Livestock



Legitimacy of EPA Total Maximum Daily Load rule called into question

The Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council (ANPC), a coalition of agricultural groups, released a third party report last month conducted by LimnoTech that raises significant questions about the data used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) rule. In a report, “Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on Cultivated Cropland in the Chesapeake Bay Region,” developed by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), very different estimates of pollutant loads to the Chesapeake Bay are reported compared to EPA’s data.

“Basically, we have two different agencies in this administration studying the same thing but yielding completely different results,” said Ashley Lyon, deputy environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “USDA’s report clearly shows that farmers and ranchers have already significantly surpassed EPA targets for reductions in sediment and phosphorus.”

The LimnoTech report found many discrepancies between USDA’s report and EPA’s data.… Continue reading

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Swine premises identification surpasses 90%

As of today, 92% of all U.S. swine premises now have a nationally standardized premises identification number (PIN). This milestone figure, calculated by the Pork Checkoff using USDA data, represents 65,907 premises. Nearly half of these farms were registered over the last three years in conjunction with a cooperative agreement between the pork industry and USDA.

“This achievement means that pork producers and the pork industry realize that premises identification is instrumental in helping to take the health of our herds into the 21st century and to protect our industry from long-term negative consequences of a foreign animal disease,” said Gene Nemechek, a swine veterinarian from Springdale, Ark., and president of the National Pork Board. “The nationally standardized PIN is the cornerstone for more rapid and accurate traceability, which supports a faster response to animal-health events from the farm level on up. It has already proven to be useful in states assisting pork producers in a weather disaster.… Continue reading

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Ohio Beef Expo deadlines approach

As you break out your new 2011 calendar and begin to add important dates, be sure to mark March 18-20 for the Ohio Beef Expo to be held at the Ohio Expositions Center in Columbus, Ohio. Plans for the 2011 Expo are well underway and this year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best ever with breed sales, shows and one of the Midwest’s largest and most competitive junior shows.

The Expo will once again include a three-day industry trade show. Last year’s trade show which encompassed over 22,000 square feet of indoor space was a full house. If you are interested in promoting your cattle industry related product with a display in the 2011 event, contact Jamie King at (614) 873-6736 as soon as possible. The early deadline to reserve space in the trade show is January 3.

Consignments are now being accepted for the Angus, Chianina, Hereford, Limousin, Maine-Anjou, Shorthorn and Simmental sales.… Continue reading

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Exports strong for beef and pork

October was a very strong month for U.S. red meat exports, according to results compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports achieved their second-highest value of the year at $375.3 million (trailing only June’s $377.6 million), surpassing the September total by 11% and beating October 2009 by an impressive 37%.

Pork export value was third-highest of the year at $407.8 million — trailing only May ($419.3 million) and June ($425.3 million). The October value total was 7% higher than September and 9% higher than October 2009.

Beef export value ahead of 2003’s record pace

The strong showing in October pushed 2010 beef export value to $3.28 billion, surpassing the January-October 2003 total of $3.26 billion. Beef export value finished 2003 with an all-time, single-year record total of $3.86 billion. Compared to 2009, beef export value is up by 28%. In terms of volume, beef exports reached 863,046 metric tons for the year, outpacing 2009 by 16%.… Continue reading

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Limited forage supply adds to beef feeding woes

Heavy spring rains and late summer drought were the perfect storm for the forage issues that now plague beef producers.

Forages are in short supply in some areas and of low quality in others, leaving beef producers to deal with the high prices of alternative feeds to meet the energy and protein needs of their herds, said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist.

“We’re getting a number of calls from producers who are asking questions about a short forage supply, either because they had to start feeding hay earlier than normal, or because they didn’t get a second or third cutting in during the growing season,” Lemenager said. “Some producers have a carryover of hay from the previous year, but that hay is more weathered and lower quality.”

Many of the producers who started to feed hay early had to do so because the drought wreaked havoc on the pastures where cows were grazing.… Continue reading

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Slow recovery for the dairy industry

The dairy industry is slowly recovering from low prices and record losses encountered in 2009 and early 2010, a Purdue University agricultural economist said.

“It will take higher prices over an extended period of time for dairy producers to begin to replace equity that was lost in 2009 and early 2010,” said Nicole Olynk.

Typical dairy farms in 2009 lost $350 to $1,000 per cow in equity. Part of the losses were driven by high costs, especially feed and labor, exceeding returns from milk sales and lower value of cows and heifers as dairy replacements, said Olynk and Purdue Extension dairy specialist Mike Schutz. Dairy farms that were better able to control their own forage production and that had more equity, often through owned land, were best positioned to survive such economic loses.

