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2015 September 25
But not everyone is so eager to put their farms or ranches—their lives—on display. Between calving and AI, haying and silage chopping, there is never an “off” season or a good time of the year to devote a day to visitors, not to mention to prep ahead of time.


2015 September 25
I am not referring to the end product but rather to the weaned calf. The cost per pound weaned per exposed cow has jumped 200 percent since the turn of the century. That is not good news. Cost control is critical in every business. If costs are allowed to run out of control, the next step is liquidation.


2015 September 25
Cattlemen and natural resource users across the West dodged a bullet last week when Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell announced that the government would not be listing the greater sage-grouse as an endangered species. However, she did say that the BLM and Forest Service were going to go ahead.


2015 September 18
The Forest Service decided to borrow another $250 million from the forest management program to battle the wildfires, bringing a total of $700 million in funds that were destined for other Forest Service projects.


2015 September 11
The cattle markets have been adjusting over the past several weeks. Calf sellers were looking pretty good in early summer but cattle feeders finally realized that they just can’t spend as much for yearlings as they did a year ago. The August futures market was keeping a bit of a floor CROW.


2015 September 11
Crops that were not a success went to the cows, or maybe the sheep. Yes, cows and sheep were prevalent, along with hogs and chickens. Today, Roundup herbicide and anhydrous ammonia fertilizer are utilized extensively throughout agriculture, and calves are weighing in at more than 600 pounds after seven months of grazing.


by WLJ
2015 September 11
Sometimes you are reading emails, see something you realize is not spam—and your only reaction is “wow!” Such was mine as I looked at qualifying numbers for the Certified Angus Beef brand for the months of June and July and saw 30.1 percent for both months.


2015 September 4
We have forest management plans that are unworkable and unresponsive to local needs. The current wildfire situation is a symptom of forest negligence, which to a large degree is part of the 1970s environmental law boon.


2015 September 4
USDA currently forecasts that beef production next year will total 24.835 billion pounds, up 4.5 percent or just over one billion pounds from this year. That’s quite a hefty year-on-year increase, which will bring the total back above the 2014 total. USDA also forecasts that exports next year will increase slightly and imports will decline sharply.


by WLJ
2015 September 4
Despite the conflicting opinions and perspectives, and ensuing litigation, this brief point in legal history is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the basic functions of the three branches of U.S. government, a structure that has been in place for more than 225 years.


by WLJ
2015 September 4
“I grew up in southeastern Montana on a small commercial cow/ calf ranch,” he told us. “I was very active in the community and 4-H and FFA growing up. I was very interested in the cattle industry in general, went on to college to pursue livestock judging.


2015 September 4
Dark colored soils full of OM is like money in the bank. As it rots, it becomes food for the billions of microorganisms and earthworms, which causes new soils to form and generate new plant food. Organic matter becomes a reservoir of plant nutrients. Each percent of OM releases 20-30 pounds of nitrogen, 4.


by WLJ
2015 September 4
Management of fire emergencies is typically well planned in most households, but unfortunately is often overlooked on farms and production settings until it is too late. Fire danger elevates quickly due to extreme heat, formation of toxic gases, and rapid loss of available oxygen.


by WLJ
2015 August 31
As the summer here at the Noble Foundation is winding down, I have been putting together my presentation on the summer’s activities. One day I sat down and tried to make a list of all the things that I have done as a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture.


2015 August 31
The fall bull-buying season is practically upon us, which means preparation for both sellers and buyers. Most bulls sold in the fall are approximately 18 months, but a strong yearling market still exists in areas where fall is the natural calving season.


2015 August 31
Most noticeable is the change in the agricultural labor force. At the Dickinson Research Extension Center, the summer interns return to college. Usually after a short break at home, they head off to school. The workforce notices the difference.


2015 August 28
Consumer Reports used to have some credibility in my book. But after last week’s publication of their Beef Report, they lost some ground.


2015 August 21
The Animas River in Colorado is a beautiful place; my late son David was a river guide on it for a couple years. It’s a shame that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruined it…for a while. The EPA was attempting to clean up the old Gold King Mine near Silverton and accidentally.


2015 August 21
The recent passing of a blue moon soon will be followed by the passing of summer. A blue moon is the second full moon in the same month, something that doesn’t happen that often (the next blue moon will be in January 2018). But, like life, it will happen.


2015 August 21
“Ag-gag” is the term used to describe anti-whistleblower laws that apply within the agriculture industry. About half a dozen states have passed laws to criminalize surreptitious filming of alleged abuses of animals on farms and ranches.




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