Latest News Feed https://www.drovers.com/news/rss-feed.xml en 4 Options for a Farm Operation Without a Successor https://www.drovers.com/article/4-options-farm-operation-without-successor <p><span><span><span calibri="">Leaving a legacy is sometimes complicated by the unknown of who’s next in line. Do you find yourself in that situation now or possibly down the road? Adam Kline, an attorney with Bose McKinney &amp; Evans LLP who hails from an Indiana farm, recently shared four options for a farm operation without a successor.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">Here’s a summary of the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Learn more by listening to the <a href="https://www.farmjournal.com/no-successor-no-worries-you-have-options/" title="No Successor? No Worries — You Have Options">full 45-min. webinar presentation</a> or jump in based on your interest at the time noted with each option.</span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span calibri="">1. Auction (6:58)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">The auction concept is common in farm country. In the event a farm doesn’t have a successor, an auction can provide a quick transition, usually in a three- to four-month window to allow time for advertising, Kline says. An auction also allows a farmer to avoid high carrying costs for multiple years of equipment ownership.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">The obvious drawback to the auction route is the business doesn’t continue. In addition, when property is fully depreciated, an immediate capital gains tax bill follows. While there are typically numerous auction companies to work alongside, they obviously come with a cost, including marketing expenses and commission fees.</span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span calibri="">2. Estate planning with off-farm heirs (8:35)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">This option often involves a will or trust that transfers all assets at death to a surviving spouse or off-farm child/children who don’t have the know-how or desire to resume the operation. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">“In this scenario, we recommend the heir sell or auction the equipment, wrap up ongoing operations, liquidate the inventory, lease the land and facilities and transition livestock,” Kline says. “It might be wise to engage a farm manger during this transition.”</span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span calibri="">3. </span></span></span><span><span><span calibri="">Farm merger (12:20)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">As assumed, a farm merger involves one farm absorbing the ongoing operations of another farm — with the benefit of the business continuing.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">“Typically, a retiring farmer works with the successor, often a neighboring operation, for a number of years with the flexibility to phase out,” Kline says. “The successor rents land, bins and sheds owned by the retiring farmer. In the case of rented ground, a conversation among the landlord, retiring farmer and successor can result in a new arrangement. The retiring farmer usually phases out equipment ownership.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">Give your accountant and attorney a heads up, he adds, to structure sales of depreciated items and work through tax matters.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">A farm merger might not be the ideal route if the retiring farmer doesn’t have years to accomplish the plan. In addition, a solid commitment is required by both sides for the transition to be a success, not to mention the future direction of the farm is largely controlled by the new operation.</span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span calibri="">4. Farm acquisition (23:20)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">As implied, another option for a retiring farmer without a successor is to sell the ongoing operations of their farm to another farmer who operates it as their own.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">“This can be the most rewarding because it provides an opportunity for beginning farmers to purchase and operate a farm,” Kline says. “Other benefits include minimal waste of infrastructure and equipment, flexibility in the phase out process and tax advantages.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span calibri="">When it comes to drawbacks, a farm acquisition process does require several years to accomplish the plan. Kline says that time frame can range from five to eight years. The acquisition route also doesn’t work for all farms because of cash flow issues and the seller in a sense becomes the financier. Insufficient planning and documenting expectations can lead to issues, and the gradual loss of autonomy and decision-making can be a challenge for some retiring farmers to handle.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <hr /> <p><span><span><span calibri="">Interested in other succession planning topics? Register now to attend Farm Journal Field Days to hear Polly Dobbs speak on “Prenups, Postnups and Buy-Sell Agreements ... Oh My! How to Keep Assets in the Blood.” Go to <a href="https://www.farmjournalfielddays.com/" title="Farm Journal Field Days">FarmJournalFieldDays.com</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> FJ-Field-Days-Succession-Planning khumphreys@farmjournal.com (Katie Humphreys) 17586 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 03:50:52 CDT Latest News Feed Farm State DSnators in a Beef Over Packers Bill https://www.drovers.com/article/farm-state-dsnators-beef-over-packers-bill <p>By Tom Polansek and P.J. Huffstutter</p> <p>CHICAGO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Two senior Republican U.S. senators from top farm states have locked horns over legislation intended to make cattle markets more transparent, after the COVID-19 pandemic tanked livestock prices.</p> <p>U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa and a bipartisan group of colleagues introduced a bill in May that would force meatpackers like JBS USA , Tyson Foods and Cargill Inc to buy at least half the beef cattle they slaughter directly from producers on the open market and then kill those animals within two weeks.</p> <p>Grassley said the bill would make it easier for farmers to track market prices and increase competition among meatpackers that often lock in prices with producers under longer-term contracts.</p> <p>Cattle prices fell in March and April as slaughterhouses shut due to COVID-19 even as beef prices soared to their biggest premium over cattle since records began in 2001. The bill is meant to prevent such distortions that squeeze ranchers.</p> <p>U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is a surprising opponent. Grassley, in a call with reporters this week, accused Roberts of delaying the bill and said Roberts' staff is "geared up" to fight it.</p> <p>"I'm working to understand the diverse perspectives within the industry regarding market volatility and transparency," Roberts told Reuters in a statement.</p> <p>Roberts said some cattle producers do not see how Grassley's bill will help. Meat packers are against it, an industry lobbyist said, as are some producer groups that oppose the federal government dictating free market practices.</p> <p>Adam Jones, owner of Crooked Creek Angus in St. Francis, Kansas, said a lack of price discovery currently means ranchers who sign contracts with packers might not know if they are getting a good market price.</p> <p>"The whole system works for the packers, but not for producers," said Jones, 38. "For Roberts to not give cattle producers the chance to be heard is completely tone deaf." </p> Will Feed Inc 001 Will Feed Inc - Anne Burkholder info@farmjournal.com (reuters) 17584 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 01:12:57 CDT Latest News Feed Justin Sexten: You Are How You Eat? https://www.drovers.com/article/justin-sexten-you-are-how-you-eat <p><span><span><span>Recent food marketing campaigns brought beef cattle diets back to the top of social media discussions. We know the marketing efforts surrounding what cattle eat is certainly not new to the consumer, as a quick trip through any meat case highlights the continual efforts made to differentiate beef as well as the other proteins based on the diet consumed in addition to a host of other management aspects. Beef with a side of adjectives is not limited to the grocery, food service menus are just as descriptive.