Milk cow prices were at $1,290 at the beginning of 2010, compared with $1,920 a year earlier, although prices are now moving higher along with increasing milk prices, Schutz said.… Continue reading

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China, corn and cattle

The No. 1 factor in cattle feeding profit or loss is not fed or feeder cattle price, beef demand or the nation’s shrinking cowherd.It’s the price of corn.

“U.S. cattlemen, I can’t say it strong enough,” said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Company of Chicago.  “You’ve got to be focused on grain prices and your ingredient prices because it’s going to determine who stays in business, who makes money, who expands and who goes.”

Basse addressed crowds at the Feeding Quality Forum Nov. 9 in Grand Island, Neb., and Nov. 11 in Amarillo, Texas. The market analyst examined the interactions between corn and beef markets, starting with global factors that affect both.

“It used to be when I woke up in the morning, I would look at the weather forecast as one of the first drivers for grain markets,” Basse said. “Now I get up and the first thing I think about is, what are the Chinese markets doing?”… Continue reading

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Animal Welfare Symposium

The 2nd annual Animal Welfare Symposium featured Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and well-known animal handling expert and autism advocate. In addition, attendees got practical advice and answers to commonly asked questions about how to best handle and manage compromised animals, learned the latest consumer research on perceptions of animal agriculture and the implications for the livestock industry and heard an update on the activities of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

For posted presentations from the program, visit:

http://vet.osu.edu/preventive-medicine/AnimalWelfareSymposiumContinue reading

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Optimism for hog prices

Hog producers have been feeling the bite of losses once again this fall, but there is reason for some optimism, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University Extension economist.

“First, hog prices are probably at their seasonal lows in late November as consumers are buying their Thanksgiving turkey rather than pork. Second, lower corn and meal prices provide an opportunity to lock in feed prices at levels that were not available a few weeks ago,” he said.

The 2011 outlook also provides some optimism for a year of positive margins on average. Producers may want to consider taking some of those positive margins now, he said.

Live hog prices fell from near $60 per hundredweight in September to the mid-$40s by mid-November. With costs of production in the mid-$50s, this means losses near $15 per head in the final quarter, he said.

“The saving grace is that profits were strong last spring and summer.… Continue reading

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio's new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.… Continue reading

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio’s new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.… Continue reading

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Free program to demonstrate livestock handling principles

Animal handling is an important component of an overall animal welfare strategy, and implementing low-stress practices are not only healthy for the animal, but also make things easier for the animal handler.

Ohio State University Extension will be offering a free livestock handling demonstration on Nov. 20 from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Scott Pfeiffer Farm, 4315 Marion Johnson Road near Albany, Ohio. OSU Extension beef cattle specialist Steve Boyles will discuss the moving and handling of livestock and demonstrate some animal handling principles.

“In today’s social environment and with agriculture under increasingly close scrutiny, it’s important that livestock producers and animal handlers apply low-stress animal handling principles,” said Rory Lewandowski, an OSU Extension educator in Athens County. “Additionally, evidence clearly shows it is a more productive way of handling livestock.”

During the handling demonstration, a number of animal handling principles will be discussed, including:

• Flight zone: The flight zone is how close one can get to the animal before it begins to back away.

Continue reading

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NPPC urges resolution of issues related to U.S.-South Korea FTA

The National Pork Producers Council expressed disappointment that a final deal has not been reached between the United States and South Korea on issues related to trade in beef and automobiles. An agreement would have paved the way for the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement to be completed.

The two sides had hoped to resolve the outstanding issues before the conclusion of the  G-20 economic meeting in Seoul, South Korea, which was held this week. The U.S.-South Korea FTA was signed on June 30, 2007. The FTA must be approved by the U.S. Congress as well as the South Korean National Assembly.

The FTA would be one of the most lucrative for the U.S. pork industry, according to NPPC, which has championed the pact for more than three years now. The organization is urging resolution of the outstanding issues so that congressional lawmakers can approve the trade deal as soon as possible.… Continue reading

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Ohio team wins Dairy Quiz Bowl at NAILE

NAILE dairyquiz

Young people who have set their sights on a career in the dairy business, or in some other aspect of agriculture, turned out in big numbers to compete at the 2010 Dairy Quiz Bowl in Louisville.

The Invitational 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl took place Nov. 5-6 at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). Ohio brought home top honors in the event.

