When you pasture cattle, a good barbed wire fence is a necessity. However, one of the most detested jobs cattle producers have to do is fix fence. It seems that every spring several days are devoted to fixing downed or sagging barbed wire fences. For 41-year old western South Dakota rancher, Beau Bendigo, fixing fences has always been part of his way of life. Even as a child, he had to fix fence with his dad. “It was one of the jobs I hated the most,” says Bendigo.
As 2014 draws to a close, the snow begins to fall, and various opportunities for extending the grazing season are ending, it is a good time to consider the opportunities that exist to manage your current feed inventory and minimize feeding costs during the coming winter. With cattle at record prices and grain prices declining markedly relative to the past few years, it may be tempting to become complacent about minimizing feed costs, but this would be ill advised. This may in fact be the best time to invest in new practices and technologies to help weather the next, inevitable downturn in the cattle cycle.
Supreme International is known around the world for building vertical processors that meet the highest expectations of quality and performance. Supreme has earned this reputation by custom designing and building each mixer to the end user’s specifications, and using only the highest quality parts and components.
In previous articles, we have talked about factors that affect the uniformity and consistency of Total Mixed Rations (TMR). In this article we present methods for compensating for the most common mix uniformity problems, namely uneven distribution across the feedbunk, excessive amounts of long material, and sorting behavior.
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.
There are many obstacles to overcome when putting up quality hay, silage or fermented grains. These include: crop maturity, packing density, humidity, oxygen and plant moisture content. Silo-King®, a forage and grain treatment additive helps protect feedstuffs from these obstacles, while enhancing digestibility and feed efficiency.
There are two main goals when making fermented feeds: 1) rapid fermentation for maximum preservation of nutrients which happens at the beginning of fermentation; 2) providing a stable product during storage and feed out occurring at the back end of fermentation. Several different technologies are required to accomplish these goals from start to finish.
For 31-year old Kyle Hotz, of rural Lone Tree, Iowa, and a 5th generation farmer/cattle producer, raising cattle has truly been his life. “When I was eight years old, my dad took me over to West Liberty and I got my first heifer to show in 4-H,” remembers Hotz. Today, Kyle and his wife Angela, along with his dad Keith, own Hotz Farms (www.hotzfarms.com), a purebred Angus operation featuring 100 commercial cows along with satellite herds that through a very intense embryo transfer breeding program produces 20-40 top heifers for the Hotz Farm Elite Online Sale held each year in early November.
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.
As many cattlemen and women know all too well, one of the greatest threats our industry faces is regulation from Washington, D.C. And for many years now, the industry has braced for a rule-making by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers that would substantially impact all uses and users of land, not just farming and ranching. That rule-making came this spring in the form of the EPA and Corps’ Waters of the United States proposed rule, or WOTUS.
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.