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We know cattle diets influence end product quality as well as production efficiency. In general, corn-fed cattle produce beef with higher quality grades while grass-fed cattle produce a leaner product. Grain feeding is more efficient than grass finishing due increased energy density and less energy losses associated with fermentation.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In my observation, the debate around methane outside the beef industry fails to recognize methane production represents a loss of energy to fermentation, ranging from 2-12% of the total energy potential of the diet. Wouldn’t most cattlemen consider an alternative production practice that improved energy availability of the diet? The beef industry is constantly evaluating viable opportunities to reduce methane production and capture more of this potential energy, this occurs independent of the politics and marketing surrounding climate change.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>There are countless factors beyond diet and fermentation products influencing the efficiency of forage and feed nutrient conversion into muscle and fat. A recent paper in the Journal of Animal Science by Ira Parsons and his Texas A&amp;M co-workers used growing cattle fed a grain-based finishing diet to look at the relationship between feed consumption patterns and feed conversion.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Cattle and the related behaviors were sorted into one of three residual feed intake groups, for ease of reading we will call these efficient, neutral and inefficient and focus on the differences between efficient and inefficient. For context the efficient group consumed 20.3 lbs of dry matter / day and converted at 5.3 while the inefficient group ate 24.2 lbs / day and converted at 6.5.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The efficient steers visited the bunk less often and consumed 1.2 less “meals” each day. In addition to fewer bunk visits, efficient cattle spent less time at the bunk, a total of 11.5 minutes less each day.  Spend much time at a feedyard and it doesn’t take long to hear the concern from cattle feeders that low intake cattle don’t perform as well. In this report there were no differences in gain despite lower feed intake and less time spent eating by the efficient cattle. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The authors suggested the comparable gains may be attributed to the efficient cattle having less energy lost as heat due to the combined effects of reduced feed intake and fewer meals. The inefficient cattle may have consumed more total energy but lost more energy as heat due to digestion of larger meals more often.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>One assumption we make in feeding experiments is the diet fed and the diet consumed are the same. In this experiment the efficient cattle took 5.6 minutes longer to approach the bunk after the feed truck dropped feed. Perhaps the inefficient cattle consume more roughage after feed delivery leaving more grain for the later arriving efficient cattle? This is one aspect we cannot sort out in a pen feeding experiment, but knowing there are behavioral differences associated with eating, opens up the possibility of individual animal feed consumption preferences. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Another theory suggested to outline how lower feed intake and similar performance was achieved was related to improved “rumen health”. This trial didn’t test rumen pH to monitor digestive health but the experiment did report inefficient cattle having more variable feed consumption patterns. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Combine greater feed intake with variable consumption patterns and the possibility of rumen upset may also increase. No health differences such as bloat or acidosis were reported suggesting the difference in efficiency could have been caused by suboptimal fermentation rather than rumen upset. This research highlights how animal differences in feed intake patterns may affect performance and serves as a reminder to feeders that we should work to ensure consistency in feed mixing and delivery so we do not compound these challenges.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The knowledge base around feeding behavior and the relationships to performance and efficiency continues to expand. As technology advances, our ability to monitor behavior in a normal feeding environment will help determine if efficiency causes the behavior or the behavior makes cattle more efficient. Further discoveries looking at what and how cattle eat will offer cattlemen selection and management opportunities to improve efficiency.</span></span></span></p> BT Feedlot Cattle Bunk Feedline info@farmjournal.com (Justin Sexten Performance Livestock Analytics) 17582 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:09:03 CDT Latest News Feed Reel In U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service News At Farm Journal Field Days https://www.drovers.com/article/reel-us-fish-and-wildlife-service-news-farm-journal-field-days <p><i>Building trust in food begins with empowering farmers through one of the largest and most diverse conservation- and sustainability-focused public-private partnerships in our nation’s history: America’s Conservation Ag Movement. To find the latest news and resources related to the Movement, visit </i><a href="https://www.agweb.com/acam"><i>AgWeb.com/ACAM</i></a><i>.</i></p> <hr /> <p>Farmers are, by their nature and daily focus, intent on production practices that preserve their land as well as habitat that supports and protects wildlife and fisheries.</p> <p>U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director, Aurelia Skipwith, will speak to those priorities as part of a panel discussion during the Farm Journal Field Days event, set for Aug. 25-27.</p> <p>“Her participation illustrates the importance of voluntary collaboration among federal agencies, farmers and ranchers to ensure the future of agriculture includes healthy working lands and wildlife habitat as well as a diverse and inclusive conservation ag workforce,” says Amy Skoczlas Cole, Executive Vice President for Trust In Food, a Farm Journal initiative.</p> <p>Two recent successes farmers and ranchers achieved in partnership with FWS have been to enhance the habitat for the western sage grouse and the eastern cottontail rabbit. Populations of both have improved in recent years, thanks to the collaboration.</p> <p>During Farm Journal Field Days, Director Skipwith will share the agency’s perspective on the importance of close collaboration with farmers and ranchers, many of whom operate adjacent to the hundreds of millions of acres under FWS management, including the National Wildlife Refuge System. Director Skipwith also will share how the agency’s rich history, diverse workforce and strategic partnerships are creating a more resilient future for conservation agriculture and conservationists of all backgrounds, including Black, Hispanic, Latino and Native American communities.</p> <p>The panel discussion, “Scaling Diversity and Inclusion Across U.S. Agriculture,” will be available via on-demand video in the Farming For Today + Tomorrow Pavilion at the event.</p> <p>Joining Director Skipwith on the panel are:</p> <ul> <li>Zach Ducheneaux, Rancher, Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, South Dakota</li> <li>Shannon Kellner, AVP Food Animal Business Team, Merck</li> <li>Anatomia Farrell, National President, Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences</li> </ul> <p>Learn more and register for Farm Journal Field Days at <span><span><span arial=""><a href="http://www.farmjournalfielddays.com/"><span>FarmJournalFieldDays.com</span></a></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span times="" new="" roman=""><u><span calibri=""><span><span>8 Must-See Speakers at Farm Journal Field Days </span></span></span></u></span></span></p> <p><span><span times="" new="" roman=""><u><span calibri=""><span><span>Machinery Pete's Advice for Farm Journal Field Days</span></span></span></u></span></span></p> <p><span><span times="" new="" roman=""><u><span calibri=""><span><span><a href="https://www.agweb.com/article/why-should-you-attend-farm-journal-field-days"><span>Why Should You Attend Farm Journal Field Days?</span></a></span></span></span></u></span></span></p> <p> </p> FJ-Field-Days-Jay-Fishing rbrooks@Farmjournal.com (Rhonda Brooks) 17583 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 11:22:03 CDT Latest News Feed Glenn Selk: Growing Bred Replacement Heifers https://www.drovers.com/article/glenn-selk-growing-bred-replacement-heifers <p>Bred replacement heifers that will calve in late January and February need to continue to grow and maintain body condition.  Ideally, two year old heifers should be in a body condition score 6  at the time that their first calf is born.</p> <p>This allows them the best opportunity to provide adequate colostrum to the baby, repair the reproductive tract, return to heat cycles, rebreed on time for next year, and continue normal body growth.  From now until calving time, the heifers will need to be gaining 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per head per day, assuming that they are in good body condition coming out of summer. </p> <p>Pregnant replacement heifers will need supplemental protein, if the major source of forage in the diet is bermudagrass or native pasture or grass hay.  If the forage source is adequate in quantity and average in quality (6 - 9% crude protein), heifers will need about 2 to 2.5 pounds of a high protein (38 - 44% CP) supplement each day. </p> <p>This will probably need to be increased with higher quality hay (such as alfalfa) or additional energy feed (20% range cubes) as winter weather adds additional nutrient requirements.   For more details about the nutrient needs of all classes of beef cattle download and read <a href="http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1921/E-974web.pdf">Oklahoma State University Extension Circular E-974 “Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle”.</a></p> <p>Wheat pasture (if adequate rainfall produces growth) can be used as a supplement for pregnant replacement heifers.  Using wheat pasture judiciously makes sense for pregnant heifers for two reasons.  Pregnant heifers consuming full feed of wheat pasture will gain at about 3 pounds per head per day.  If they are on the wheat too long the heifers can become very fat and may cause dystocia (calving difficulty). </p> <p>Also, the wheat pasture can be used for gain of stocker cattle or weaned replacement heifers more efficiently.  If wheat pasture is used for bred heifers, use it as a protein supplement by allowing the heifers access to the wheat pasture on at least alternate days.  Some producers report that 1 day on wheat pasture and two days on native or bermuda will work better.  This encourages the heifers to go rustle in the warm season pasture for the second day, rather than just stand by the gate waiting to be turned back in to the wheat.  Whatever method is used to grow the pregnant replacement heifers, plan to have them in good body condition (BCS=6) by calving so that they will grow into fully-developed productive cows.</p> <p>Related stories:</p> <p><a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/glenn-selk-weaning-fall-born-calves">Glenn Selk: Weaning Fall-Born Calves</a></p> UNL Replacement Heifers info@farmjournal.com (Glenn Selk 17581 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 08:42:21 CDT Latest News Feed Nalivka: USDA Reports and Market Analysis https://www.drovers.com/article/nalivka-usda-reports-and-market-analysis <p><em>The opinions expressed in the following commentary are those of John Nalivka, president of Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Oregon.</em></p> <p>The beef industry has been on a roller coaster ride this year.  While the uncertainty of coronavirus has created much of the consternation in the market, I believe the cattle “backlog” resulting from plant closures had significant impact on market perceptions and volatility. Let’s examine the backlog and the information used to determine it.</p> <p>The industry depends on market information to formulate marketing and production decisions. That information is largely generated from monthly and annual USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service survey reports.  Those reports provide the basis for analysis.  I have always stressed and continue to stress that USDA reports are surveys.  They are a data input to the analysis – one information input.  In other words, the data from those reports is not perfect and is part of a flow of information.  It is surveyed data.  Someone was asked a question and provided an answer - a little like political polls.</p> <p>So, that gets us to the question - what’s the point?  When compiled over time, cattle on feed reports portray the flow of cattle through the feedlot – inventory at the beginning of the month plus placements minus cattle marketed = ending inventory or next month’s beginning inventory.  Pretty simple from a math or numbers standpoint, but not so simple when the complexities of the feedlot are taken into account – variation in cattle performance, weather, cost of gain, etc. This is a complex flow.  It doesn’t occur at a point in time.  It is a great deal more than just numbers.</p> <p>In May, my conclusion was that the backlog of cattle resulting from plant closures and slowdowns was not as large as it appeared and probably ranged around 500,000 head.  I wrote about that.  The number can be a debated well into the future and at the end of the day, it probably doesn’t really matter. However, it should be noted that the feeder cattle market strengthened substantially during July, an indication of growing demand by feedlots for replacement cattle as pen space increased, evidence the backlog of cattle was declining, suggesting either those cattle were worked through at a pretty rapid pace or the backlog wasn’t as large as earlier thought.  I continue to opt for the latter.</p> <p>The past 4 months have created a great deal of stress in the industry even in the face of record wholesale beef prices.  Market information is important in these critical periods.  It can create opportunity or it can create mistaken perceptions.  We shouldn’t read into the surveyed reports more information than exists and let’s keep things in perspective.</p> <p>Related stories:</p> <p><a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/cattle-backlog-may-not-be-large-feared-0">Cattle Backlog May Not Be As Large As Feared</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/nalivka-getting-beef-supply-chain-back-track?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWldWaU4ySTRNRE15WmpKaCIsInQiOiJYR3hxbE9UWWRDRm8wQzlHU09zcEhsXC9WTGNkWXlxR01kQ3VVdmRiTzZhbGdSejVqdUh3UHBLVGhLNkpZMXcweDBaTnBJN3NPSmdRVFBhNDdYN2hrOE45clYzczM2Q0xRdjdsRkZtXC90eUtsY24yeDVuamVFOVBUeWxKQys2WVwvNSJ9">Nalivka: Getting The Beef Supply Chain Back On Track</a></p> BT Feedlot Cattle Bunkline Nebraska info@farmjournal.com (John Nalivka) 17580 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 08:46:02 CDT Latest News Feed Congressmen Seek USDA Help For Sheep Ranchers https://www.drovers.com/article/congressmen-seek-usda-help-sheep-ranchers <p>In a <a href="https://agriculture.house.gov/uploadedfiles/letter_to_sec_perdue_on_lamb_and_sheep_support.pdf?utm_campaign=495-520">letter to Ag Secretary</a> Sonny Perdue, several U.S. House members urged USDA to assist lamb and sheep producers impacted by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The letter follows <a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/jbs-may-have-bought-doj-probe-lamb-plant">closure of the nation’s second-largest processor</a> representing an estimated 20% of the nation’s processing capacity; and pushes USDA to help lamb and sheep farmers and ranchers find alternate processing and marketing options immediately. The Greeley, CO-based plant was sold in a bankruptcy auction in July.</p> <p>“This closure … comes at a time when the sheep industry was already forecast to lose more than $350 million due to COVID-19-related market declines, and feedlots are already at peak capacity in many places,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “We must do everything we can to support the families, who make up the sheep industry in our states, as they whether these significant and pressing challenges.”</p> <p>The letter was sent by House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California and Ranking Member David Rouzer of North Carolina, joined by Full Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway of Texas, and 17 other Congress members.</p> <p>“This pandemic continues to take a disproportionate toll on farmers and ranchers, and the impacts that even one processor closing has on the ability of lamb and sheep producers to get by in these tough times is something we can and should remedy,” said Costa. “USDA has the ability to aid these producers in finding other options for marketing and processing in a way that keeps these products flowing through the supply chain, and helps farm families get through this rough patch.”</p> <p>“As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, decreases in processing capacity have greatly impacted the entire livestock industry, and this closure will be no different. The economic impacts that America’s sheep raisers will feel as a result are yet another struggle they will have to overcome during an already trying time. It is imperative that we continue to explore all options to preserve and expand processing capacity for the lamb and sheep sector,” said Rouzer.</p> <p>“The loss of processing capacity has only magnified the struggles and challenges facing lamb and sheep producers across the U.S.,” said Peterson. “We hope that Secretary Perdue will move quickly to address this pressing need and aid these producers in identifying and establishing more alternative processing options for U.S. lamb producers in both the short and long terms.”</p> <p>“The closure of the second largest lamb and sheep processing facility in the country will have a ripple effect felt throughout the entire market. As America’s farmers and ranchers continue to feel the strain caused by COVID-19, it’s critical that we provide support to help them through this difficult period,” said Conaway.</p> jorgensen_sheep.jpg info@farmjournal.com (Industry Press Release) 17579 Thu, 06 Aug 2020 07:59:32 CDT Latest News Feed Technology: Start with the Basics https://www.drovers.com/article/technology-start-basics <p>Imagine a dairy where cows are managed with the same technology used to spot errors in manufacturing processes. Cameras, computers and algorithms team up to identify issues, such as a deviation in milking prep protocol or feed not being pushed up. The producer receives an alert, reviews the footage and determines next steps.</p> <p>We’re not far from that reality. Data collection, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are exploding on farms across the U.S. as producers seek new ways to monitor the health of their animals and teams.</p> <p>When it comes to technology, where does a farmer start? Farmers should start by asking for help, says Brent Raeth, owner of CatchMark IT, an IT firm that specializes in agriculture.</p> <p>“You need to find a technology professional who you trust,” he says. “I think that’s probably the number one thing in regard to success with any tech solution from just a broad tech program or wanting to take advantage of a digital transformation in your organization.”</p> <p>While it might seem self-serving for Raeth to recommend an IT professional join your farm’s team of advisors, he shared several stories that point to the importance of having one, including money saved.</p> <p>“We supported a multi-site farm where the two sites were about three quarters of a mile away. The owner of the dairy had a house near the dairy, a quarter mile away. At the time, to get connectivity to the owner’s house, and to get kind connectivity to the dairy, the dairy manager had reached out to internet service providers on their own. They had connectivity all the places that they needed it: the parlor, office, owner’s house, shop etc. However, they were paying for each piece of that kind of activity as a separate connection,” he explains. “They were paying a few thousand dollars a month for conductivity.”</p> <p>Raeth’s team spent two days reworking their network to eliminate all one of those individual service costs. The farm’s internet bill went from so their internet service bill in one month, went from $1,500 a month to $200. Additionally, the change allowed them to easily implement robots when the time came.</p> <p>Prior to us helping, they were getting connectivity in all the places they needed it, but were they losing $1,300 a month in service charges,” he says. “When they went to put in robotic milking several years later they had to rely on local connectivity across all of those sites and the way that it was working before that would not have allowed that to happen.”</p> <p>You don’t know what you don’t know, he adds.</p> <p>“Your technology might be working, but is it working as efficiently and effectively from a cost and operations perspective as it could? Probably not. That’s really where the value of an IT professional comes in,” he says. “A lot of times you know IT professionals aren’t going to probably want to spend more money, but the long-term value of where those dollars are spent saves you so much time and effort and money in the future.”</p> <p>If that technology professional is “worth their salt” Raeth says they’ll likely recommend you start budgeting for technology as a separate line in your business’ budget</p> <p>“Organizations that are really successful at leveraging technology have a tech budget,” he says. “They know what they’re willing to spend on technology.”</p> <p>Additionally, it’s critical to have an inventory of the technology you use and rely on, Raeth says.</p> <p>“Have a tech blueprint,” he says. “Understand how everything interconnects and how it all works together. Oftentimes what you see is, is compartmentalized decision making from non-technical people. A couple of guys go in a room and say we’re going to do X,Y and Z. Not even understanding how that impacts downstream things.”</p> <p>For example, not understanding that you can’t put in a high definition camera system into a 10-year-old wireless network and expect that it’s going to perform.</p> <p>“I wouldn’t expect a dairy farmer to grasp technology any better than I can milking a cow,” he says. “Find a professional you trust and let them help you get the nuts and bolts in place to digitize your dairy.”   </p> <hr /> <p><b>What Will Livestock Technology Look Like<br /> in the Face of COVID-19?</b></p> <p>When it comes to technology, everyone wants to know who the winners and the losers are. What brings a producer benefit? What doesn’t? Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of technology adoption, one thing seems clear: COVID-19 is spurring along the adoption of technology on farms and ranches across the country. Our experts will weigh in on those topics and share their observations across the livestock industry.</p> <h1><strong>Register: <a href="https://www.farmjournalfielddays.com">FarmJournalFieldDays.com</a></strong></h1> FJ Field Days_Technology alaca@farmjournal.com (Anna-Lisa Laca) 17578 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 04:43:49 CDT Latest News Feed AgriTalk: Smith Describes NCBA’s Marketing Committee Resolution https://www.drovers.com/article/agritalk-smith-describes-ncbas-marketing-committee-resolution <p>Discussions during the NCBA Marketing Committee meeting in Denver last were contentious at times, but Florida rancher and NCBA president Marty Smith called it an example of democracy in action.</p> <p>“Every member has the right to come in and discuss the issues,” Smith told AgriTalk host Chip Flory on Wednesday. “They certainly did that last week, and during at least one of the discussions there, we had everything from the very largest cattle producer in the United States down to some of the very smallest. Each of them got the same amount of time at the podium at the microphone.”</p> <p> <img data-embed-button="image_media" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.thumbnail" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="5c6555a5-a3d8-4110-b116-996b95407653" src="https://dam.farmjournal.com/m/a9249863117a2c2/original/marty_smith-jpg.jpg" width="200" /></p> <p><em>Marty Smith</em></p> <p>The Marketing Committee considered several proposals, each aimed at encouraging greater volumes of cash cattle trade. After intense debate, the committee and the NCBA Board of Directors unanimously passed a policy that supports voluntary efforts to improve cash fed cattle trade during the next 90 days with the potential for mandates in the future if robust regional cash trade numbers are not reached by the industry.</p> <p></p> <p>Smith called the 90-day time frame a “hard deadline” to see more transparency in the cash cattle market.</p> <p>“The term we are using is trigger points,” he said. “If the cash trade is not adequate – as considered by regions – then there will be action taken at that point… a government type action would be what we would be looking at.”</p> <p>NCBA will be watching for regional differences in the cash trade, “Specifics in the number of cattle that are traded in each region by cash sales, as opposed to some alternative marketing arrangements, some type of contract or grid, or whatever.”</p> <p>Smith said NCBA will monitor the numbers and rely on marketing experts to help determine a minimum number of cash trades to establish a transparent market and a robust cash market. NCBA’s Live Cattle Marketing Committee will determine the trigger numbers and if those numbers aren’t met during a specific time and an adequate cash trade is not achieved, NCBA would take further action.</p> <p>Smith remains optimistic for cattle prices in the fourth quarter of 2020 if the industry can work through the backlog of cattle that was created earlier this spring by the pandemic. He said the past several weeks have produced an increase in the cash trade as cattle feeders and packers negotiate, and he hopes that will continue.</p> <p>Smith also touted NCBA’s Long Range Plan which was announced during the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> agritalk_logo.jpg AgriTalk logo info@farmjournal.com (Greg Henderson) 17577 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 03:47:03 CDT Latest News Feed USDA-APHIS Distributes Oral Rabies Vaccine Bait In Select U.S. States https://www.drovers.com/article/usda-aphis-distributes-oral-rabies-vaccine-bait-select-us-states <p>Rabies is an ongoing disease issue in the U.S. While farmers and ranchers were most concerned about infected dogs biting cattle 20 years ago, that’s not the case today. A bite from an infected wild animal, such as a fox or raccoon, is the more common method of infection in cattle. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 90% of reported rabies cases in the U.S. are in wildlife.</p> <p>To address the problem, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will began its annual distribution of Raboral V-RG, an oral rabies vaccine (ORV) bait, in select states in parts of the East, South and Southwest to prevent the spread of raccoon rabies into the Midwest.</p> <p>An APHIS news release reports that the ORV baits will be distributed in these select areas and time periods:<br /> In Northeast to Mid-Atlantic states during August:<br /> •    The Houlton, ME, project will cover parts of northern Maine and distribute approximately 385,000 ORV baits by airplane and vehicle;<br /> •    The Allegheny, PA, project will cover the Greater Pittsburgh region of western Pennsylvania and distribute approximately 309,000 ORV baits by helicopter and vehicle;<br /> •    The North Lima, OH, project will cover parts of western Pennsylvania and distribute 198,000 ORV baits by airplane;<br /> •    The Upshur, WV, project will cover parts of western Pennsylvania, southwestern Virginia, and West Virginia and distribute approximately 740,000 ORV baits by airplane and vehicle.</p> <p>In Southern states, during October:<br /> •    The Abingdon, VA, project will cover parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and distribute more than 881,000 ORV baits by airplane, helicopter and vehicle;<br /> •    The Dalton, GA, project will cover parts of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, distributing approximately 989,000 ORV baits by airplane and helicopter;<br /> •    The Guntersville, AL, project will cover parts of Alabama (including the Greater Birmingham area) and distribute approximately 855,000 baits by airplane, helicopter, and vehicle.</p> <p> <img alt="rabies oral vaccine bait for raccoons" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8e510564-6150-4422-9c74-75e89882ca3b" height="393" src="https://cdn.farmjournal.com/s3fs-public/inline-images/Glove%20Baits.JPG" width="584" class="align-left" />The vaccine has been deemed safe in more than 60 different species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. People should leave the baits undisturbed if they are encountered. Dogs that consume large numbers of baits may experience an upset stomach, but there are no long-term health risks, APHIS reports.</p> <p>Costs associated with rabies detection, prevention and control may exceed $500 million annually in the United States.</p> <p>For more information on the ORV program and a map showing the states where the baits will be placed, go to  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/programs/nrmp</p> <h4 class="node__title"><a href="https://www.bovinevetonline.com/article/watch-rabies-cattle" rel="bookmark"><span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden" data-quickedit-field-id="node/2704/title/en/teaser">Watch for Rabies in Cattle</span></a></h4> <h4 class="node__title"><a href="https://www.bovinevetonline.com/article/cattle-rabies-no-laughing-matter-0" rel="bookmark"><span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden" data-quickedit-field-id="node/2595/title/en/teaser">Cattle Rabies is no Laughing Matter</span></a></h4> <p>Coming to a screen near you Aug. 25-27 – the Farm Journal Field Days!    |    Register at <a href="http://www.farmjournalfielddays.com/" target="_blank">FarmJournalFieldDays.com</a></p> <p> </p> raccoon_bait.jpg A raccoon takes the bait. rbrooks@Farmjournal.com (Rhonda Brooks) 17576 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 01:44:03 CDT Latest News Feed Profit Tracker: Triple Digit Feeding Losses Continue https://www.drovers.com/article/profit-tracker-triple-digit-feeding-losses-continue <p>Cattle feeding losses were estimated at $157 per head the week ending July 31, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker. Negotiated cash cattle prices averaged $99.33 per cwt. on the week, about $1 higher than the previous week.</p> <p>Packer margins were estimated at $286 per head, about $9 less than the previous week. The Choice beef cutout price averaged $200 per cwt., about even with the previous week.</p> <p>Feedyard margins reported by the Sterling Profit Tracker are calculated on a cash basis only with no adjustment for risk management practices.</p> <p>A year ago cattle feeders found cash profits of $61 per head on closeouts the last week of July, while packers saw profits of $153. (Note: The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are intended only as a benchmark for the average cash costs of feeding cattle and hogs.)</p> <p>Feeder cattle represent 73% of the cost of finishing a steer compared to 71% a year ago. The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc., Vale, Ore.