Beef Cattle Associations
While 2014 turned out to be a strong rebuilding year for much of the cattle industry, we saw a number of our policy priorities stalled due largely to the build up to the election and the regulatory zeal of this administration. While the drought receded from much of cattle country, hard hit for so many years, we saw new areas face difficult conditions. Thankfully a strong market helped mitigate these effects for many producers.
The title pretty much says it all, and for all intents it comes as no surprise. In October, the WTO publicly released their awaited opinion from the dispute settlement body on the US Country of Origin Labeling rule. The rule, placed into effect in 2008 requiring all beef be labeled as to its origin, was found not to be compliant with our international trade obligations, first in 2011. It was amended in May 2013 by the USDA to include born, raised and slaughtered information. The intent according to USDA, was to bring this rule into compliance.
When raising livestock, even the gentlest cows may unintentionally cause injury to a handler. In fact, the National Agricultural Safety Database statistics show that one in three farm worker injuries involve handling animals.
Many of these injuries include broken bones and crushed limbs that lead to missed days of work and unnecessary medical expenses due to a lack of safety awareness. That’s why an understanding of animal behavior is essential to prevent accidents.
Sex sorted semen has been a part of the dairy industry’s A.I. arsenal for more than a decade and is now making inroads into the beef industry as producers realize its ability to help maximize profits, minimize the variables that cause financial loss and improve the sustainability of their herds. Traditional knocks against sexed semen were that it cost more per straw than conventional semen and produced lower conception rates. But innovations developed by Texas-based Sexing Technologies are closing the price gap between sexed and conventional semen while minimizing the gap in conception rates as well.
We have been running British Whites here, on our ranch in northwestern South Dakota for years. They are truly a wonderful breed of cattle. I realized recently, however, that these unique animals have a very desirable trait that I’d overlooked or just not thought about. Now I call them “Timesavers.”
Cattle people are constantly trying to improve their herds. It’s automatic. When the shadows get long in the evening, and the cattle are grazing so placidly, we stop by and critique and evaluate mothers and the offspring there at their side. We want them to be prospering happily under our management and maybe even making us a little more money.
As we look forward to the current and future political landscape, one of the critical concerns for cattlemen and women, and for all small businesses nationwide, is a stable tax code. A stable tax code allows businesses to plan and manage profits and losses efficiently. The absence of a stable tax code, further adds uncertainty to an already volatile economy and commodity market. And while progress in this legislative session has been slow, at best, there may be momentum yet in 2014. This year, a number of tax provisions, important not only for the cattle industry but for the business community as a whole, expired. We lost key provisions like bonus depreciation, taking away our ability to accelerate depreciation schedules, and the Conservation Easement Tax Credit.
“Beautiful females are what we are after and that’s what Beefmaster bulls do for us,” says Travis Brown of Lykes Brothers Ranch in Okeechobee, Florida. This is the common language used by commercial cattlemen throughout the United States, appreciating the superior females that Beefmaster bulls produce. As our country is steadily working its way out of drought conditions and rebuilding cattle herds, there is a stronger emphasis on purchasing the right bull to produce superior replacement females. Cattle prices are up and cattlemen are overall experiencing a good year. However, it can become expensive to purchase high-end replacement females to rebuild excellent cattle herds.
Every winter cattle producers across the Snowbelt face the challenges of the harsh conditions that the winter season brings. It’s tough on both the cattle and the producers who work diligently to keep their herd in the best condition possible. As below-freezing temperatures set in, animals need additional feed and water to replenish the energy they expend to keep warm. In this food/water equation, it is their water consumption that helps keep everything in balance.
As previously stated “the objective of feeding a total mixed ration (TMR) is to provide a consistently uniform mix, with the intended ingredient and nutrient composition, across the entire length of the feedbunk with every batch.” And while a number of factors such as ingredient variability and moisture content, consistency of mixing procedures, operator error, and weighing system variability contribute to batch-to-batch variation, it is the characteristics of the mixer itself that essentially control within batch variation, and uniformity across the feedbunk. In this article we will discuss TMR mixer characteristics that affect mix uniformity and a sieving technique that can be used to evaluate it and make adjustments to improve animal performance.
Flies are notorious nuisance and public health pests because they have the ability to transmit serious pathogens to both humans and animals. These flies typically occur and breed in a variety of filthy areas, including manure, soiled bedding, spilled feed, garbage and other types of organic matter. One pound of manure can contain more than 1,500 fly maggots, so it is not hard to see how fly numbers can reach enormous proportions and threaten your livestock and workers. To prevent and reduce the instances of fly infestations, be sure to utilize the following best practices in your control plan: