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by WLJ
2007 December 20
There is a way to beat high nitrogen fertilizer costs for pastures when it comes to putting pounds on calves. This is according to a four-year study comparing different pasture management systems with cows and calves by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. Based on average daily gain of calves, the study found that adding a cool-season clover to a warm-season perennial grass was more profitable than applying high amounts of nitrogen. “Adding a cool-season clover to a warm-season perennial grass was more profitable than the high- and no-input systems because the clover extended the grazing season, had higher nutritive value,
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Most horse owners know that their equine companions are at great risk for contracting West Nile Virus (WNV), but a newly reported case of WNV in Montana has some suggesting there are new species being placed at increased risk for the disease. The pervasiveness of the disease and its ability to spread to new host species is well documented, and this year is no different. In fact, the first-ever moose to test positive for WNV was recently discovered in Ravalli County, MT, after a mother and two calves wandered near a town where one calf collapsed due to illness. According
2007 December 20
The recent drought is only the last on a relatively long list of natural calamities that impact agricultural producers. Currently, not only do those involved have little to no moisture, but nature’s wrath and fire are literally burning what remains. The tragedy is exponentially confounded when what stored forage remains is burned. The response is critical, but the correct or even the most appropriate answer generally is not well-known. The bottom line quickly becomes survival, financial
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Last week, USDA came out with their first in-field corn reports for the season, which was expected at around 10.8 million bushels. Estimates this summer have ranged between 10.4 and 11.2 billion bushels. Generally, crop estimates go all over the map until some of the corn counters get out in the field and do actual surveys, which USDA just did. The benchmark survey I like to reference is the Sid Love-Joe Kroph corn tour sponsored by economist
by WLJ
2007 December 20
The new branded beef product is called Greg Norman Australian Prime. Basically, the brand specializes in grain-fed Wagyu beef. The signature product, called Greg Norman Signature Wagyu, consists of beef derived from Wagyu-based cattle, which translates into “Japanese cow,” fed for 350 days. In addition, the brand will also market Greg Norman Premium, also grain-fed, but for 120 days. To appeal to golf courses, the Greg Norman Australian Prime will also market Greg Norman 100 percent Australian Beef Patties and Hot Dogs.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Gerald Brice (GB) Barry Gerald Brice (GB) Barry passed away in his home July 31, 2006. Barry was born Sept. 13, 1923, in Kansas City, MO, to Gerald Francis and Alice Schaub Barry. GB enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp in April 1942. He was honorably discharged in May 1946 after he proudly served his country in the consolidation of the Solomon Islands, the New Guinea Operation and defense and capture of Guadalcanal.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
“Ranchers in Owyhee County were faced with conditions created by the Wilderness Study Areas and Owhyee Canyonlands which made it impossible to make changes or improvements to their grazing allotments. Decisions by Federal Judge B. Lynn Winmill and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) weren’t helping either,” said Fred Grant, co-chair of the Owyhee Initiative. “Ranchers here knew the writing was on the wall and saw an opportunity to help get range management decisions that were based on sound range science instead of politics.”
by WLJ
2007 December 20
After the long awaited announcement was made by Japanese officials to resume trade, many beef packing facilities scurried to get their product back in the Japanese marketplace, which was once the largest U.S. export market. In fact, prior to the ban, Japan was a $1.4 billion market for the U.S. beef business. Although the trade resumption is, undoubtedly, good news for the beef industry across the board, many industry leaders say the process will be a long one and ultimately entails trust building. “The Japanese consumer likely has
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In late July, Geri Lyn went to Hawaii to attend the American Veterinarian Medical Association convention and I tagged along. It had been quite a few years since I had been there in the Navy. After the convention was over, I wanted to go to the USS Arizona National Monument. The last time I was there was 1967 when I was getting out of the Navy and, at that time, there was no visitor center. We were told to be there early in the morning to get tickets
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 The telephone rang yesterday morning. “Can I have some of those electronic identification tags?” the voice on the telephone asked. The call was like many already received and more will come. “What are you going to use them for?” I asked. “I need to put them in the calves when I sell so they will be age and source verified,” the voice on the telephone responded. I could feel a headache coming on. I couldn’t help but moan for a non-mutable industry, an industry filled with old cowboy mentality that spends extraordinary amounts of energy resisting change. A common point of discussion
