Exhibitors and show-goers alike will Break New Ground at this year’s 51st annual Farm Science Review, reveling in the latest technology, equipment and innovations in the agriculture industry. “Last year for the 50th anniversary of the Farm Science Review, we celebrated the milestone by reflecting on the storied past and the rich history of the show,” said Chuck Gamble, Farm Science Review Manager. “This year, we’re focusing on the future of our industry and how we can better prepare farmers for the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Scales and agriculture have gone hand in hand for centuries. The food chain has become big business throughout the course of recent history, and Wisconsin-based Rice Lake Weighing Systems is just one company that cut its teeth on farming. This family-owned scale maker could once call Wisconsin’s creameries and dairies the bread and butter of their business. Today, the “Rice Lake” brand can be found worldwide, from alfalfa fields and feed mills to grocery delis and checkout counters.
Livestock scales are generally used in weighing large animals like cattle, horses and sheep, since these animals need to be held and weighed accurately. Weighing scales are particularly important to veterinarians specializing in farm animals because typical veterinary scales are unable to weigh large animals. Likewise, weighing scales are also used in zoos to monitoring the weights of the animals.
Crossbreeding may fit most producers, but it is not the only logical path, says a leading cattle feeder and an animal scientist. Tom Brink, president of J&F Oklahoma Holdings, says feeding 1.6 million cattle per year at Five Rivers Feedlots has led him to conclude: “Planned crossbreeding is not the problem. Planned straight breeding is not the problem. Breeding cattle without any consistent plan is the problem.” He commented at the 45th Annual Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) meeting June 12 in Oklahoma City, where a series of presentations and a panel discussion examined the rationale for breeding systems.
Ultra-high stock density grazing, also called mob grazing, is a practice where a large concentration of animals are restricted to graze a small area, usually for a very short period of time. While there’s no strict definition on the size of herd or smallness of the area, some folks suggest at least 300,000 lbs. of animals/acre, or about 200 cow-calf pairs/acre, 1,000 pairs on five acres, or 50 pairs on a quarter acre. A few mob grazing experts have gone more than three times higher, to more than 1 million lbs. of animal/acre, says Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.
We got an outpouring of letters and emails from participants in our recent Cute Cattle Contest.
The letter reprinted below is typical of the positive experience our nation’s youth and young adults are having with raising livestock. The letter was sent to me by Laura Dove, who stated “I’m writing you because of how hard Derek works, and because many of his friends have given up on the farming dream.