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Livestock Industry Opinions

2012 September 21
Most everybody is familiar with DNA, the basic coding for life. Genomics is just a fancy word for finding places that are informative on areas of DNA for certain traits. The technology first used was markers, which is essentially identifying a place on the DNA that was closely associated with the area or gene of interest.
2012 September 21
I rode shotgun through some of Anderjaska’s summer pastures last Monday. As we looked at their commericial and registered Angus herd, the sky was gloomy. The clouds teased with a few sprinkles, but, like so many times this summer, moved along before offering reprieve.
2012 September 14
The point is this: The weather is nice and the cows are thin, so we need to feed them. Do not put off what is inevitable. Thin cows must be fed, and fall is a good time because the cows’ nutritional requirements are low, especially if the cows are dry, and the requirements are easier to meet.
2012 September 14
Hitting 60 percent Choice won’t cut it. When premium Choice branded programs emerged, it was really something to get 15 percent or 20 percent that reached those marbling levels in commercial cattle. That’s when it was incidental production, or luck of the draw that landed those cattle in branded programs.
2012 September 14
There’s that word again, sustainable, which has a different meaning to everyone. The Sustainable Beef Resource Center (SBRC) just released its interpretation of sustainable, which seems more like a justification for beef industry growth promotants to enhance.
2012 September 7
Section 183 of the IRS Code pertains to activities “not engaged in for profit.” This provision is used to disallow deductions for all farming-ranching activities as well as other ventures ranging from multi-level marketing to air charters. How this provision is applied and interpreted is something that the IRS commissioner can and does influence.
2012 September 7
If one drives around much of the country, 2012 is a lot like 2008. The traditional summer hay is somewhat scarce in many areas and, in some areas, nonexistent. Maybe some solace can be found in the fact that we survived previous dry spells, so we also can survive this one.
2012 September 7
Japan banned U.S. beef products just after our first BSE case back in 2003. They took until 2005 to start importing beef from cattle under 21 months.
2012 August 31
Although it is true feed must be edible, free of digestive problems and compatible with the beef cow, that still leaves a large selection of alternative feedstuffs. Regardless what one is feeding, the first step is figuring cost per unit of desired nutrients.
2012 August 31
When I first started w r i t i n g about the beef industry 25 years ago, it was fashionable for cattle producers to regard beef processors as “the enemy.” They decried packers for their perceived market power and that they made millions of dollars per year.
2012 August 31
After cogitating over the last cattle on feed report, something seemed a little odd. We’re in the middle of a widespread drought, pastures are scrubbed clean, and you would think there would be some early weaning going on with calves going into grow lots or feedlots.
2012 August 24
The latest Cattle on Feed report showed that cattle placed into feedlots was 10 percent lower than a year ago, but it’s a little misleading since there were a lot of cattle placed last year because of the drought in the southern plains.
2012 August 17
In the mid-1980s, basically all breed associations started their National Cattle Evaluation (NCE) programs to produce EPDs on their whole herd book. What their breeders did with the information differed greatly. Without a doubt, of the major breeds, Angus breeders were the first to pick up and run with these new tools.
2012 August 17
I dreamed of fresh-smelling rain that beat waves against windows and swept slowly through fields to fill every crack before moving on to refill ponds and kickstart the creeks. Dawn light fell on a full rain gauge.
2012 August 17
Who involved in agriculture, and of sound mind, would get involved with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)? The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM)—that’s who. Two weeks ago, OCM, teaming up with HSUS, filed suit in Kansas district court against USDA.
2012 August 10
beef industry’s report card came out during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s midyear meeting a couple weeks ago. It shows that most beef producers have done a pretty good job improving the product over the past 20 years when the first National Beef Quality Audit CROW.
2012 August 10
Beef producers face the most widespread drought in their lifetimes. This means their drought management options are fewer than in years when droughts might have been just as severe but much more local. Take the historic Texas-Oklahoma drought that finally broke this spring.
by WLJ
2012 August 10
There is absolutely no scientific basis for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to not allow grazing of burned acres for two years. In Elko County, I challenged the BLM policy on a burn we experienced and they allowed grazing the first year after seed ripe.
2012 August 3
Cattle markets have declined a bit over the past few weeks but they are still relatively strong. Yearlings at 750 pounds are still selling for $150/cwt. And light calves are still selling around $200 or more. The big question is, what are you going to feed them?.
2012 August 3
The 2012 report includes TCSCF retained ownership records from cattle fed in 18 cooperating yards that used common nutrition, health and management strategies.


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