WLJ - Livestock Industry Opinions https://wlj.net/articles.sec-35-1-livestock-industry-opinions.html Sun, 22 Oct 17 00:00:00 -0600 en hourly 1 Worker shortage threatens U.S. ag sustainability https://wlj.net/article-35-worker-shortage-threatens-us-ag-sustainability.html Worker shortage threatens U.S. ag sustainability
Thanks to scientific innovation in agriculture, farmers and ranchers are using fewer resources to grow an abundant, sustainable food supply. But I wonder how far our new technology and techniques will take us if farmers are left without one of the most critical resources to keep our farms sustainable: a stable workforce....]]>
The role of reason in economic decision making https://wlj.net/article-35-the-role-of-reason-in-economic-decision-making.html The role of reason in economic decision making
Economists remind us that underlying all decisions in matters regarding money, human rationality is the prime motivator. People respond to impulses designed to reflect their own selfish economic best interest....]]>
WOTUS is not a done deal https://wlj.net/article-35-wotus-is-not-a-done-deal.html WOTUS is not a done deal
Congress enacted the CWA in the early 1970s to address the nation’s water pollution problem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are two federal agencies with primary responsibility for implementing the CWA....]]>
Why isn't ag invited to the innovation party? https://wlj.net/article-35-why-isnt-ag-invited-to-the-innovation-party.html Why isn't ag invited to the innovation party?
The public isn’t interested in hearing about on-farm efficiencies and productivity when it comes to technology that involves the environment, animals, and the food they feed their families. But that’s often the go-to justification. All consumers hear with that approach is how innovation benefits the farmer’s bottom line....]]>
Add value by culling, feeding https://wlj.net/article-35-add-value-by-culling-feeding.html Add value by culling, feeding

Weaning and “preg checking” tell us how successful our last two breeding seasons were. While many cow herd operators enjoy calving as a time to see the fruits of their labor, I prefer weaning, when management and genetic selection come together in one package.



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Guest Opinion https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion.html Guest Opinion

Fall is a tough time to be away from the ranch. Cattle and sheep are coming off their summer range, there’s shipping to attend to, weaning, and countless other tasks—not to mention county fair season.



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Beef Talk: Rain makes regrowth—put weight on cows now https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-rain-makes-regrowth%25E2%2580%2594put-weight-on-cows-now.html Beef Talk: Rain makes regrowth—put weight on cows now
Cattle producers count on fall regrowth, which literally can blossom in years such as this after a dry summer. We hope fall rains, which arrived recently in generalized patterns, will spread across the Plains, adding moisture for some late-season, copious plant life....]]>
Guest Opinion: Saving our forests before they all go up in smoke https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion-saving-our-forests-before-they-all-go-up-in-smoke.html Guest Opinion: Saving our forests before they all go up in smoke
Tucked between the midwestern plains and the western prairies lie some of our nation’s most iconic forests. These lands comprise an incredibly diverse ecosystem, support local economies, and provide critical water supplies, recreational opportunities and sanctuary for wildlife populations....]]>
Kay's Korner: Retail prices drive sales https://wlj.net/article-35-kays-korner-retail-prices-drive-sales.html Kay's Korner: Retail prices drive sales
The U.S. beef industry lives or dies by how well beef sells in grocery stores and in restaurants. Retail demand right now is stronger than it has been in quite a number of years. Sales have more than recovered from the challenges in 2014 and 2015 when retail prices reached record high levels because of tight cattle and beef supplies....]]>
Beef Talk: Calves pay the bills, but the cows make the bills https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-calves-pay-the-bills-but-the-cows-make-the-bills.html Beef Talk: Calves pay the bills, but the cows make the bills
The various stages of a good commercial beef breeding system are complex. The implementation takes years, even generations, to achieve, and then the implementation gets fuzzy. Most producers assume buying the right bull is critical, and bull buying is most often the center of discussions when beef producers gather....]]>
Guest Opinion: Values that keep farm kids safe https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion-values-that-keep-farm-kids-safe.html Guest Opinion: Values that keep farm kids safe
From the time I was 6 or 8, I was helping my dad out on our family’s farm. We raised cattle and grew peanuts and wheat. My earliest jobs were helping my dad feed small square bales, hoeing peanuts, and many other basic tasks related to operating a farm.