</p> <p>Farrow-to-finish pork producers saw their margins improve $14, with $43 per head losses. Lean carcass prices traded at $37.32 per cwt. A year ago pork producers earned $51 per head profit. Pork packers saw average profits of $60 per head, about $6 per head lower than the previous week.</p> <p>(Editor’s note: Sterling Marketing is a private, independent beef and pork consulting firm not associated with any packing company or livestock feeding enterprise.)</p> <p>Related stories:</p> <p><a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/derrell-peel-beef-demand-and-macroeconomics">Derrell Peel: Beef Demand and Macroeconomics</a></p> DC Feedlot info@farmjournal.com (Greg Henderson) 17575 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 10:35:03 CDT Latest News Feed Sweetclover Hay Can be Toxic https://www.drovers.com/article/sweetclover-hay-can-be-toxic <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><span>S</span></span>weetclover can provide good nutrition to cattle because it is high in protein and energy when not mature.</p> <p>However, sweetclover can become toxic to cattle if fed as hay, North Dakota State University Extension livestock systems specialist Karl Hoppe cautions.</p> <p>Sweetclover is a biennial legume that lives for two years. It is a prolific seed producer because the plant will die after producing seed during the second year.</p> <p>New sweetclover plants must grow from seed.</p> <p>The wet fall conditions of 2019 in many parts of the state created the perfect conditions for the first year's growth of sweetclover. As a result, the easily recognizable yellow or white blossoms of sweetclover are a common sight this growing season. Without the blossoms, sweetclover leaves look similar to those of alfalfa, except sweetclover leaves are serrated around the entire leaf edge, whereas alfalfa leaves are only serrated at the tips.</p> <p>Sweetclover grows rapidly, and the best time to hay it is early in the growing season when the plant is short, according to Hoppe, who is based at NDSU's Carrington Research Extension Center. Sweetclover matures quickly, becoming tall and stemmy. The stem is hard and has low palatability, so cattle will not readily consume it at this stage.</p> <p>Grazing sweetclover in pastures doesn't usually cause digestive problems, although the possibility of bloat can occur.</p> <p>Sweetclover contains a substance called coumarin when sweetclover is baled too wet. Mold can grow and convert coumarin into dicoumarol. Dicoumarol is a blood thinner (anticlotting agent) and will cause hemorrhaging. Simple bruises turn into large hematomas (large bulges underneath the skin that are filled with blood and fluid).</p> <p>At higher concentrations of dicoumarol in the feed, cows can abort, blood can drip from the nostrils and/or sudden death may occur. The toxic effect may last for a month in a pregnant cow even after feeding toxic hay for just a few days.</p> <p>Visual observation of mold in the hay bale is not a good indicator of toxicity.</p> <p>Small amounts of mold can result in toxicity. Testing for dicoumarol concentration in hay is available at the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (<a href="https://www.vdl.ndsu.edu/">https://www.vdl.ndsu.edu/</a>).</p> <p>When sweetclover haying conditions allow for a quick dry-down with no rain or dew, and hay is stored away from moisture, coumarin does not get converted to dicoumarol, so toxicity should not be an issue.</p> <p>"However, weather rarely cooperates and dicoumarol is usually present," Hoppe says. "Pure stands of sweetclover are at most risk for toxicity simply because the hay is not diluted with other grasses. The risk also is increased when the plants are mature because the dense stems make drying difficult."</p> <p>Producers should pay close attention to grass hay with some sweetclover present because sweetclover poisoning may show up unexpectedly. A good rule of thumb is to test all hay that contains sweetclover for dicoumarol content.</p> <p>Dilution is the way to feed cattle to avoid sweetclover poisoning. This can be accomplished by mixing the toxic hay with nontoxic hay. The amount of dilution depends on the concentration of dicoumarol and symptoms on the cattle.</p> <p>Hay also can be fed on an alternating schedule, such as feeding hay containing sweetclover hay for two days, then going three to four days without feeding sweetclover. Don't feed sweetclover hay for a month before or during events where bleeding occurs, such as during calving, surgical castration and dehorning.</p> <p>If sweetclover is ensiled correctly and covered or put up as a baleage, then dicoumaral should not be present. However, incorrect moisture levels, inadequate packing and failure to cover the sweetclover will lead to molding and toxicity.</p> <p>Sweetclover can provide good nutrition to cattle when managed properly to control potential toxicities. Testing and knowing the dicoumaral level is critical to managing this feed source safely to prevent poisoning. Be sure to document the storage location of bale lots containing sweetclover and the dicoumaral levels to prevent poisoning.</p> <p>Related stories:</p> <p><a href="https://www.drovers.com/article/nitrates-and-prussic-acid-are-drought-considerations-forages">Nitrates and Prussic Acid are Drought Considerations for Forages</a></p> sweetclover.jpg info@farmjournal.com (Ellen Crawford 17574 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 09:48:39 CDT Latest News Feed Merck Animal Health Completes Acquisition of IdentiGEN https://www.drovers.com/article/merck-animal-health-completes-acquisition-identigen <p>Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck &amp; Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, announced the completion of its acquisition of IdentiGEN, a leader in DNA-based animal traceability solutions for livestock and aquaculture from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland.</p> <p>IdentiGEN’s technology combines each species’ unique DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and data analytics to provide an evidence-based animal traceability solution, called DNA TraceBack®, to accurately and precisely trace beef, seafood, pork and poultry that is verifiable from farm-to-table.</p> <p>Food producers, processors and retailers are looking for accurate and complete animal traceability solutions that provide full accountability, as well as greater transparency, quality and sustainability of food sources for consumers. The addition of specialized, digital technology within our portfolio of medicines, vaccines and services, provides holistic solutions to help advance animal health and complements our existing identification and monitoring technology that delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help, improve or enhance animal management and health outcomes.</p> <p>“Enhanced digital technology will play an increasingly important role in food traceability and food safety, providing customers critical information and actionable data to help ensure a sustainable supply of quality food to protect public health,” said Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health. “We now will be able to provide end-to-end animal traceability solutions at industry scale to improve the health and safety of animals and ensure even greater transparency in our food supply.”</p> <p>DeLuca said, “The highly skilled employees at IdentiGEN, led by Ronan Loftus and Ciaran Meghen, exemplify our commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, and we look forward to collaborating with the team to leverage our scientific and technical capabilities and expertise to shape the future of animal health.”</p> <p>In April 2019, Merck Animal Health announced the completion of its acquisition of Antelliq Corporation and its market-leading brands, Allflex Livestock Intelligence, Sure Petcare and Biomark as leaders in emerging digital technology with animal identification, animal monitoring and smart data management for Livestock and Companion Animals. In December 2019, the company acquired Vaki, a leader in fish farming and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology to advance fish health and welfare. In June 2020, the company acquired Quantified Ag®, a leading data and analytics company that monitors cattle body temperature and movement in order to detect illness early.