Cattlemen Establish Fire Disaster
The Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA), Texas and
Southwestern Stock Growers Association, and Livestock Marketing
Association of Texas have established The Cattlemen's Disaster Relief
Fund to assist cattlemen affected by wildfires in Texas, Oklahoma and
Tax-deductible contributions can be made to: Cattlemen's Disaster Relief
Fund, 5501 I-40 West, Amarillo, TX 79106. Hay and feed donations are
also being accepted. For more information about donating hay and feed,
contact Burt Rutherford at TCFA, 806/358-3681.
National Stocker Award Applications
Due April 30
If you haven't already nominated your own stocker
program -- or a peer's -- for BEEF's National Stocker Award
(NSA), look for the details at www.beef-mag.com and consider doing so.
Three finalists will be chosen from the following categories:
Of these, one will be selected to receive the National Stocker Award and
a $10,000 cash prize. The winner also receives a trip to the 2007 Cattle
Industry Annual Convention for special recognition. BEEF will
announce the winner and publish stories about the three finalists in the
- Summer stocker operation (forage-based),
- Fall/winter stocker operation (forage-based), and
- Backgrounding/dry lot stocker (feed-based).
Selection will be based on information provided in the NSA nomination
form (available at www.beef-mag.com) and follow-up phone interviews
by the selection committee. The main eligibility requirement is that the
nominee derives the majority of cattle income from the
The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2006. The selection
committee includes representatives from private industry, university
Extension and BEEF magazine.
Besides recognizing the best of the best stockers and backgrounders, the
program will give peers a chance to find out how the winners excel. This
is in keeping with BEEF's philosophy of helping producers learn
from one another.
Wildfires Can Harm
Cattle in Surrounding Areas, Too
The wildfires that have ravaged parts of Texas, Oklahoma
and New Mexico create a cascade of long-lasting misery.
In the March 12 fires that swept across the Texas Panhandle, loads of
cattle were trapped in the raging fires -- 10,000 by one estimate -- and
more than 700,000 acres burned. This means that grass -- already at a
minimum due to drought -- is years away at best. As many as 25,000 head
of cattle were estimated to be in the affected area, according to Steve
Amosson, a Texas Cooperative Extension economist.
"We probably had a lot of calves that were lying out susceptible to the
fire, as fast as it was moving across there," says Ted McCollum,
Extension livestock specialist for Texas A&M University (TAMU). "They
had no place to go. Also, there will be a lot of mothers with
potentially scorched udders. The calves that survived won't be able to
suckle the mothers who have sore udders."
Health disorders, such as burned eyes, feet, udders, sheaths and
testicles, as well as smoke inhalation with lung inflammation and edema,
are the most common problems in these situations, says Floron "Buddy"
Faries, the Extension program leader for veterinary medicine at Texas
"One of the problems we've run into in the past is with the feet,"
explains Ron Gill, Extension livestock specialist in Stephenville. "It
may take 10 days to two weeks for the damage to start showing. The
cattle will start sloughing the hoof wall and become crippled."
Extension service personnel and veterinarians are working on determining
major symptoms to look for and what actions to take if lameness begins
to appear, he says.
"To assure the welfare of the affected animals, veterinarians need to be
consulted," Faries says. "If, in the event the animal is not going to be
able to be treated, decisions concerning sending them to market need to
be made immediately, before secondary complications develop."
Faries also advises designing an animal evacuation and rescue plan to
prepare for wildfires. He says plans should include ways of moving
livestock out of the fire danger zone. This may include hauling the
livestock out in trailers, opening gates or cutting fences and releasing
the livestock; allowing them to move to a safer place, including plowed
ground or wheat pasture, he says.
Keep in mind the fire danger zone isn't just where the fire is, Faries
says. It's where the livestock risk inhaling smoke. Smoke can move for
miles, and cattle that aren't near the flames or heat can suffer damage,
Contact with burning grass, weeds and brush causes immediate burns,
Faries says. However, he explains inhalation of smoke causes immediate
irritation to the lining of the respiratory system, including nasal
passages, trachea and lungs. This can lead to inflammation, edema and
emphysema, with the severity determined by the duration of inhaled
"The time it takes to cause damage might only have to be a few minutes
with high quantities of smoke, and may be hours in low quantities of
smoke," Faries says. He adds the lining of the eyelids and eyeballs can
be irritated and lead to secondary infections, which can be fatal.
