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2015 December 11
Trend information on pasture conditions is valuable. Photos and transects data document the changes that have occurred in forage species, soil health, soil cover and woody over-head species over time. These changes reflect the results from your pasture management strategies.


2015 December 4
After last week’s disappointing futures trade I’m sure that everyone is asking where the bottom is in this cattle market. The week after Thanksgiving usually produces a rally on live cattle as packers gear up for Christmas, one of the best demand times of the year.


2015 December 4
I was talking with a California cattle feeder last week and asked him how he prices his cattle. “Off the Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico market” was his reply. Then he added that the prior week, the price was based on cash or negotiated grid sales of less than 250 head.


by WLJ
2015 December 4
With cooler weather evident, it is important to remember that what producers do and don’t do during the winter months can affect next year’s calving success, conception rates, and weaning rates. Colder weather means more energy is needed in the diet in order to maintain weight and increase a herds’ body condition score.


2015 November 30
At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, cattle are worked quite frequently because we need to collect data for research projects. But, as the center has shifted from intensive cattle production to extensive cattle production, certain managerial questions arise.


2015 November 30
An ideal beef steer is one you can profitably produce again and again, to earn premiums on a value-based grid. That’s the premise Paul Dykstra used in presenting “How to build the perfect steer” at the Angus Means Business National Convention Nov. 2-4..


by WLJ
2015 November 30
By the time this issue reaches mailboxes, Thanksgiving and Black Friday will have taken place and the start of the harvest season for retail stores has begun. It has been a very interesting past few months for the cow/calf producer, especially for those who didn’t manage risk earlier in the year.


2015 November 20
Paperwork and processes were developed to assure cattle verification by a unique animal identification number as cattle moved along the market chain. As the animal went further down the marketing chain, pressure mounted to assure compliance with the original intent of the animal purchase.


by WLJ
2015 November 20
In 1999, prominent Purdue Economist Michael Boehlje said the “new agriculture” in the 21st century would include a focus on differentiated, branded production. At the time, most ag commodities were sold unbranded. Are we making progress? There’s evidence that says we are, especially in the beef sector.


2015 November 20
The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) wants to add Namibia to the list of countries that can export to the U.S. The U.S. does represent one of the most robust markets for beef products in the world and it appears that every beef producing country wants a piece.


2015 November 13
markets are on a terror and have sucked the life out of the cash cattle markets. Over the past six weeks we were down $20 on fed cattle, then we were up $20, and now we’re back down $20. I think we all expected some volatility in the market but this is CROW.


2015 November 13
Sometimes I think I’m an average beef consumer. But then in the grocery store checkout line, as I put my items on the conveyer I realize my purchases rarely contain any meat. Not unlike many in the ag community, my family has a deepfreeze full of protein, so during normal weeks we’re dipping into that supply daily.


by WLJ
2015 November 13
During the past 25 years, much of my research has been on the economics of water markets. Economists continue to emphasize that water is an economic good especially in the western U.S., where water is scarce and therefore valuable.


by WLJ
2015 November 13
Through the first half of the 20th century, preventing nutritional deficiencies was the focus of nutrition guidance from public health groups and government agencies. But that changed 40 years ago, when publichealth policy shifted from what was not in the diet that should be, to what was in the diet that should not be.


2015 November 6
Risk management is a term you might forget about when it comes to the cattle business because there just isn’t any. The futures markets just don’t seem able to find value or price discovery. Last Wednesday all contracts were down the limit $4.50 for feeder cattle and $3 for live cattle.


2015 November 6
Cows are labor-intensive, and a slip on ice, a sick spell or the many variations of life can have significant impact on the labor force involved with the cow herd. As the owner or manager, a longterm cattle-handling plan needs to be in place in case of unexpected change.


by WLJ
2015 November 6
We’ve seen this movie before. A lame duck president uses the Antiquities Act to declare huge swaths of public lands off limits so he can have an environmental legacy.


2015 November 6
A resolution has been introduced in the U.S. House to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for violation of the public trust, failing to comply with congressionally-issued subpoenas, and misleading the public over the IRS’ practices of targeting conservative groups in audits.


by WLJ
2015 November 6
Bankers allocate their limited funds to borrowers based on the “5 Cs” of credit, and those factors can be affected by the quality of the farm’s water supply and water rights. According to Heather Malcolm at Bank of the Rockies in Livingston, MT, those factors are Capital, Capacity, Conditions, Character and Collateral.