USDA Extends CRP Grazing
If you're grazing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
ground, depending on where you live, you may have more time than the
traditional emergency grazing deadline of Sept. 30.
On Friday, USDA announced an extended grazing period as late as Nov. 30
in some of the eligible states.
"Extremely dry weather conditions have created real hardships for
farmers and ranchers in many parts of the country this year," says USDA
Secretary Mike Johanns. "This emergency relief measure will provide feed
and forage to producers who have lost hay stocks and grazing lands
because of drought."
The 30 eligible states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada,
New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
According to USDA, state Farm Service Agency committees and USDA's
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state technical committees
must agree on the need for the emergency grazing extensions before
they're finalized. Once approved, producers in the 30 states may graze
CRP land until the following dates in 2006:
Oct. 20 -- Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North
Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Nov. 10 -- Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska,
Missouri, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
Nov. 30 -- Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South
Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
In mid-July, USDA announced the expansion of eligible CRP acreage for
emergency grazing and haying in Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New
Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. The
expanded area radiates 150 miles out from any county approved for
emergency haying and grazing in any above-mentioned state.
Additionally, USDA says CRP rental payments will be reduced by only 10%
instead of the standard 25% on CRP lands grazed in 2006.
In related news, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is giving producers
more time to purchase livestock to replace what they had to sell due to
the drought a few years ago.
"Some producers are coming to the end of their four-year replacement
period," says Jason Jordan, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)
manager of legislative affairs. "This announcement means ranchers still
dealing with horrific effects of the drought will not have to restock
their herds until one year after the official end of their drought
Jordan explains a previous amendment to the Uniform Tax Code (supported
by NCBA) extended the tax deferment period for weather-forced livestock
sales, termed "involuntary conversions," from two years to four years.
That same amendment also granted the Secretary of Treasury authority to
further extend the deferral period.
According to NCBA, "IRS Notice 2006-82 explains how a taxpayer can
determine whether additional time is available. In addition, the IRS
plans to publish a list of counties that experienced exceptional,
extreme or severe drought for the 12-month period ending Aug. 31, 2006."
SUREHEALTH® continues to gain approval.
Beef export countries demand proof of age, and the only
way to achieve this is through a Quality Systems Assessment (QSA)
program like the optional one offered through MERIAL ® SUREHEALTH
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SUREHEALTH and CATTLEHEAD LOGOS are all registered trademarks of Merial.
© 2006 Merial Limited. All rights reserved.
Mycoplasma Management Reminders --
With the fall run of calves knocking at the door, it
pays to keep in mind management associated with a decreased incidence of
mycoplasma (non-responsive pneumonia and arthritis). As researchers at
Kansas State University (KSU) noted in the mycoplasma survey they
conducted among stockers and backgrounders in 2001, "As mycoplasma
appears to be an opportunist occurring most frequently during times of
stress or when a calf's immune system is weakened, management programs
should focus on those procedures that can get calves started out in the
Recommendations by KSU researchers include:
The complete survey is available at www.beefstockerusa.org.
- Don't feed poor-quality hay, or hay in a form not easy for
incoming cattle to eat. The relationship between poor nutrition and
increased susceptibility to disease has long been recognized. Feed
intake during the receiving period is typically low which potentiates
the stress effects of shipment, processing and illness (Hutcheson and
Calves need a high-quality, palatable diet on arrival. A high percentage
of survey respondents were using native-grass hay in receiving diets.
Not all native-grass hay is created equal. In Kansas, forage quality
deteriorates monthly from peak protein values in May and June until
September with crude protein values declining from a peak of around 9%
to 4% (Baker and others, 1999).
The best way to know what you're feeding is to get your hay tested
before the cattle start arriving. You can then build a receiving ration
to match the needs of stressed cattle using a readily available hay
Protein concentrations in the entire receiving diet should be in the
13.5-14% range. Limiting dietary protein can decrease immune function
and increase susceptibility to respiratory pathogens. Calves already
sick have decreased appetites and need additional protein in their diets
to offset lowered intakes.