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Letters to the editor https://wlj.net/article-35-letters-to-the-editor.html Letters to the editor
In response to the Sept. 11 article on fires in the West (“Fires, floods in the West” on the cover); “I would rather have it all burn up than have a cow eat one mouthful” was the response a leader of Western Watersheds Project gave when asked if they were concerned about the fire hazard created if cattle were removed from public lands....]]>
Black Ink: Use your head when considering improvements https://wlj.net/article-35-black-ink-use-your-head-when-considering-improvements.html Black Ink: Use your head when considering improvements
That’s how it was when we bought an old farmhouse, then spent most of the last decade trying to update it. Progress seems slow as everything takes cash. Even the simplest improvements, like a couple cans of paint and new flooring, can easily stretch beyond $1,000 and I won’t even get into the budget for our complete kitchen remodel.


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Letters to the editor https://wlj.net/article-35-letters-to-the-editor.html Letters to the editor
(RE: “Legal Ledger: HSUS triples down,” Sept. 4) When is HSUS going to fund legislation to get the people, who are soliciting donations in HSUS phone centers, out of their cubicles so they can exercise and not get [Peripheral Artery Disease]? Shouldn’t they work to get people the same rights as animals? — Terry Mahoney, Utah rancher....]]>
Beef Talk: Time to get serious—Small cows produce https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-time-to-get-serious%25E2%2580%2594small-cows-produce.html Beef Talk: Time to get serious—Small cows produce
Since the mid-1990s, the Dickinson Research Extension Center has been gathering data regarding the small cow/big cow discussion. We started breeding larger heifers with Aberdeen bulls (formally Lowline). Some pieces of the puzzle are starting to make sense.


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Guest Opinion: Verifying your water rights more important than ever https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion-verifying-your-water-rights-more-important-than-ever.html Guest Opinion: Verifying your water rights more important than ever
If you haven’t noticed, Montana has found itself in the center of a triad of unfortunate circumstances regarding water. The state is still undergoing statewide adjudication where water users must prove their historical use, claim water for formerly exempt uses, and defend challenges to their water use.


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Beef producers plan for future generations— Pass it on! https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-producers-plan-for-future-generations%25E2%2580%2594-pass-it-on_.html Beef producers plan for future generations— Pass it on!
There probably isn’t a beef producer out there who hasn’t thought about what must be done to pass their operation to another generation interested in cattle. While getting input from your family is important, so is the knowledge that professionals in legal and financial matters can share....]]>
Beef lessons from dairy conceptions https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-lessons-from-dairy-conceptions.html Beef lessons from dairy conceptions
The dairy researchers in Florida and Colorado set out to see how the season of a heifer’s conception influences her later productive life. As you look at a pen of replacement beef heifers and judge their genetics, individual performance and disposition, this dairy study adds another variable....]]>
Beef Talk: Walking a trail, understanding cow math https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-walking-a-trail-understanding-cow-math.html Beef Talk: Walking a trail, understanding cow math
At the center, the search started in the mid-1990s. Some cows in the herd were approaching 1,800 to 2,000 pounds because growth was prevalent in the background genetics of the cattle and purchased sires were good growth bulls. Heifer replacement was a side product of these good growth bulls.


