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Livestock Industry Opinions

2017 June 30
You were supposed to respond to those crazy-good prices in 2014 by saving heifers—and thousands did—even though economists figured the cost of the pregnant female by the next spring was more than $2,200 per head. If you bought bred heifers that year, they may have cost $3,000, but what were their calves worth last fall? See? Too many calves already.
2017 June 23
In the political world, the concept of AstroTurf has been around for years. Much the same way that actual AstroTurf simulates the look and feel of real grass (the obvious exception being Boise State’s Albertson’s Stadium—I’m not entirely sure what...

2017 June 23
You were supposed to respond to those crazy-good prices in 2014 by saving heifers—and thousands did—even though economists figured the cost of the pregnant female by the next spring was more than $2,200 per head. If you bought bred heifers that year, they may have cost $3,000, but what were their calves worth last fall? See? Too many calves already.

by WLJ
2017 June 16
You’ve managed the ecosystem of your farms and ranches since you started in the cattle business, likely putting most of the emphasis on the living things. There are living things in the digital ecosystem, too (you and me, for example). But it is the non-living things that take up most of the space: all those apps, photos, music, etc.
2017 June 9
The drought map is a product of a working relationship among the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, the USDA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This tool needs to be used and integrated into the cattle operation.
by WLJ
2017 June 9
Fresh green grass is a welcome sight come spring. However, early spring grass with limited growth or volume should be approached with caution when it’s used as the sole source of nutrition for recently-calved cows. With limited grass volume, cows can expend more protein and energy than they are taking in and lose body condition.
2017 June 9
It’s been an interesting year for climate, as we could tell halfway through the spring. A parade of wind storms, fires, blizzards and floods moved swiftly by, leaving every cattle farm and ranch to cope with those and the peculiarities of an early or late spring, with too little or too much moisture.
2017 June 2
I had the pleasure of joining my state cattlemen’s association for their mid-year meeting this past week in Montana. These meetings provide an invaluable opportunity to find out the latest issues pressing to your industry, network with other ranchers, share ideas/.

2017 June 2
In my 30 years of covering the U.S. cattle and beef markets, I’ve seen numerous ups and downs that sometimes defied logic. Notwithstanding claims about everything from packer power to a deviant futures market, my observation is that it’s invariably all about supply and demand.

by WLJ
2017 May 26
A constant drum beat in ag today is the call for ranchers to get involved. “Tell your story!” you’re told. But it can get overwhelming, particularly given the sheer volume of places and ways you can do that, not to mention the needs of running your operation.
2017 May 26
Selling this group creates opportunity for the remaining herd by lessoning the demands on the operation. Life does not always go the direction that we want. And so, there may be truth in the saying, “one person’s loss is another person’s gain.” But with good planning, both should gain, even if the challenge was not desired.

by WLJ
2017 May 19
We’ve all heard the old saying about the uselessness of closing the barn door—or the gate—after the cows get out.
2017 May 19
I understand why it’s tempting for cattlemen to ask, “Do we have enough quality? Can we start selecting for something else?” Not yet, says the data. Let’s take just take the Prime grade for example. For the last decade, the average annual spread between Select and Prime ranged from $25 to $50/ cwt.
by WLJ
2017 May 5
In its op-ed article, (WLJ, May 1) the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) tries to draw attention away from the growing outcry for checkoff program reform by making The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) a boogeyman.


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