Once the fire has passed, Faries advises immediately consulting a
veterinarian for any animals with severe burns or direct smoke exposure.
They will evaluate if the animal can be salvaged, or for humane reasons,
should be slaughtered or euthanized. Other livestock should also be
evaluated for possible health disorders.
Monitoring should continue for weeks after the event, Faries says.
"Before these secondary complications of infection occur (such as cough
or cloudy eye), immediate slaughter for human consumption may be the
most appropriate humane procedure," Faries explains. "Prior to
slaughter, an antemortem inspection will be conducted by veterinary meat
inspectors to determine safety and wholesomeness for human food."
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Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved.
U.S. Trade Team to Meet With Japanese
If thing go according to schedule, representatives from
the U.S. will be meeting with officials in Japan today in an attempt to
restore beef trade.
"The United States is eager to provide any additional clarification
Japan may request so we can resume beef exports to Japan as quickly as
possible," explained Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns last Wednesday.
"I believe our report is thorough and actions address the unique
circumstances surrounding this ineligible shipment. Now my hope is that
we can take the next steps toward resumption of normal trade."
Johanns directed that a USDA technical team go to Japan after the
Japanese government signaled a willingness to receive USDA experts.
In the meantime, USDA continues to investigate the latest native BSE
case discovered earlier this month -- an aged cow in Alabama that never
entered the market.
Return On Investment
There are plenty of ways to lose money in the stocker
business, but the returns can be more lucrative than some realize, too.
At the Mid-South Stocker Conference, Mike Murphy, an analyst for
Cattle-Fax, pointed out just a few dollars return, relative to the
equity requirement per head and the length of ownership can produce
astounding return on investment (Table 1).
Rather than think in terms of dollars per head, Murphy explains, "Return
on equity is how we should be measuring our business."
Annualized Percentage Return on Equity
(Assumes $150/head collateral)
| Dollars/Head Profit
| Days on Grass || $10 || $20
|| $30 || $40 || $50
| 100 || 24% || 49% || 73%
|| 97% || 122% |
| 120 || 20% || 41% || 61%
|| 81% || 101% |
| 140 || 17% || 35% || 52%
|| 70% || 87% |
| 160 || 15% || 30% || 46%
|| 61% || 76% |
| 180 || 14% || 27% || 41%
|| 54% || 68% |
| 200 || 12% || 24% || 37% ||
49% || 61% |
An open-and-shut case.
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and rate of gain. Reduce the number of open cows. Shut the door on
flukes and other internal and external parasites with
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon).
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Merial. © 2005 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All right
Animal ID Education
If you're wondering how and when to get your arms
wrapped around animal ID of the electronic kind, Kansas State University
(KSU) may have the solution for you. The university will host two
Electronic Beef ID Crash Courses this summer.
The programs will be held at the KSU Stocker Unit outside of Manhattan,
KS, and will include live-animal demonstrations, hands-on use of animal
ID equipment, a review of available technologies, and how to budget a
KSU Extension beef specialist Dale Blasi says this summer's programs,
each aimed at different audiences, are a follow-up to the KSU Beef ID
Academy programs during summer 2004.
The June 21-22 program is aimed at operators of feedyards, sale barns
and stocker-grower operations. The July 19-20 program is aimed
specifically at cow-calf producers and veterinarians. Space is limited
to 100 attendees in each session.
For more info, contact Lois Schreiner at 785/532-1267 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gerrish Grazing Seminar Is April 4-7
In North Carolina
Southeast graziers can learn to become efficient
low-cost cattle producers via a Jim Gerrish Hands-On
Management-Intensive Grazing School planned for April 4-7 at Braeburn
Farms in Snow Camp, NC. The program includes discussion and how-to on
year-round grazing, contact grazing, fertility management, grazing cell
design and pasture-finished beef. In addition, the topics of balancing
animal demand and forage supply, how to manage for a variable stocking
rate, pasture improvement, and fence and water development will also be
covered. To learn more, contact 208/876-4067 or email@example.com.
