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COW-CALF WEEKLY
In this December 2, 2011 issue

Opinion: Finding The Value In Feeder Cattle
Opinion: Horse Slaughter Returns To The U.S.
Opinion: Is It Time To Bail On Age & Source Verification?
BEEF Poll: Do You Support Horse-Slaughter Reinstatement?
Consider Energy & Protein In Drought Supplementation
Employee Improvement Starts At The Top
Former Ag Secretary Comments On Doings In DC
Klopfenstein Debunks Backgrounding Myths
Lack Of Traceability System In U.S. Is A Homegrown Trade Barrier
Tips For Stretching Your Winter Hay Resources

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Opinion: Finding The Value In Feeder Cattle

Troy Marshall, Contributing Editor

The dilemma isn't in creating value in feeder cattle. That's relatively straightforward, even if it is a challenge to implement. You just utilize the very best genetics available to the industry, manage them effectively so as not to harm the genetic value in the calves, and make sure they have the nutritional and herd health programs in place that allow you to maximize that value.

Rather, the challenge is in capturing the value you have created. But, the answer to that question isn't rocket science, either. However, it does require a totally different mindset than what we're used to in a commodity system where virtually all cattle bring the same price.

FULL ARTICLE

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Opinion: Horse Slaughter Returns To The U.S.

Troy Marshall, Contributing Editor

The latest ag funding bill from Congress not only prevented the funding of the GIPSA rule in the short term, but it also quietly lifted the ban on horse slaughter by allowing USDA inspectors to return. Of course, the horse industry and the livestock industry in general rejoiced at the news, and stories are already been circulating about slaughter facilities potentially being opened in at least six states.

FULL ARTICLE

Opinion: Is It Time To Bail On Age & Source Verification?

Troy Marshall, Contributing Editor

The industry has been buzzing for several weeks, as it appears that Japan might, even yet this spring, accept the world standard for BSE and move to a 30-month age requirement. That means that almost overnight, the underpinning of the age and source verification movement from an economic standpoint will be removed.

FULL ARTICLE

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BEEF Poll: Do You Support Horse-Slaughter Reinstatement?

Just before Thanksgiving, President Obama quietly signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry, a move supported even by PETA. This week's BEEF Poll question at beefmagazine.com is, "Is reinstatement of horse slaughter in the U.S. a good thing?

  • Yes, it is best for both horse owners and humane animal treatment.
  • No, these animals shouldn't be killed for food, no matter how much neglected horses suffer.
  • Don't know.
Meanwhile, among respondents to last week's poll question, "Do you test for BVD PI calves in your herd?" the vast majority (81%) said they don't test for BVD persistently infected calves in their herd. Meanwhile, 16% do test and believe that testing is an important tool, along with vaccination and good herd biosecurity. Another 2% had no opinion. Thanks for participating.

Consider Energy & Protein In Drought Supplementation

Justin Waggoner, Kansas State University beef systems specialist

There's no easy way to manage through a drought. Some of the key elements to successfully managing a cattle operation through a drought are managing number of head/day; evaluating both short- and long-term outcomes associated with decisions; and not being afraid to think outside the box. Thankfully, drought is not the norm and typically resides outside the box.

Traditionally, when cow-herd supplementation is discussed, we focus on meeting the protein needs of the cow, with a goal of maximizing forage intake by supplementing protein, the most limiting nutrient in the available forages. However, this year, drought has severely limited the supply of both grazed and harvested forages in many regions.

FULL ARTICLE

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Employee Improvement Starts At The Top

Burke Teichert

"Continuous improvement of the key resources" is one of my five essentials for successful ranch management. While drought, fire and our own mistakes may temporarily set us back at times, continuous improvement of land, livestock and people should always be our goal.

For continuous improvement of grazing land, I like to use the grazing animal as my primary tool; too often, we find ourselves working for the animals instead of letting the animals work for us.

FULL ARTICLE

Former Ag Secretary Comments On Doings In DC

Burt Rutherford, Senior Editor

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) told cattlemen attending this week's Range Beef Cow Symposium in Mitchell, NE, that regulatory overreach and out-of-control government spending are the greatest challenges facing government today. In fact, the former USDA Secretary under President George W. Bush says he can't have a conversation with a farmer or rancher without having EPA regulations come up.

FULL ARTICLE

Klopfenstein Debunks Backgrounding Myths

Heather Hamilton

With cheap corn appearing to be a thing of the past, producers can capitalize on the ruminant's ability to digest forages and fibrous byproducts by looking to those feedstuffs as their primary backgrounding ration. However, before diving into the forage feeding game, there are certain concepts producers should be aware of, says Terry Klopfenstein, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) professor of animal science.

Speaking at this week's Range Beef Cow Symposium in Mitchell, NE, Klopfenstein said: "I believe there are two important myths that need to be discussed, and several concepts to consider for increasing backgrounding gains."

FULL ARTICLE

Lack Of Traceability System In U.S. Is A Homegrown Trade Barrier

Wes Ishmael, BEEF Contributing Editor

"The U.S. is one of two major beef-exporting countries with no comprehensive traceability system," says Erin Borror, a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) economist. "Going forward, it places the U.S. at risk if an animal-disease outbreak occurs in this country, or if import customers impose traceability requirements."

FULL ARTICLE

Tips For Stretching Your Winter Hay Resources

From GoBobPipe.com

Drought conditions in certain regions of North America have placed a great deal of pressure on cattle producers, particularly in regard to the cost and availability of hay this winter. Many areas are faced with a choice of stretching existing hay supplies or buying additional hay on the open market at today's inflated prices.

FULL ARTICLE

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