Teams of young people from 20 states competed by testing their knowledge on many levels of the dairy business. The contest began with a written test the evening of Nov. 5, and the teams competed in a toss-up question phase on Nov. 6.

The contest includes a double elimination. Ohio was advancing through the main bracket and then was beaten by the team from New York, so they went to the consolation rounds. They ended up being undefeated in the consolation rounds, resulting in them going against the winner of the main bracket — a rematch with New York that Ohio won.… Continue reading

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ATI gets a new milking parlor to further an old work ethic

By Kyle Sharp

For years, I’ve heard about Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. I’ve driven past the teaching and residential campus while visiting the neighboring Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. I’ve known students who have gone there. I even wrote several stories about faculty and programs taking place there when I used to work for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences prior to joining Ohio’s Country Journal.

But the reality of the institution was really driven home to me this month when I visited ATI’s Apple Creek Farm to learn about ATI’s new dairy parlor and renovated facility that has been shaving milking time and labor costs, improving milk quality, and providing a brighter and more inviting work environment.

Here’s what I knew about ATI before: “ATI is ranked number one in the nation among two-year schools awarding associate degrees in agriculture and related sciences.… Continue reading

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Staugler family has long, continuing legacy in Ohio poultry

If you ever work with Cooper Farms, a large integrated turkey operation in northwest Ohio that also is involved in egg and pork production, there’s a good chance you will run into a member of the Staugler family.

Tom Staugler is the manager at Cooper’s Fort Recovery feed mill, Chuck Staugler is in charge of meat sales and works out of St. Henry, Sandy (Staugler) Hastings is a human resources specialist at Fort Recovery, Jack Staugler is Cooper’s corporate director of human resources, Bill Staugler is the turkey production manager, and Dave “Chester” Staugler and Bob Staugler are in charge of support services, assisting with movement of turkeys, hens and hogs among Cooper’s contract producers.

It’s no coincidence. The Stauglers play a key role in the Cooper Farms story.

Nearly a century ago, Werner “Dick” Staugler began his career working at the St. Clair Mills, located in downtown Ft. Recovery, where 1,000 turkeys were raised.… Continue reading

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American Goat Federation completes incorporation

The American Goat Federation (AGF), the first-ever national organization devoted to the entire goat industry, proudly announces its incorporation. The purpose of the AGF will be to build and define the U.S. goat industry on a unified front to work on issues facing the whole industry.

“The AGF will strive to promote and facilitate the development of all segments of the goat industry including dairy, meat and fiber by encouraging sound public policy, enhancing production and marketing of goat products and promoting research beneficial to member organizations and all producers,” explains Tom Boyer, AGF president and Utah sheep and goat producer.

Boyer is joined on the board by Robin Saum (Ohio), vice president; An Peischel (Tenn.), secretary/treasurer; and board members Steve Burton (Utah), Linda Campbell (Va.), Brian Faris, Ph.D. (Kan.), Will Getz, Ph.D. (Ga.), Shawn Harper (Ky.), Katherine Harrison (Ohio), Pierce Miller (Texas) and Sandra Miller (Pa.).

Currently, the organization is completing membership development guidelines and seeks to actively represent the interests of more than 100 organizations and thousands of producers engaged in the sustainable production and marketing of goat milk, meat, fiber and grazing services across the United States.… Continue reading

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Study finds GISPSA to be costly regulation

An economic impact study conducted by John Dunham and Associates, Inc. concludes that the Obama Administration’s proposed rule on livestock marketing could leave approximately 104,000 additional Americans without jobs. Consequently, the study reports a $14 billion reduction in the National Gross Domestic Product.

“The estimated rate of producer job loss in rural America would be high. When folks are forced out of the livestock industry, they don’t come back,” said Sam Carney, National Pork Producers Council president. “Given this study, it is now more important than ever for USDA to conduct a thorough economic analysis so that producers understand the true cost of the Administration’s proposed regulations.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration proposed the rule on June 21, 2010, in response to a request made by Congress. However, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President (NCBA) Steve Foglesong said the rule goes beyond the intent of Congress and serves as another example of government overreach into private business. 

… Continue reading

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Animal Welfare Symposium

An animal welfare symposium is scheduled for November 30, 2010 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center located at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive on the OSU Campus. The symposium has a great line up of speakers, including Temple Grandin as the keynote speaker and is co-hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. To see the complete program agenda, including online registration, go to: http://vet.osu.edu/preventive-medicine/AnimalWelfareSymposium.… Continue reading

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