</p> <p> </p> Merck logo info@farmjournal.com (Industry Press Release) 17573 Wed, 05 Aug 2020 09:12:10 CDT Latest News Feed Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Food Supply Protection Act https://www.drovers.com/article/senators-reintroduce-bipartisan-food-supply-protection-act <p>Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), reintroduced the <a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/stabenow-introduces-food-supply-protection-act">Food Supply Protection Act</a> with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to help protect the food supply after the COVID-19 crisis has put an unprecedented strain on farmers, workers, food banks and families.<br />  <br /> “The COVID-19 crisis has continued to disrupt our nation’s food supply chain, creating a ripple effect that’s harming our families, farmers and workers,” Stabenow said in a release. “Our bipartisan bill will help strengthen our food supply by redirecting food to families and helping farmers and processors retool their operations. It is critical that it becomes law as soon as possible.”<br />  <br /> Originally introduced in May, the Food Supply Protection Act will help fill the gaps in the broken food supply chain, reduce food waste and help farmers, workers, processors, food banks and families in need.</p> <p>Specifically, the Food Supply Protection Act will support food banks and non-profits to help increase their capacity and address growing demand, strengthen food partnerships to prevent food waste and feed families and protect workers and retool small and medium-sized food processors. </p> <p>“Every link in the food system, from farm to fork, is experiencing serious disruptions right now. If left unchecked, these disruptions could threaten farmers' livelihoods and undermine national food security,” said Rob Larew, President of the National Farmers Union, in the release. “But by both facilitating the acquisition and distribution of surplus food from farmers to food banks as well as helping food and agricultural businesses adapt to new challenges, the Food Supply Protection Act will help ensure that food continues to flow safely and efficiently from farmers' fields to consumers' plates.”</p> <p>Demand has shifted from restaurants and food service to retail and food donations, causing bottlelenecks in the supply chain. Outbreaks of COVID-19 and absenteeism in meat processing plants and food production facilities have slowed food production across the country. </p> <p>“Dairy farmers and manufacturers continue to endure significant headwinds on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, and American households across the country are facing massive economic pain and uncertainty," said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, in the release.</p> <p>The reintroduced bipartisan bill will provide more flexibility for states and tribes to distribute food to those in need, particularly in rural areas that lack nonprofit infrastructure. The bill increases the grant funding available to farmers and processors from $1 million to $2.5 million. <br />  <br /> In addition to Senators Stabenow and Murkowski, the bill is co-sponsored by Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Robert Casey (D-Penn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).<br />  <br /> The Food Supply Protection Act is supported by over 50 food and agricultural organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council, the National Farmers Union, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the National Milk Producers Association, U.S. Cattlemen's Association, United Farm Workers Foundation, and more.</p> <p><strong>More from Farm Journal's PORK:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/stabenow-introduces-food-supply-protection-act">Stabenow Introduces Food Supply Protection Act</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/hagedorn-introduces-legislation-provide-indemnity-payments" rel="bookmark" target="_blank">Hagedorn Introduces Legislation to Provide Indemnity Payments</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/hagedorn-asks-perdue-stop-meat-processing-discrimination" rel="bookmark" target="_blank">Hagedorn Asks Perdue to Stop Meat Processing Discrimination</a></p> Meat case Meat case at the grocery store jshike@farmjournal.com (Jennifer Shike) 17571 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 04:49:10 CDT Latest News Feed BQA Virtual Producer Forum Aug. 6 https://www.drovers.com/article/bqa-virtual-producer-forum-aug-6 <p>The National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Team and Advisory Group Leadership are hosting a virtual producer forum to provide an overview of the BQA program today and where the program is headed in the future. The virtual forum will be held live Thursday, August 6 at 7 p.m. Central Time.</p> <p> All information on this event can be found here: <a href="https://www.bqa.org/events/producer-forum">https://www.bqa.org/events/producer-forum</a></p> <p>DATE/TIME: Thursday, August 6 at 7 p.m. Central Time.</p> <p>LOCATION: Zoom <a href="https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7641850312877334795">registration here</a></p> <p>The featured speakers for this Virtual Producer Forum will include Kim Brackett, Chair of the BQA Advisory Group who will provide insight into the new Beef Industry Long Range Plan and the important role BQA plays in the industry’s future. Executive Director of Producer Education, Josh White, and Director of Beef Quality Assurance Programs, Chase DeCoite will cover recent achievements and upcoming initiatives for the BQA program.</p> <p>“This is a time for producers to get an inside look at the BQA program and all it encompasses, but more importantly it is a time for them to provide their input into the program and have their questions answered,” DeCoite said.  “We look forward to engaging with the producers that make the program a success and learning from them so that we can continue to make BQA a valuable resource for all cattle producers.”</p> <p> </p> bqa_the_right_way.jpg info@farmjournal.com (Industry Press Release) 17570 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 10:41:02 CDT Latest News Feed JBS May Have Bought DOJ Probe With Lamb Plant https://www.drovers.com/article/jbs-may-have-bought-doj-probe-lamb-plant <p>One-fifth of the American lamb industry has been shuttered with the bankruptcy of Mountain States Rosen (MSR), a Greeley, Colo., lamb processor primarily owned by a cooperative of 150 ranchers. The Mountain States Lamb Cooperative (MSLC) announced its bankruptcy in June and notified the 200-plus plant employees their jobs would end August 1.</p> <p>The MSR bankruptcy brings the lamb industry back to the same crisis it faced five years ago when the previous owner, JBS USA, wanted out of the lamb business and sold the plant to MSLC. Last month, however, JBS <a href="https://www.greeleytribune.com/2020/07/24/jbs-buys-greeley-lamb-plant-mountain-states-rosen/amp/">reacquired MSR</a> at the bankruptcy sale – the plant literally sits across the road from JBS’ 5,400-head per day beef plant in Greeley – and says it plans to convert the plant to processing hamburger and cutting steaks.</p> <p>Western lamb producers are more than just concerned about the closure of the industry’s second largest lamb processor. They believe JBS – which imports lamb for sale in the U.S. – seeks to reduce its competition with the closure of the Greeley facility. In what many see as a last-ditch effort, lamb producers have sought help from elected officials.</p> <p>Utah Senator Mike Lee, joined by five other Senators and six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, <a href="https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/e462cbb9-0546-4cea-b28b-2eb1a7ee926b/7.29.2020-msr-letter-to-doj.pdf">wrote a letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim</a>, Department of Justice Antitrust Division, requesting an investigation into the JBS re-acquisition of the MSR facility.