If using native hay in receiving diets, feed it in a form that minimizes
the amount of time a calf has to work at eating. Unbroken, large, round
bales require a lot more effort to eat and may limit the number of
calves eating at one time. Breaking hay out into bunk-line feeders and
top-dressing the protein and energy portion of the ration, or using a
complete ration during the first two weeks, will increase
- Provide a trace-mineral program that meets or exceeds recommended
allowances for the weight of calf purchased. A nationwide sampling
of zinc content in forage samples found only 2.5% to have adequate
levels of >40 ppm (Corah and others, 1996). It appears most
pasture-management programs require some form of mineral-supplementation
Several trace minerals, including zinc, are critical for proper
immune-system function. If the likelihood of receiving cattle from an
area where forage zinc is low isn't risky enough, zinc serum levels will
also decrease during transportation and stress. In a recent survey of
feeder cattle by the authors, serum zinc levels on arrival were found to
be deficient in 35% of incoming cattle sampled. In the same operation,
30% and 55% of cattle sampled at first treatment or at re-pull for
treatment, respectively, were found deficient. Cattle didn't appear to
have serum zinc levels return to normal until more than 60 days in the
feeding program, even though ration levels were adequate.
Pasture mineral supplementation programs will carry over into the
feedyard program (Greene and Chirase, 1998). In a Nebraska
mineral-supplementation study, cattle receiving supplemental trace
minerals (zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt) during the summer-grazing
period had significantly fewer sick calves and fewer treatments per
episode than unsupplemented cattle (Grotelueschen and others,
- Get control of a respiratory disease early. Metaphylaxis is
the group treatment of high-risk cattle with antibiotics before clinical
signs of illness are present. The survey indicated a significant
difference in the frequency of use on affected operations as compared to
operations not receiving affected loads. That begs the questions: "Did
it cause the problem?" or "Did they use metaphylaxis in an effort to
prevent affected loads because they'd had affected loads before?"
Neither question is answerable. In the final analysis, metaphylaxis
didn't appear to play a significant role -- data suggests that within
operations using metaphylaxis there didn't appear to be any relationship
between affected loads and unaffected loads receiving the procedure.
Metaphylaxis is a proven management practice to help reduce sickness,
chronics and death loss rates in high-risk cattle. Its usefulness has
been shown over many research trials and remains a practical management
tool for targeted loads of cattle.
- Minimize additional stresses at processing. If you can't buy
steers and clean-headed cattle, delay those procedures for about 30 days
post-arrival. Cramming them on top of everything else at arrival just
adds to the stress load.
Weather And Crops
Corn Pegged at 11.1 Billion
If USDA estimates are correct, this year's corn crop
will be the second largest in history at 11.1 billion bu. That's
according to last week's Crop Production report. View it at: usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProd/CropProd-09-12-2006.txt.
The 11.1-billion-bu. estimate is 1% higher than the August estimate and
would make for a crop fractionally larger than last year's.
The monthly report also lifted the estimate of soybean production for
the year by 6% over August at 3.09 billion bu. That would also mean a
larger crop than last year and the second-largest soybean harvest on
Overall, total hay production for the year is estimated at 7% lower than
last year. Depending on where you live and how high the price is, that
sure seems like a generous assessment.
For the week ending Sept. 9, according to National Ag Statistics Service
States with the worst pasture conditions -- at least 40% of the acreage
rated poor or worse -- include: Alabama (65%); Arizona (58%); Arkansas (53%); California
(67%); Colorado (44%); Kansas (43%); Mississippi (68%);
Missouri (62%); Montana (61%); Nebraska (60%); Nevada (65%); North Dakota (64%); Oklahoma
(70%); OR (48%); South Dakota (58%); Texas (77%); Wyoming
- Corn -- 91% is at or beyond the Dent
Stage, compared to 88% last year and 81% for the
five-year average. Progress is ahead of average in all states. Maturation is at 34%, the same as
last year, but 2% ahead of normal. 6% is harvested, which is on par with last year and the
five-year average. 59% is rated Good or better, compared to 51% last year.
