The Cattle Business Weekly
  • To enhance sustainability,  look at hay management
    Given my past dairy experience, I’ve noted that improvements in forage management realized by the dairy industry have had huge implications for dairy sustainability. Feed remains the single largest expense on a dairy and also the single largest drag on dairy sustainability. But the sustainability story for dairy is remarkable. 
  • Blom Case Update
    On May 13, Robert Lee “Bob” Blom of Corsica, S.D. pleaded not guilty in a North Dakota court case that involves writing bad checks. In South Dakota, Blom also faces charges for overdrawing bank accounts and frauding some 53 individuals in cattle related business ventures in North Dakota and South Dakota.
  • Heavy rains flood South Dakota cattle country
    The national drought monitor released May 21 shows every part of the state of South Dakota out of drought. This comes as no surprise to its farmers and ranchers who have been dealing with large snow totals and continuous rain since February. 
  • Good news for beef
    Japan drops restrictions on beef products, USMCA one step closer to done
  • Beef Checkoff Programs continue efforts to engage consumers, producers
    Memorial Day kicks off the summer grilling season, and June is often dubbed “Beef Month.” So in honor of beef, here are a handful of Beef Checkoff projects currently underway to continue building consumer demand and beef producers’ profitability:
  • USMARC invents tools to better sample beef trim for potential food-borne pathogens
     U.S. Meat Animal Research Center has been recognized for its newly developed patent-pending methods for taking samples of beef trim in processing plants in order to run the necessary tests for food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7.
  • Ag Credit Conditions Deteriorate Steadily
    With low income weighing on farm finances, the pace of decline in farm loan repayment rates increased slightly. In addition, carry-over debt increased again for many borrowers and bankers continued to restructure debt and deny a modest amount of new loan requests due to cash flow shortages. 
  • Augustana dining option causes stir
    Augie freshman Katie Shaw, a nursing major from a fifth-generation ranch near White Owl, S.D., was frustrated by the misleading poster.
  • Sustainability, antibiotic use, animal welfare discussed in Kansas City
    Surveyed consumers agreed taste, price and appearance are important when they stand at the meat case, but had differing opinions when it came to animal welfare and antibiotic use. Some said animal welfare is the main driver of their purchasing decisions, while others agreed it was important but wasn’t top-of-mind. Several panelists mentioned they rely on the retailers to source humanely-raised meat and poultry products.  
  • Iowa’s Best Burger is at the Wood Iron Grille
    This is the 10th year for the annual Best Burger contest sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council, through the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. 
  • New weather tool offers Cattle Comfort Index

    Kansas State University is now offering an Animal Comfort Index, which synthesizes weather variables into a single, easy-to-understand index. Consider this index as a precision tool for determining heat or cold stress among a cattle herd at a specific location depending on weather conditions.

  • Part 2: More business advice

    “I’m optimistic for young farmers because they are multi-enterprise. To survive in the future, you will need business IQ, adaptability and multi-revenue streams.” – Ag economist David Kohl

  • U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue meets with North Dakota leaders, farmers

    With trade issues and harsh weather hitting farmers, it’s been a challenging year for North Dakota producers.

    “It’s tough here in North Dakota, it’s tough across the U.S. I hear the answer is trade, trade, trade. We’re blessed to be in a country where we can outproduce ourselves, and we can export and depend on export for profitability,” Perdue said.

  • Improve survivability by performing calf necropsies
    Industry-wide, preweaning death loss in US beef cattle harbors between five to six percent. Additionally, two to three percent of those beef cow pregnancies will not yield a live calf, because it was stillborn through abortion or late fetal loss. “Of mortalities in preweaned calves, roughly 20 percent are due to undetermined causes. When cattle die, it is an opportunity for our industry. We’re not always very good about finding out what kills our cattle,” Dr. Becky Funk, DVM says.
  • Part 1: A business checklist
    Ag economist David Kohl advocates a checklist of several business management strategies that he views as critical.
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