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Livestock Industry Opinions

2012 December 21
We’re just about to close out another year and beef production is only 388 million pounds short of last year’s beef production numbers. Ironically, we did it processing 1.2 million fewer cattle passing through packing plants. Carcass weights were much larger than normal.
by WLJ
2012 December 21
My grandparents scratched out a living in the dairy business when they first came here from the Azores and my parents carried on that tradition. But today in my home state and nationwide, cattlemen, dairymen and livestock producers are facing the perfect storm of shrinking corn supplies and soaring feed prices.
2012 December 14
The fiscal cliff is getting closer and closer and in my humble opinion, this government is going to run off the edge with smiles on their faces. This president isn’t concerned about raising more revenue as much as he is sticking high income earners with a knife.
2012 December 14
It’s that time of year for breed associations to have their spring National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) run to produce expected progeny differences (EPDs) for a release somewhere around the first of the year. The quality of these EPDs is directly related to the quality of data that is used to produce them.
by WLJ
2012 December 14
Agricultural exports have become increasingly important to Colorado’s economy, with high-quality, locallygrown products sold from our farmers and ranchers to worldwide markets that are rich with opportunity. And these exports are growing rapidly, doubling since 2009 to $2.
2012 December 7
While there is no shortage of water in the Columbia Basin, this country wouldn’t be much if it wasn’t for the massive irrigation projects associated with the Columbia River and the network of dams that service the area with hydroelectric power and water.
2012 December 7
Even as the cattle went through the chutes, the feeling was good. Interestingly, the cows seemed to be bred steadily until about midway through the second cycle and then tailed off quickly. One could say the cows were almost all bred by a cycle and a half.
2012 December 7
Statistics show an 8 percent to 10 percent cow culling rate at the markets. But how many don’t make it to the sale? Unfortunately, some death loss is a fact of life on a livestock farm, and the older the cows going through “one more winter,” the more likely some will fit into that statistic.
by WLJ
2012 December 1
Under current tax law, the tax goes back on Jan. 1, 2013, to a top rate of 55 percent and a $1 million exemption. With such a low exemption, as many as 18 percent of farms and ranches in Utah could owe estate taxes next year, according to the Agriculture Department.
2012 December 1
The U.S. faces a beef “deficit” in the coming year that will challenge every sector of the beef industry. I use the term “deficit” in that per capita beef consumption will decline relative to how much beef people would like to eat. USDA’s latest forecast is for available beef supplies in 2013 to be 54.
2012 December 1
Discussions about the Republican party being willing to consider tax increases to avoid the fiscal cliff have been making the rounds. But, ironically, the numbers they’ve thrown out have been a bit too large for Democrats. Cuts that were on the table just last year are now being snubbed by the very same side that proposed them.
by WLJ
2012 November 23
Clinical signs of disease vary, but often include: severe watery and bloody diarrhea, fever, dehydration, inappetence, and weakness. Some pregnant animals may abort, and affected dams may inadvertently starve their calves due to decreased milk production.
2012 November 23
It sure seems that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has missed the entire point in granting the livestock and food industries a waiver regarding the government’s production mandates for ethanol outlined in the Renewable Fuels Standard’s legislation.
2012 November 23
For many, the cows and calves head home, and then the calves are sorted for market. The busy-ness of it all is mind-boggling at times. The pens are stretched to the max, and there is not enough time to get every animal fed and watered on a normal schedule.
2012 November 16
The election is over, thank God! Each general election seems to be a more enduring process every time. Or perhaps I pay too much attention to them? But, Obama won another four years and, like it or not, we will have to adjust and learn to tolerate.
2012 November 16
I rode shotgun through a lot of drought-stricken pastures this summer and fall where producers weighed their options. Some folks had a few stores of hay saved up from good years. Some were going to cull a little deeper, while still others were making plans to rent some grass in the few places that were doing all right on moisture.
2012 November 16
However, perhaps some momentary thought should be given to managerial practices that have proven through the years to be sound practices. The problem is, when the obvious payment for calf processing disappears, then the logical conclusion is why even do it.
2012 November 9
Ever since the inception of income tax, all areas of farming have enjoyed generous tax benefits. Livestock owners are permitted to take depreciation deductions on their farm to offset gross income, as well as to deduct reasonable costs of operating a livestock breeding or activity from other income.
2012 November 9
Next year’s planning is under way. Everything is upbeat, and the cows and bulls even get a blue ribbon. Eighty-four percent of the cows are projected to calve in the first 21 days of the calving season next spring. This means that the cows cycled and the bulls got them bred.


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