- Soybeans -- 27% of the acreage was at or beyond
dropping leaves, 7% behind last year, but the same
as average. 60% is rated Good or better.
- Winter Wheat -- 9% of the crop is sown, 2% less than the same time last year and 3% less than
average. Colorado is the furthest behind, 12% off the average pace.
- Barley -- Harvest advanced to 97% complete, compared to 94% last year and 91% for normal.
- Sorghum -- 96% of the acreage is in the heading
stage, which equals last year and the average.
Heading was complete or nearly complete in all states except New Mexico
and Oklahoma. 72% was at or beyond turning
color, the same as last year but 1% behind the
norm. 36% is mature, compared
to 33% last year and 38% for average. 33% is rated
Good or better, compared to 47% last year.
- Pasture -- 25% is rated Good or Excellent, compared to 32% last year. 24% is
rated Poor and 23% is ranked Very Poor, compared
to 23% and 13% respectively at the same time last year.
States with the lushest pasture conditions -- at least 40% rated good or
better -- include: Florida (60%);
Illinois (55%); Indiana (60%); Iowa
(58%); Kentucky (61%); Maine (89%); Michigan (53%); New Mexico (60%); New
York (65%); North Carolina (53%); Ohio (55%); South
Carolina (48%); Utah (52%); Washington (40%); West Virginia (44%);
Sept. 28 -- Kansas State University (KSU) Beef
Stocker Conference, KSU Beef Stocker Unit, Manhattan, KS. For more info,
Oct. 11-13 -- Texas Cattle Feeders Association Annual Convention,
Amarillo Civic Center, Amarillo, TX. For registration info, visit www.tcfa.org, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
Oct. 20-21 -- 5th Annual Statewide Project Grass Conference, Penn
College, Williamsport, PA; 570/784-4401 or email@example.com.
Oct. 24-26 -- Noble Foundation Grazing School, Ardmore, OK;
580/224-6411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 26-27 -- King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management's 3rd
Annual Holt Cat Excellence in Ranch Management Symposium, Texas A&M
University-Kingsville campus, Kingsville; 361-593-5401 or krirm.tamuk.edu.
Feb. 13-14 -- Mid-South Stocker Conference, Cave City, KY,
presented by the University of Kentucky and the University of Tennessee.
For more info, visit www.midsouthstocker.org. You can also contact Jim
Neel at 865-974-7294 or email@example.com; John Bartee at
931-648-5725 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or John T.
Johns at 859-257-2853 or email@example.com.
Sign Up Now For BEEF Quality
Summit, Nov. 14-15
Sign up now at www.beef-mag.com for BEEF magazine's 2006
BEEF Quality Summit. The Nov. 14-15 workshop in Oklahoma City's
Clarion Hotel aims to provide attendees with the background, tools and
the environment to make the connections for involvement, and the
potential rewards offered, in the new beef-value chain.
The first day's program is devoted to outlining the opportunity
available in the new beef-value chain, while the second day will focus
on how to link your production into that chain. Among the topics are:
For more detail, visit www.beef-mag.com and click on the "BEEF
Quality Summit" box in the top right corner of the opening page.
- How U.S. beef consumers define quality.
- Quality, profit and the cattle cycle.
- International competition and opportunities for U.S. quality beef.
- Current international beef-trade opportunities.
- Producers will discuss how they're paid for quality.
- Selecting a marketing partner.
- Evaluating costs, trade-offs and risks of various markets.
- Linking up with a marketing partner -- an opportunity to meet with
participating marketing channel reps.
Preconditioned calves are in demand. MERIAL® SUREHEALTH®
is the only national veterinarian certified preconditioning program.
It's backed by the Merial SUREHEALTH limited health warranty and
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® MERIAL, SUREHEALTH, and the SUREHEALTH and CATTLEHEAD LOGOS
are all registered trademarks of Merial. © 2006 Merial Limited. All
Beef Prices--Volume Push Market
Between sharp reductions in boxed-beef prices and the
CME's midweek nosedive, fed-cattle prices lost $1-$2 on the week at
mostly $88-$89. Throw in auction volumes 68% larger than the previous
week (303,000) and the feeder-cattle market was called weak to $3 lower.
