steak package.

Plus, with every purchase, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) will donate a percentage of the profit toward the American Angus Auxiliary educational outreach and scholarship programs for Angus youth.

“This is a win-win for all of us, from an educational standpoint, enhancing scholarship and educational programs while promoting a high-quality product,” says Jane Ebert, who helped create the Gifts that Sizzle program from Sparta, N.C.

Throughout the past five years, the Auxiliary has partnered with several companies when hosting holiday fundraisers. This year, the group is proud to partner solely with CAB to offer customers the best product available.

“Whether it is a holiday gift or customer appreciation, this is a great example of people who know they are giving a superior gift while helping youth.”… Continue reading

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USDA implements provisions from GIPSA

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA has published the Final Rule implementing the 2008 Farm Bill provisions under the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

“As I travel throughout the countryside, I often hear from farmers and ranchers about their concerns with the marketplace becoming more concentrated,” Secretary Vilsack said. “While concentration certainly comes with some efficiencies, Congress recognized in the 2008 Farm Bill that additional protections for producers are warranted. Today’s rule will implement these targeted protections and help provide more fairness and transparency in the marketplace.”

The provisions being finalized by the Department today were required by the 2008 Farm Bill and have been modified from the June 22, 2010 proposed rule. These sections include criteria the Secretary may consider when determining whether a live poultry dealer has provided reasonable notice to poultry growers of any suspension of the delivery of birds, when determining whether a requirement of additional capital investments over the life of a poultry growing arrangement or swine production contract constitutes a violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act and when determining if a packer, swine contractor, or live poultry dealer has provided a reasonable period of time for a grower to remedy a breach of contract that could lead to termination of a production contract.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef schools look at "new normal"

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

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Ohio beef schools look at “new normal”

By Stan Smith, Fairfield County Extension

 

“It’s a great time to be in agriculture.”

“We have more people to feed and a growing global economy. I don’t know of a better industry to be involved with than agriculture because the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

“If you’re in the cow-calf business you’ve got what everybody else wants. Prices will continue to move higher next year.”

Those words came from Randy Blach, president of Cattle-Fax, at the recent Kansas Livestock Association annual convention. More specifically he said 2012 and 2013 should provide excellent profit opportunities because declining inventories of stocker and feeder cattle will continue to support prices and keep cow-calf producers in the driver’s seat. In fact, Cattle-Fax projects average national prices for 550-pound calves to average $1.75 per hundredweight next year, and 750 to 800-pound yearlings to average $1.50 per hundredweight.

From a feeder’s perspective, consider Blach’s thoughts on marketing high quality fed cattle.… Continue reading

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FDA approves new BRD therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pulmotil, an innovative Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) treatment for groups of cattle in the early stages of a BRD outbreak that provides 14 days of sustained in-feed therapy, a practice that reduces stress associated with cattle handling.

Pulmotil is approved for the control of BRD associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni in groups of beef and non-lactating dairy cattle, where active BRD has been diagnosed in at least 10 percent of the animals in the group.

“This approval brings cattle veterinarians and producers a truly new management tool for controlling BRD,” said Jeff Simmons, president, Elanco. “With the introduction of Pulmotil, Elanco continues to bring the beef and dairy industries highly effective treatment solutions that provide more BRD management flexibility.”

BRD is the most common disease among feedlot cattle, accounting for approximately 75% of feedlot morbidity and 50 percent to 70% of feedlot deaths,costing the industry an estimated $800 to $900 million annually in economic losses due to reduced feed efficiency, treatment costs and deaths.… Continue reading

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Select Sires completes Calf Campus

Select Sires Inc. has completed the new Calf Campus facility located near Plain City, Ohio. During the summer of 2011, construction began to develop two state-of-the-art facilities that will foster bull calf health and growth at Select Sires. The bio-secure campus will be home to nearly 150 calves when it is fully occupied. 
 


The new calf facilities will promote vigor and fitness among the bull calves, enhancing the productivity of the bulls at a younger age for semen collection and enabling Select Sires’ customer-owners to have further success for many generations within their herd. Being mindful to environmental concerns, the facilities were created to self-contain all animal waste and water discharge, including a manure storage facility.
 