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Market Treads Water But Looks
First, the good news. Feeder steers and heifer sold
steady to $3 higher last week, according to the Agricultural Marketing
Service (AMS), and the fed market was steady to $1 higher at $86-$87.
Now, for the other boot.
Year-to-date slaughter of cattle is down 1.1% from a year ago, but total
beef production is up 4.3%. "Heavyweights and increased numbers are the
culprits in the beef supply picture," say AMS analysts. "Average dressed
carcass weights at 782 lbs. are 31 lbs. heavier than at this time last
Cheap cattle feed and ideal feeding weather has a way of doing that.
"This entices putting on another 100 lbs. to lower overall unit
production cost and help the red ink a little bit. However, this is
temporary relief and counterproductive to long term objectives," AMS
Slaughter cattle prices have dropped around $10 since the first of the
year, and the CME feeder cattle index is down a similar amount.
Last week's Cattle on Feed report was bearish, too. Numbers in feedlots
are up 8% from a year ago; February placements are up 5% and February
marketing's are down 1%.
The summary below reflects the week ended March 24 for Medium
and Large 1 -- 500- to 550-lb., 600- to 650-lb., and 700- to 750-lb.
feeder heifers and steers (unless otherwise noted). The list is
arranged in descending order by auction volume and represents sales
reported in the weekly USDA National Feeder and Stocker Cattle Summary:
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs. || 600-650 lbs.
|| 700-750 lbs.
|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. |
| OK || 20,400
||$124.19 || $109.01 || $119.43 || $111.26
|| $97.75 |
| MO || 19,300 || $135.63 || $122.22 || $108.07 || $118.77 || $107.43 || $95.26 |
| TX ||18,600 || $128.28
|| $113.91 ||
|| $105.78 || $94.97 |
| Dakotas ||16,800
| $136.16 |
| $121.55 |
| $104.686 |
| $111.52 |
| KY* ||16,200 || $114-124 ||
$102-112 || $89-995 || $99-109 || $92-1023 || $82-925 |
| IA ||7,300 || $143.42
|| $113.05 || $98.60 |
| GA*(***) ||7,200 || $109-134 ||
$100-117 || $91-101 || $101-125 || $91-105 || $82.50-90
||6,400 || $107-136 ||
$90-1173 || $83-1025 || $95-119 || $85-1063 || $82-97.505 |
| NE ||6,200 || $141.95 || $124.34 || $109.06 || $129.22 || $113.96 || $103.28 |
| TN* ||6,100 || $123.68 ||$109.02 || $98.82 || $112.70 ||$100.25 || $89.64 |
| AL ||5,600
|| $104-1143 || $94-1004
|| $103-109 || ** |
| KS ||5,300 || $130.90 || $122.974
||$103.804 || $95.91 |
| AR ||4,700
|| $115.55 || $103.26 || $116.82 ||
$105.59 || $98.61 |
| FL ||4,300
|| $94-113 || $91-97 || $101-115 || $92-93 || ** |
| VA ||4,200
|| $116.42 || $102.94 || $112.75 || $98.93 || $93.51
| MS* ||2,400 || $115-1251 || $105-115 || $88-945 || $105-1151
||$95-105 || $90-954 |
| CO ||2,100
|| $137.42Z2 || **
|| $102.806 || $130.01 ||**
| WA* ||1,900 || **
||$108.26 || $101.65 |
| LA* ||1,700 || $120-127 ||
** || $109-119 ||
$105-1152 || ** |
| WY ||1,600 || $139.87
** ||$122.182 || $107.944 |
| NM ||1,500 || $126.642 || ** || $106.09 || $113.92 ||$110.682 || ** |
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Roybal, Editor, BEEF magazine, at email@example.com
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