That said, Ag Marketing Service reporters explain, "Demand remains good
for all classes of feeders, especially for true yearlings and
longtime-weaned calves which are quickly becoming the minority in
offerings to increasing numbers of un-weaned calves."
Moreover, the most recent data from the Livestock Marketing Information
Center (LMIC) underscores the added pressure higher feeder costs are
adding to fed-cattle breakevens compared to a year ago.
"According to the July data, feedlots reported the average cost of gain
for steers at $52.62/cwt., $2.53/cwt. higher than in 2005 and nearly 7%
above the 2000-2004 average," say LMIC analysts. "The cost of gain for
heifers was $57.14/cwt. vs. $53.58/cwt. last year and $3.92/cwt. higher
than the prior five-year average. As of mid-August, feedlots reported a
corn price of $2.60/bu., 9¢/bu. higher than last year but slightly
less than the prior month. The mid-month price for ground alfalfa hay at
$116.96/ton was over $41/ton higher than last year and the highest
monthly price reported thus far in the series (began in July 1992)."
Find more details about the LMIC report at www.lmic.info.
The summary below reflects the week ended Sept. 15 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:
| Summary Table
| State|| Volume ||Steers || Heifers
| Calf Weight|| 500-550 lbs. || 600-650 lbs.
|| 700-750 lbs.
|| 500-550 lbs.
|| 600-650 lbs. ||
700-750 lbs. |
| TX ||40,500 || $122.74 || $119.48 || $109.74 || $115.62 ||
$111.00 || $113.17 |
| MO || 38,500 || $134.55 || $128.98 || $121.04 || $122.03 || $120.27 || $113.86 |
| OK || 36,900 || $132.69 || $125.28 || $121.67 || $121.13 || $115.24 || $112.39 |
| KY* ||24,800 || $120-129 ||
$108-118 || $105-1155 || $107-117 || $100-110 || $94-1055 |
| Dakotas ||21,900 |
| AL ||19,200 || $117-126 ||
$111-117 || $102-1095 || $108-116 || $101-108 || $89-995 |
| TN* ||14,000 || $121.21 ||$114.04 || $107.78 || $110.74 ||$103.97 || $98.974 |
| NE ||12,100 || $141.95 ||$122.182 || $123.27 || $128.20 ||
$120.944 || $116.91 |
| FL* ||11,600 || $100-120
|| $98-106 ||
|| $93-103 || $94-1044 |
| MS* ||10,500 || $115-1251 || $105-115 || $100-1154 || $105-1101
||$95-105 || $90-954 |
||10,200 || $105-129 ||
$100-120 || $95-1036 || $100-122 || $92-110 || $90-1074 |
| KS ||9,300 || $132.24
|| $126.15 ||
||$115.67 || $112.36 |
| AR ||9,000
|| $114.69 || $109.34 || $111.54 ||
106.31 || $101.03 |
| LAND ||8,000 || $105-125 ||
** || $100-116 ||
$98-1182 || ** |
| IA ||7,600
|| $134.80 || $126.01 || $129.09 ||
$120.72 || $118.20 |
||6,900 || $102.50-125 ||
$100-1173 || $90-1085 || $100-112 || $86-106.50 || $76-101.505
| WY* ||5,500 || $136.43 ||$130.512 || $119.13 || $125.25 ||$119.162 || $111.686 |
| VA ||5,200
||$118.52 || $113.72 || $110.82 ||$105.26 || $102.15
| CO ||4,700
||$123.69 || $121.44 || $123.66 ||$122.812 || $112.51 |
| WA* ||2,700 || ** ||$118.292 || $102.76 || $111.24 ||$107.992 || $98.61 |
| NM ||2,100
|| $117.532 || **
||$111.572 || **
| MT ||1,800
||$124.342 || **
||$119.232 || $108.16
* Plus 2
** None reported at this weight or near weight
(***) Steers and bulls
Questions & Comments
Please send questions to:
Wes Ishmael, Contributing Editor, BEEF Stocker Trends, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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