Economists remind us that underlying all decisions in matters regarding money, human rationality is the prime motivator. People respond to impulses designed to reflect their own selfish economic best interest.
Thanks to scientific innovation in agriculture, farmers and ranchers are using fewer resources to grow an abundant, sustainable food supply. But I wonder how far our new technology and techniques will take us if farmers are left without one of the most critical resources to keep our farms sustainable: a stable workforce.
Congress enacted the CWA in the early 1970s to address the nation’s water pollution problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are two federal agencies with primary responsibility for implementing the CWA.
The public isn’t interested in hearing about on-farm efficiencies and productivity when it comes to technology that involves the environment, animals, and the food they feed their families. But that’s often the go-to justification. All consumers hear with that approach is how innovation benefits the farmer’s bottom line.
Weaning and “preg checking” tell us how successful our last two breeding seasons were. While many cow herd operators enjoy calving as a time to see the fruits of their labor, I prefer weaning, when management and genetic selection come together in one package.
Cattle producers count on fall regrowth, which literally can blossom in years such as this after a dry summer. We hope fall rains, which arrived recently in generalized patterns, will spread across the Plains, adding moisture for some late-season, copious plant life.
Tucked between the midwestern plains and the western prairies lie some of our nation’s most iconic forests. These lands comprise an incredibly diverse ecosystem, support local economies, and provide critical water supplies, recreational opportunities and sanctuary for wildlife populations.
The U.S. beef industry lives or dies by how well beef sells in grocery stores and in restaurants. Retail demand right now is stronger than it has been in quite a number of years. Sales have more than recovered from the challenges in 2014 and 2015 when retail prices reached record high levels because of tight cattle and beef supplies.
In response to the Sept. 11 article on fires in the West (“Fires, floods in the West” on the cover); “I would rather have it all burn up than have a cow eat one mouthful” was the response a leader of Western Watersheds Project gave when asked if they were concerned about the fire hazard created if cattle were removed from public lands.
The various stages of a good commercial beef breeding system are complex. The implementation takes years, even generations, to achieve, and then the implementation gets fuzzy. Most producers assume buying the right bull is critical, and bull buying is most often the center of discussions when beef producers gather.
From the time I was 6 or 8, I was helping my dad out on our family’s farm. We raised cattle and grew peanuts and wheat. My earliest jobs were helping my dad feed small square bales, hoeing peanuts, and many other basic tasks related to operating a farm.
(RE: “Legal Ledger: HSUS triples down,” Sept. 4) When is HSUS going to fund legislation to get the people, who are soliciting donations in HSUS phone centers, out of their cubicles so they can exercise and not get [Peripheral Artery Disease]? Shouldn’t they work to get people the same rights as animals? — Terry Mahoney, Utah rancher.
That’s how it was when we bought an old farmhouse, then spent most of the last decade trying to update it. Progress seems slow as everything takes cash. Even the simplest improvements, like a couple cans of paint and new flooring, can easily stretch beyond $1,000 and I won’t even get into the budget for our complete kitchen remodel.
Since the mid-1990s, the Dickinson Research Extension Center has been gathering data regarding the small cow/big cow discussion. We started breeding larger heifers with Aberdeen bulls (formally Lowline). Some pieces of the puzzle are starting to make sense.
If you haven’t noticed, Montana has found itself in the center of a triad of unfortunate circumstances regarding water. The state is still undergoing statewide adjudication where water users must prove their historical use, claim water for formerly exempt uses, and defend challenges to their water use.
There probably isn’t a beef producer out there who hasn’t thought about what must be done to pass their operation to another generation interested in cattle. While getting input from your family is important, so is the knowledge that professionals in legal and financial matters can share.
The dairy researchers in Florida and Colorado set out to see how the season of a heifer’s conception influences her later productive life. As you look at a pen of replacement beef heifers and judge their genetics, individual performance and disposition, this dairy study adds another variable.
At the center, the search started in the mid-1990s. Some cows in the herd were approaching 1,800 to 2,000 pounds because growth was prevalent in the background genetics of the cattle and purchased sires were good growth bulls. Heifer replacement was a side product of these good growth bulls.
This focus on quality has paid dividends in terms of premiums to producers and producing more high-quality beef, thus giving consumers a more satisfying beefeating experience. The result is that U.S. grain-fed beef is regarded as the finest beef in the world.