“This continued research, growth, development and investment from Select Sires demonstrates our commitment to creating a high-quality product for our customer-owners,” said David Thorbahn, president and chief executive officer of Select Sires. “With our latest expansion, Select Sires is anticipating earlier semen release on our most exclusive Program for Genetic Advancement bulls.… Continue reading

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National Cattlemen’s Foundation announces scholarship program

The National Catlemen’s Foundation is announcing an ongoing initiative to strengthen the future of the beef industry. Together with the NCBA and the CME Group, 10 $1,500 scholarships will be awarded to outstanding students who are pursuing careers in the beef industry. The 2012-2013 Beef Industry Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at two-year or four-year institutions for the 2012-2013 school year.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a career in the beef industry through classes, internships or life experiences. Fields of study for potential scholarship recipients may include education, communications, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry. Interim Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the National Cattlemen’s Foundation John Lacey said the scholarship program is aimed at helping future industry leaders.

“The Beef Industry Scholarships will help ensure a bright future for deserving students and for the beef industry in the United States,” Lacey said.… Continue reading

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Research to reduce gas emissions from animal facilities

By Lingying Zhao, Ohio State University associate professor and Extension agricultural engineer

Mitigate gas emissions from animal facilities

As animal farms evolve toward larger and more concentrated operations, animal barns and manure storages become significant sources of carbon and nitrogen gas emissions. These air emissions include odor, ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Ammonia emission results in rising environmental and health concerns. Methane and nitrous oxide emissions are known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing climate change concerns. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 27% and 76% of the total anthropogenic methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) emit from agricultural animal production activities. To achieve sustainable animal production, effective technologies to mitigate or recover ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from animal facilities are needed.

In reviewing the existing air emission abatement technologies, impermeable covers and bio-digesters are used to collect and produce methane from manure storages, biofilters are studied to effectively reduce odor emissions from swine buildings and manure storages, and wet scrubbers are developed to recover ammonia emission from animal buildings and manure storages.… Continue reading

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Profitable pork production in 2012?

The pork industry is expected to have a profitable year in 2012. In fact, the level of profitability could be the most favorable during the high-priced feed era, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist.

“Profits in 2012 are currently forecast to be near $17 per head, which would be the highest since 2006. That was the last year of the low feed-price era when corn prices received by farmers averaged about $2.30 per bushel for the calendar year and estimated hog profits were $27 per head,” he said.

Although a return to profitability is welcome news, there are deeper and more important implications, he said.

“The first is that the pork industry, like most other animal industries, has made the adjustments necessary to live in a world of high-priced feed. The second is that the pork industry probably has turned the corner on high feed prices as we look to 2012 with abundant and cheap feed wheat, prospects for moderation in the rate of growth in corn use for ethanol, the potential for a larger South American soybean crop, and hope for a return to higher U.S.… Continue reading

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Talkin’ turkey

A conversation with Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Poultry Association

OCJ: You prepare turkey quite often around the holidays. What do you look for when selecting your turkey?

Jim: Thanks for allowing me to talk turkey. I usually prepare 4-5 turkeys each holiday season — two for my family to enjoy and 2 or 3 for different presentations.

Many choices are available to the consumer. Frozen turkeys are most abundant this time of year in local supermarkets. Fresh (not frozen) turkeys are also an excellent choice. Both should yield a plump, juicy and flavorful holiday meal. You need to remember that turkeys take up a lot of space in the refrigerator. A frozen turkey will need to be in the refrigerator several days to thaw, while a fresh turkey may be purchased the day before. Frozen turkeys are also more economical. You may need to order a fresh turkey a couple of weeks in advance.… Continue reading

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Talkin' turkey

A conversation with Jim Chakeres, Executive Vice President of the Ohio Poultry Association

OCJ: You prepare turkey quite often around the holidays. What do you look for when selecting your turkey?

Jim: Thanks for allowing me to talk turkey. I usually prepare 4-5 turkeys each holiday season — two for my family to enjoy and 2 or 3 for different presentations.

Many choices are available to the consumer. Frozen turkeys are most abundant this time of year in local supermarkets. Fresh (not frozen) turkeys are also an excellent choice. Both should yield a plump, juicy and flavorful holiday meal. You need to remember that turkeys take up a lot of space in the refrigerator. A frozen turkey will need to be in the refrigerator several days to thaw, while a fresh turkey may be purchased the day before. Frozen turkeys are also more economical. You may need to order a fresh turkey a couple of weeks in advance.… Continue reading

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WTO rules on COOL

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced it has ruled in support of complaints by Canada and Mexico that U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) violates global trade rules and unjustly harms agricultural commerce. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall issued the following statement.

