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It's all about the facilities

As many of the producers that I visit and speak to, the one critical aspect of owning cattle is great handling facilities.  The appropriate facilities are advantageous in numerous ways.  I will outline two of them briefly here. Safety - This is probably the biggest factor, not only for you but also the livestock.  While you may have been around the cattle all your life,...

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Lighting type affects ground beef color

by Taking Stock Contributor By Samantha Kneeskern Ground beef is a very popular protein option at the grocery store. In fact, in terms of volume,64% of total beef purchased is ground beef¹. When choosing a package of ground beef from the retail case, consumers rely heavily on the color of the meat to make their decision. The most desirable color is bright, cherry r...

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Court finds EPA wronged farmers

The Environmental Protection Agency has violated the personal privacy of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers, according to a unanimous ruling issued by the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In late 2015, a U.S. district court dismissed the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) suit for lack of standing, but the U.S. Court of App...

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More beef marbling without extra fat a possibility

I do like to read about many different topics; thus I spend a great deal of time scouring multiple sources.  I came across this article and thought those in cattle production might find it interesting.  Original article was on the Feedstuffs website . In a time when the public...

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Beef brand affects perception of taste

Here's another article that I think is interesting... Kansas State University meat scientists have found that the brand name on beef at the grocery store makes a difference to consumers when it hits the dinner plate. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in 2015 that close to 100 brands are approved for marketing beef in the U.S. A recent audit indicated that 98% of al...

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Most Americans believe chicken has added hormones or steroids: NCC

Nearly 80 percent of Americans mistakenly believe that chicken contains added hormones or steroids, according to a new national survey released today by the National Chicken Council (NCC). No chicken sold or raised in the U.S. is given hormones or steroids. The survey, meanwhile, highlighted an opportunity for chicken producers to educate consumers about the origin of their chicken,...

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Global look at environmental footprint of livestock production

Global livestock production is projected to double by 2050 and the majority of this growth will be occurring in the developing world. Much of the growth in the global livestock sector will occur in areas that are currently forested (i.e., parts of South America and South East Asia), it has been well established that significant reductions of carbon sequestering forests will have...

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Cattle Handling Facilites

Last week Travis and I presented to the Monroe County Cattlemen's Association.  It was a great meeting.  Part of the program included safely handling cattle and designs of cattle handling facilities.  Although many may feel that right now is not the time to spend money on facilities, I would differ in that opinion.  My reasoning is this: your time is valuable!  Sometimes minor changes or adding ad...

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How much can I pay for a bred heifer?

Hello all, It's a new year and I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Due to the hectic holiday season and breeding schedule at DSAC I haven't posted much since December, but that doesn't mean there aren't many issues for cattlemen.  I came across this article from Drovers .  While sev...

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Mandatory meat labels economically not worth the fight, study says

By Michael Fielding on 1/12/2015 Most shoppers don’t take the time to look for labels indicating where the meat originated, according to new research. In October 2014, the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico, finding that the mandated country-of-origin labels (COOL) in the U.S. are not trade compliant and hurt business in nearby countries. The U.S. i...

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Farm Bureau releases big data survey results

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation 's recent survey on big data, increasing numbers of farmers get benefits from using new agricultural technologies, yet they remain wary of risks involved with data collection. More than 3,300 farmers participated in the survey. The top three concerns about farm data included: liability,...

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“2,000 Bull Project” targets cattle traits

Written by: Sandra Avant, ARS News Service Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are investigating methods to help beef cattle producers further improve genetic evaluations for routinely measured traits such as growth and calving ease. They are also targeting economically important traits like feed efficiency and disease resistance that are expensive or difficult to measur...

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Cost Of Developing 2014 Heifer Calves Will Be Record High

I found this article by Harlan Hughes ( a North Dakota State University professor emeritus ) ; an interesting read. With cattle prices up and feed costs down, many producers outside the major drought areas are contemplating holding back additional replacement heifers from their 2014 c...

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Calm cattle and carcass quality

Easily excitable cattle can be dangerous to themselves and cattle-handling personnel. And according to a recent project conducted at North Dakota State University, they may also have lower quality carcasses than calmer cattle. The study, which was conducted from August 2013 to February 2014, looked at the relationship between temperament, feeding behavior, growth performance and carcass c...

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Organic, conventional dairies similar in cow health, milk

Cows raised on organic and conventional dairy farms in three regions of the U.S. show no significant differences in health or in the nutritional content of their milk, according to a new study by Oregon State University researchers and their collaborators. Many organic and conventional dairies in the study also did not meet standards set by three commonly used cattle welfare program...

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USDA strengthens procedures for detecting unsafe ground beef

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced new procedures that will allow the agency to trace contaminated ground beef back to its source more quickly, remove it from commerce, and find the root cause of the incident to prevent it from recurring. The changes being announced August 13 build on other initiatives the agency has instituted t...

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Beef checkoff investment pays off: study

I found this article interesting.  With IL attempting to have a referendum, it may help shed some light. Every dollar invested in the Beef Checkoff Program between 2006 and 2013 returned about $11.20 to the beef industry, according to a study by Dr. Harry Kaiser of Cornell University. "It is clear to me that activities funded through the Beef Board budget have a substant...

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The big questions: Possible limitations of genomic information

During the 10 th World Congress of Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Dr. BrianKinghorn of the University of New England gave a presentation on Mondayabout the potential impact genomic information could have on genetic change. The presentation addressed 4 major questions about what genomic information can reveal. To what extent does nuclear DNA dictate...

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USDA says beef grading system may be outdated

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public input on possible revisions to the U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef to adjust for recent improvements and trends in animal raising and feeding. AMS is also seeking input on a review of beef instrument grading. One driver is the advent of grass-fed beef, which has different attributes than grain-fed beef....

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U.S. cow herd rebuilding provides opportunity for new thinking

The U.S. beef industry is confronted with a significant long-term decline in cattle numbers driven in part by record input costs and severe drought conditions in many major cattle-producing states. These recent challenges only add to the long-term issues the industry has faced, which include an aging producer population, increased global competition, increased competition from other meat prot...

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Learning through visiting cattle farms in Alabama

Hello all, I know several people called last week while I was out; however, I was at a conference in Mobile, Alabama.  The conference had several tours available, but of course I chose to attend "Where's the Beef?".  We toured the following facilities: 1.  Hastings Farm is located between Mobile and Pensacola. The family raises Rotakwa Red Devon cross cattle, which are fed on gras...

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The US Beef Cow Sector is Changing

I think that the USDA does a great job in telling us what we may know, but just don't have the data to substantiate.  While I already provided you with a link to the 2012 Ag Census, there are additional data that I think is interesting especially since it concerns beef cow operations.  The weather and feedstuffs price volatility have taken a toll on cattlemen the last several years.  A...

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