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.
Cattlemen spend a lot of time looking at their input costs, and rightly so. These costs can become so daunting, however, that the net result is obscured: the output performance. This is the message that Trevor Greenfield, owner of Rio Nutrition located near Redwood Falls, Minnesota, is heralding. “It’s got to be about both — input costs and output performance — there needs to be a balance.
Enzyme technology is a hot topic in livestock nutrition these days, and Agri-King, Inc., based in Fulton, Ill., is leading the pack with their enzyme technology.“Agri-King uses enzyme technology to target the performance needs of multiple livestock species paired with the feedstuffs being fed to optimize feed efficiency and profitability for the global agriculture market being served,” says Dr. Dave Jones, Director of Nutrition at Agri-King.There is more nutrition in the feedstuffs we feed than livestock can extract by themselves. Given the current cost of feedstuffs and the slim margins in the livestock industry right now, everyone needs to be as efficient as possible at extracting all the possible nutrients out of the feeds we use in our livestock operations.
1. More Is Not Better
We can all do the math. +100 is more than +90 on yearling weight. On milk, +30 is more than +20 and that means more pounds to sell at weaning, right? However, these EPD’s only measure output – not profit. Profit is output minus cost. Unfortunately more output usually comes from more inputs – i.e. more feed. Animals with higher EPD’s for yearling and milk don’t convert better, they just eat more per day. Bigger EPD, higher feed consumption cattle have bigger mature weights. In fact, the dam of the average +100 YW EPD bull weighs over 1650 pounds in good body condition.
Everywhere you turn there is another good reason to attend the “Rocky Mountain Round-Up,” the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Denver, Colo., Feb 2-5.
On one front are the high caliber speakers lined up to address attendees at the event’s general sessions. The Opening General Session Feb. 2 will feature Richard Picciotto, Fire Department of New York Chief and the highest ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center Collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. Chief Picciotto is the author of Last Man Down, which chronicles his harrowing experience that day. He will provide a gripping, first-person account of the catastrophe and emergency response.
Suppose you gathered up exactly one hundred cow-calf producers representing a true cross-section of the commercial industry. And just suppose you asked all among the crowd who currently use artificial insemination in their operations to raise their hands. It’s likely there would be no more than eight hands waving in the air. There would be even fewer if you asked how many producers were practicing AI on mature cows. The simple fact is that most commercial producers shy away from AI. Of those that do use AI, most use it only for breeding replacement heifers.