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has been concerned about membership for quite some time. But it appears they were very concerned about that during their last meeting in Denver, at least that was what much of the talk was about and a few special meetings were set to address it. In a membership forum, members from the various state associations all had the chance to tell the leadership their concerns and how to correct them. The past few months, rival association R-CALF has been touting a membership of 18,000 and stating they are the fastest growing cattlemen’s association.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 15, 2005 One of the main hurdles that many taxpayers face in an audit with the IRS is showing an effort to change methods of operation or procedures that could result in an improved profit picture. Often taxpayers in the livestock or other farming industries will fail to document legitimate changes they have made to enhance operations, and this can be a problem, among others, in withstanding IRS scrutiny. If you are audited, you will be expected to show how you keep records in connection with the day-to-day business of your activity. Today IRS enforcement has stepped up the level of
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Initial testing at two British farms thought to be potentially infected with foot- and-mouth disease (FMD) resulted in negative results, according to officials in the U.K. last Wednesday. They followed up the announcement saying that the risk of the virus spreading beyond the initial outbreak was now “very low.” Britain’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds, said further tests were planned to confirm that animals on the farm and at a nearby theme park petting zoo were not infected with FMD. Concern spread last Tuesday and the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) set up two mile perimeter
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 20, 2007 Power Trip Most guys like muscle cars, but cowboys like muscle pickups—four-wheel drives with diesel Cummins or Powerstroke engines. I just like throwing around power. It’s seldom I get to drive our souped-up pickup; a black Dodge diesel dually. The rare times I do drive it, the trailer’s hooked on to haul kids to rodeos or the butcher critter for processing. My husband was recently forced to let me take it up without the trailer for a long-standing appointment, sixty miles away, to install a power chip and get a tune-up. He had an urgent need to haul 2,000
by WLJ
2007 December 20
August 20, 2007 Are you producing widgets? I wonder where Mack is today. When I knew him, he was a human-resource manager at a big publishing house. He once told me, “Magazines are like widgets. We produce a certain number and sell them through subscriptions and advertising.” Part of Mack’s job was to fire people who showed too much creativity, or tried to break the widget mold, and replace them with more suitable yes-persons. Fortunately, as management also broke the mold, he left publishing. I think he went back to the widget industry, but he could have taken up ranching somewhere. Too
by WLJ
2007 December 20
In a show of cooperation between ranchers and environmentalists, a recent land deal in Yolo County, CA, is highlighting the potential of such partnerships which serve the twin goals of preserving ranch land and preventing suburban sprawl. Audubon California purchased Bobcat Ranch as part of an effort to create a corridor of public and private land running from Vacaville, CA, to Lake County. Unlike some past conservation projects purchased by other organizations, California Audubon intends to leave cattle on the land as an integral part of the ranch’s management plan. That has added to the organization’s credibility when negotiating with
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Producers in every sector of the cattle industry are facing rising costs, but none that impact the bottom line more than the cost of feed. To maintain profitability, producers must be able to identify genetic lines that provide the most feed efficient animals possible. Bovigen is addressing this ever-increasing need with a true technological breakthrough: the industry’s first and only DNA test that can identify an animal’s genetic ability to efficiently convert feed. “Producers can use the new GeneSTAR feed efficiency test to identify up to a $50 difference in feed cost between animals when ration costs are at $165/ton,”
by WLJ
2007 December 20
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials announced a new initiative on Aug. 10 which includes heavier enforcement of labor laws and new processes designed to streamline the DHS’s ability to prosecute violators. The new initiative, crafted by Bush administration officials, takes direct aim at congressional leaders who failed to pass Bush-backed immigration reform measures earlier this summer. DHS will now begin seeking criminal action and increased fines against employers who knowingly violate immigration laws by hiring illegal workers, and will increasingly use ‘no- match letters’ (NML) in its prosecution efforts. The Social Security Administration (SSA) sends NMLs to employers
by WLJ
2007 December 20
Another Colorado rodeo bull was undergoing a necropsy last week to determine whether it had been infected with bovine tuberculosis(TB). If the test results were found to be positive, it would be the second case of the disease found in less than a year, placing Colorado’s TB Accredited Free status in jeopardy. Two unrelated cases found in a single state during a one-year period could lead USDA to delist Colorado. Tests were expected to be completed within a week. Colorado Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president Terry Fankhauser cautioned that the results were preliminary and inconclusive until confirmatory tests were complete.
by WLJ
2007 December 20
USDA Prime, Choice, Select and Standard have been the staples of graded beef, at least since the system was overhauled in the 1970s. The Choice grade may have been made too broad for effective use because in recent years, its upper two-thirds has further segmented into a kind of fifth grade: premium Choice. The industry is half a billion dollars ahead each year because of that. Cattle-Fax published a paper in July called “Value of Quality Analysis,” which considered what would happen if all the premium quality categories and brands went away. “If we went back to a Choice/Select basis