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Kay's Korner: Premiums erode for branded beef https://wlj.net/article-35-kays-korner-premiums-erode-for-branded-beef.html Kay's Korner: Premiums erode for branded beef
This focus on quality has paid dividends in terms of premiums to producers and producing more high-quality beef, thus giving consumers a more satisfying beefeating experience. The result is that U.S. grain-fed beef is regarded as the finest beef in the world....]]>
Black Ink: Risk management pays dividends https://wlj.net/article-35-black-ink-risk-management-pays-dividends.html Black Ink: Risk management pays dividends
Sometimes it only takes a couple of 2-cc subcutaneous shots to head off problems down the line. Sometimes it takes a few tons of steel, careful planning and focused construction....]]>
Guest Opinion: Straight to the bottom line https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion-straight-to-the-bottom-line.html Guest Opinion: Straight to the bottom line
Trend lines mark the progression of price points in a graph form. They are helpful both for reviewing history and for planning for the future. Two critically important trend lines are particularly relevant as we move towards year end. The first comes in several varieties although the direction is the same for all.


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Beef Talk: Diversity helps mitigate drought effects https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-diversity-helps-mitigate-drought-effects.html Beef Talk: Diversity helps mitigate drought effects
The Dickinson Research Extension Center had a quarter of land that was much like a poor paper towel. After a hard rain, the land looked like a lake, absorbing water at 1.3 inches per hour. Essentially, a good rain simply would run off the land, moving onto other parts of the watershed.


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Guest opinion: Searching for the seasonal lows https://wlj.net/article-35-guest-opinion-searching-for-the-seasonal-lows.html Guest opinion: Searching for the seasonal lows
A lot of time has been spent by a lot of people analyzing the seasonal patterns for cattle prices. Studies of the spring highs and the summer lows keep market participants guessing and the forecasters predicting, but observers note, with little success from either party.


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Beef Talk: Managing drought through proper soil health https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-talk-managing-drought-through-proper-soil-health.html Beef Talk: Managing drought through proper soil health
That is not to say drought is manageable, but rather our response to lower moisture levels may mitigate the severity. We know beef, grass and crops require inputs, including water, to live on the land. When water is short, grass and crops will dry, soon followed by an exodus of the animals that depend on the grass and crops.


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Beef … a WISE Choice! https://wlj.net/article-35-beef-%25E2%2580%25A6-a-wise-choice_.html Beef … a WISE Choice!
The Beef WISE Study adds to the growing body of research demonstrating the role of lean beef in heart-healthy diets and strong bodies. This includes another beef-checkoff funded study called BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet), and independent research DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) 2 ....]]>
Marketing quality https://wlj.net/article-35-marketing-quality.html Marketing quality
The day you make breeding choices, purchase bulls or buy bred heifers, marketing the calf crop begins. With those decisions in the rear view, it’s time to consider how to make the most of a great mating. Sale day for your spring-born calves grows closer as each day grows shorter, and that brings up weaning....]]>
Letters to the editor: "Justice for R-CALF" https://wlj.net/article-35-letters-to-the-editor-justice-for-r-calf.html Letters to the editor: "Justice for R-CALF"
Our successful checkoff lawsuit stopped the USDA from violating the Constitution of the United States. It did so by prohibiting the USDA from taking money from independent cattle producers and giving that money to a private entity to fund its private speech without the cattle producers’ permission....]]>
Consumers' ground beef confusion https://wlj.net/article-35-consumers-ground-beef-confusion.html Consumers' ground beef confusion
A couple of media articles caught my eye recently. The first was an article on Yahoo entitled, “Why you should think twice before getting ground beef from the supermarket.” The article reveals, apparently to the surprise of the author, that ground beef is often made from the meat of multiple animals and not just from a single animal....]]>
Kay's Korner: Trade issues still bedevil industry https://wlj.net/article-35-kays-korner-trade-issues-still-bedevil-industry.html Kay's Korner: Trade issues still bedevil industry
The U.S. beef industry has grappled w i t h a myriad of trade issues from the moment it first sent its beef out of the country. It took years of talks to be able to start sending beef to Japan. So it’s ironic that Japan has dealt another blow to U.S. exports there by triggering its safeguard mechanism....]]>