“This is a strong ruling from the World Trade Organization that proves COOL was not only a disservice to U.S. cattlemen and women but also contained far-reaching implications for two of the most important trade partners for U.S. agriculture. NCBA strongly advises the United States not to appeal this ruling. Instead, we urge U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to work with NCBA and other pro-trade organizations to apply pressure on Congress to bring the United States into WTO compliance across the board. We must act quickly before U.S. farmers and ranchers once again face unnecessary and unfortunate retaliatory tariffs on their products.

“This ruling solidifies our concerns that COOL would have extensive trade implications as NCBA expressed during 2008 Farm Bill deliberations.… Continue reading

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Congress restricts GIPSA

Congress voted Nov. 17 on a $19.8 billion 2012 agricultural spending bill that includes language blocking the U.S. Department of Agriculture from implementing controversial reforms to livestock and poultry marketing. The so-called GIPSA rule, proposed last year by the USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard’s Administration, would have wreaked havoc on the U.S. cattle industry causing livestock producers to lose an estimated $169 million, according to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall. He said Congress barred USDA from conducting any further work this year on sections of the rule not yet finalized.

“We stand firm behind those members of Congress who were willing to listen and understand the concerns of cattlemen, leading trade organizations, economists, consumers and others. This was a vote in favor of innovative family-owned farms and ranches,” said Woodall.

The agricultural appropriations bill is part of a $1.04 trillion bill adopted by both the U.S.… Continue reading

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Costs squeezing bottom line for dairy producers

With high forage costs and grain prices threatening profit margins for dairy producers, a Purdue Extension agricultural economist says it’s important to keep an eye on the bottom line.

The preliminary U.S. all milk price for October 2011 was estimated at $19.90 per hundredweight, which is a decrease from September but up about $1.40 from October of 2010. Despite the strong prices, soaring feed costs still threaten dairy producers’ profits.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s milk-to-feed price ratio for October 2011 was estimated at 1.79, down from a revised 1.84 in September 2011,” Nicole Olynk said. “Despite higher milk prices in 2011, rising feed costs have caused the decline in the milk-to-feed price ratio from 2.40 in October of last year.”

Part of the challenge for dairies has been corn and soybean prices. But October soybean and corn prices were down from September, averaging $5.92 per bushel for corn and $11.90 per bushel for soybeans.… Continue reading

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Sheep parasite research

Genetic resistance to a parasitic nematode that infects sheep has been discovered by a team of scientists with the USDA and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The researchers are the first to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL), genetic locations on chromosomes, for resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a double-backcross population derived from African native sheep. The parasites, common in tropical regions, cause significant economic and production losses in Africa each year. Sheep infected with parasites suffer from diarrhea, anemia, weight loss and sometimes death.

ARS geneticist Tad Sonstegard and researchers at ILRI in Kenya hope to identify genes that increase tolerance to parasites and improve production of grazing animals. ARS is USDA’s chief intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports USDA’s priority of promoting international food security.

In one study, researchers mapped the regions of the genome that control resistance to gastrointestinal nematode parasites in a sheep population bred by ILRI.… Continue reading

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BEST program to kick off Thanksgiving weekend

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association’s BEST program will get underway for 2011-2012 with the Heart of It All Show to be held Thanksgiving weekend on November 26 and 27 in Lima, Ohio.  BEST is a youth development program based on a series of sanctioned cattle shows held throughout Ohio. The program is proud to announce its sponsoring partners for the new show season. They are Bob Evans Farms, Burroughs Frazier Farms, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America, Green Oak Farms, M.H. Eby, Inc. and the Ohio Farm Bureau.

 

“BEST sponsors know they are helping develop the next generation of leaders with their support of the BEST program. Their tremendous support has allowed the program to continue to flourish during a time when many other programs are forced to downsize. We truly appreciate their partnership in this important youth development effort,” said Dave Felumlee, OCA President.

 

Complete exhibitor rules governing the BEST program and a show schedule for the season can be found at www.ohiocattle.org.… Continue reading

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Calves shifting to feedlots

Cattle producers are likely to use more corn than previously expected according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Cattle on Feed report.

The implication of the October 21 report is that feed grains used by cattle in feedlots from the 2011 crop will be more than 5% higher than what was fed from the 2011 crop.

“The real surprise was the higher number of placements in September that resulted in more than one-half million more cattle being fed than a year ago,” said Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt.

Calves can eat corn, but also can add weight with forages. However, according to Hurt, the high number of feedlot placements in September serves as an indication that corn has become “cheap” relative to forages.

“December corn futures fell by $1.75 per bushel in September, which was enough to shift the feedlot outlook from bleak to rosy,” he said. “Managers responded by buying light-weight animals, as placements of calves under 700 pounds were up a remarkable 14%.”… Continue reading

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