Archive for March 2013

The other shoe has fallen

By: Jill Dunkel I hate to say, “I told you so,” but… Well, I didn’t tell you, but last year at the Feeding Quality Forum, economist Mike Sands of Informa Economics told us: “We’ve seen some extremely tight packer operator margins over the last year.” “Fewer cattle will eventually mean fewer yards to feed them and packers…

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Retained Placenta

By: Heather Smith Thomas Most cows “clean” soon after calving, shedding placental membranes within 2 to 12 hours. If it takes longer than 24 hours, it is called a retained placenta. Dr. George Barrington of Washington State University says the cause involves malfunction in normal “turning loose” of tissue attachments between the maternal and fetal…

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John Deere 2720 Disk Ripper

John Deere introduces the 2720 Disk Ripper, an all-new, heavy-duty primary tillage tool designed to handle a wide variety of tillage tasks. This new machine sizes and buries crop residue, penetrates and shatters compacted soils, and mixes and levels the soil surface with greater efficiency. The unique features of the 2720 Disk Ripper include a…

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Keep the cattle off the “sidelines” with adequate nutrition

By: Paul Davis PH.D. Basketball season and spring-calving seasons are in full swing. On the basketball court, players may be sidelined with muscle cramps and temporarily unable to contribute to their team. Caused by dehydration and inadequate potassium, visible effort is made to prevent cramps by providing water, sports drinks or high potassium foods such…

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The benefits of retained ownership

By: Loretta Sorenson Beef producers always have the option of capturing a greater percentage of the value of investment in calves through retained ownership. However, identifying the best option is a year-by-year process. “Retained ownership isn’t easily defined, but can be described as a producer keeping calves for an extended period of time after weaning,”…

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Stocker strategies can affect quality

There was a time when corn was $3 per bushel and finished cattle were clocking in at younger and younger ages, that the stocker phase may have seemed less important. Nobody would say that however, after a decade of increasing feed prices for fewer calves that finish at ever higher weights. Due to the current…

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Making the best…of less

By: Paul Dykstra The year 2012 will go in the books as yet another epic period for the cattle industry. It began with an outlook of optimism in most sectors as it appeared nationwide cow numbers would begin to stabilize and corn planting intentions foretold more manageable feed costs. Mother Nature had plans of her…

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Are we stuck in the drought?

By: Ryan Martin Many wonder if there is any correlation between the weather events we have experienced this year (and in the past couple of years) and prior drought years, like the 1950s and the dust bowl years of the 1930s. We will examine that in a bit, but first, let’s start with what we know…

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No need to add Roughage

By: Loretta Sorensen Wet distiller’s grains (WDGS) have enough fiber content that feeders using WDGS can reduce the amount of roughage they add to feed rations. That’s the conclusion US Meat and Research Center (MARC) researcher Kristin Hales reached in her recent study of fiber content in WDGS. Hales’ study involved 128 steers fed individually in…

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It’s Inspection Time

By: Terri Queck-Matzie It’s the phone call nobody wants. Trevor Urban, senior CAFO inspector for the Environmental Protection agency, calls about mid-afternoon and says he will be on site the next day for a feedlot inspection. What should you do? What can you expect? “We always have a goal to do a fair and thorough…

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