April 2012

Farm Banks Strong

The banking industry continues to be the major source of agricultural credit, providing more than half of all outstanding farm loans, according to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report.

 

The nation’s 2,185 farm banks increased farm and ranch lending $3.8 billion or 5.6 percent in 2011, for a total outstanding balance of $72.3 billion. “The growth in farm loans shows banks continue to meet the credit needs of both large and small farms and remain the most important supplier of agricultural credit,” said John Blanchfield, senior vice president and director of ABA’s Center for Agricultural & Rural Banking.

Breeding For Improved Feed Efficiency

Breeding for feed efficiency can save $55/ cow/ year in feed costs, said Dr. John Basarab, University of Alberta, at the British Cattle Breeders Conference 2012, highlighting the importance of feed efficiency.  Feed efficiency is crucial, Dr. Basarab said, when you consider that 50-70 percent of production costs, whether it be for the cow-calf herd or in the feedlot are associated with feeding. In fact two thirds of the energy that cows consume is used only on maintenance.


NO IMPROVEMENTS
IN EFFICIENCY TO DATE

Understanding Genetic Potential

With a sample of hair, tissue or blood, cattle producers can find out whether the offspring of their breeding animals are more likely to produce tender beef, deliver calves more easily, or even survive at all.  And the companies that test the samples are only scratching the surface.

 

Akaushi: A Genetic Treasure

Akaushi beef inspires praise for trumping other breeds in marbling capacity and health benefits, while the breed itself displays competitive traits such as feed efficiency and calving ease.

Bubba Bain, executive director of the American Akaushi Association; Jordan Beeman, president of HeartBrand Beef; and Bill Fielding, CEO of HeartBrand Beef, collectively divulge the story of their prized product that they expect will “change the industry.”

Over the past century, Akaushi cattle were fondly considered Japan’s “national treasure.” Their genetics were strictly guarded and unshared with the international cattle market.