</p> <p>In the letter lawmakers said the transaction “…may irreversibly harm competition in the domestic lamb market.”</p> <p>“In addition to eliminating hundreds of jobs, MSR’s Greeley facility is one of the largest lamb processing facilities in the region, and serves sheep ranchers from 15 states, including Utah, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and California,” the lawmakers said. “This facility competes head-to-head with JBS, which imports all of its lamb products.</p> <p>“Through this acquisition, JBS will eliminate a major domestic competitor in the region and could replace significant quantities of the American-raised lamb with imported products.”</p> <p>Besides Lee, signers of the letter included Republican Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Steve Daines of Montana, Mitt Romney of Utah, and Michael Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota.</p> <p>House members who signed the letter included Republicans Rob Bishop of Utah, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Greg Gianforte of Montana, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Devin Nunes of California and Chris Stewart of Utah.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.carsonjorgensen.com/">letter to Vice President Mike Pence</a>, Carson Jorgensen, a Utah sheep rancher wrote, “Our industry and others need time to assess the damage, understand the short- and long-term impacts and determine a path forward. The abrupt closure of this plant, before the ranchers can make arrangements to replace it, will force sheep ranchers across several western states into financial ruin and extinction.”</p> <p>Lamb producers say thousands of lambs are finished and ready for slaughter now, and lambs will soon be coming off summer ranges. By one estimate, the closure of the MSR facility would mean approximately 350,000 lambs may be misplaced with processing disruptions creating an oversupply of lamb which would have significant ramifications for the feeder lamb market.</p> carson_ranch_sheep.jpg Carson Ranch Sheep info@farmjournal.com (Greg Henderson) 17569 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 03:00:03 CDT Latest News Feed Bradbury: Victory In The Courts for Texas Property Owners https://www.drovers.com/article/bradbury-victory-courts-texas-property-owners <p><em>The opinions expressed in the following commentary are those of James D. Bradbury, attorney and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association member.</em></p> <p>Avid Cattleman readers will remember an article earlier this year where I discussed Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s involvement in judicial issues. The case I highlighted in the story was Hlavinka et al. v. HSC Pipeline Partnership, LLC, which pitted a Texas rancher against an obstinate pipeline company. </p> <p>At the time of the first article, the trial court had ruled in favor of the pipeline company, largely ignoring the arguments made by Hlavinka. The trial court ruling was a blow to the property rights of all Texans, but fortunately, Hlavinka appealed the ruling.</p> <p>I am happy to report that the Hlavinka’s and Texas property owners have now won a hard-fought victory in the case. In late June, the First Court of Appeals in Houston issued a lengthy and well-reasoned opinion reversing the lower court’s rulings and remanding the case for trial.</p> <p> <img data-embed-button="image_media" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.thumbnail" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="ed61ff54-babf-4f31-8342-1215fdd04408" src="https://dam.farmjournal.com/m/9e192d15537bb06/original/bradbury_james-jpg.jpg" width="200" /></p> <p><em>James D Bradbury</em></p> <p>During the appeal, the case garnered significant attention from both property owner groups and oil and gas interests. Multiple amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs were filed on both sides of the case, including one from TSCRA. Our brief appears to have had some sway on the appeals court because, in many ways, their opinion mirrored the arguments we made in support of the Hlavinka’s private property rights.</p> <p>In reversing the trial court, the First Court of Appeals meticulously addressed each argument. </p> <p>As you may recall, HSC wanted the pipeline to transport HSC-refined polymer grade propylene (PGP) to a single customer, Braskem. This arrangement generated serious questions about whether HSC could exercise eminent domain as a common carrier. </p> <p>Revisiting the Texas Supreme Court’s decisions in the Texas Rice cases, the appeals court emphasized the important scrutiny that must be applied to pipeline companies using eminent domain authority to ensure public use. They extended the Texas Rice “reasonable probability” test to oil product pipelines and found that HSC Pipeline failed to conclusively establish that it was a common carrier. </p> <p>This portion of the case is important because lax state oversight has meant that pipelines mostly decide for themselves whether they can exercise eminent domain. When a pipeline tells the Texas Railroad Commission that they are a common carrier, the only way to refute their claim is for an impacted property owner to take the pipeline to court. Many trial courts in Texas have been resistant to allowing landowners to fully challenge a private entity's use of eminent domain.</p> <p>This opinion changes that. Simply put, the appeals court reaffirmed property owners’ right to challenge common carrier status and said that pipelines must present evidence that there is a reasonable probability the pipeline will serve the public upon construction.  </p> <p>The appeals court also found that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding Mr. Hlavinka’s testimony on his property’s value. They reasoned that the testimony was relevant based on the Property Owner Rule and that the methodology was permissible because the trial court could consider the highest and best use of the land. When Hlavinka purchased the property, it already had numerous pipeline easements, and more were anticipated due to its location. Therefore, Hlavinka argued that the highest and best use was pipeline easements, not just agricultural and recreational use.</p> <p>The appeals court agreed that his testimony was relevant because he used comparable sales to support his opinions of fair market value as a separate economic unit. His analysis was also based on pre-existing easements, not the HSC easement itself.</p> <p>This will be important for property owners because it means they can now testify as to the highest and best use of their property, including evidence of value from other, privately negotiated pipelines on the property.</p> <p>Overall, the opinion from the First Court of Appeals in Houston reinforced, in no uncertain terms, the importance of private property rights and the right of landowners to have a full and fair process to determine adequate compensation for the taking of their land. The case has been remanded to the trial court for further proceedings, although HSC Pipeline may choose to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court. </p> <p>I can assure you that your leaders and staff at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers will continue to watch the case closely in the coming months, but this victory goes to show just how important it is to engage in the judicial process. </p> <p>Whether in the legislature or courts, I am proud to be a part of this association and stand at the forefront of the fight for private property rights.</p> gearhart-098.jpg info@farmjournal.com (James D Bradbury) 17566 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 11:02:03 CDT Latest News Feed Drought Increases Risk of Forage Poisoning https://www.drovers.com/article/drought-increases-risk-forage-poisoning <p>Drought increases the chance of nitrate poisoning and prussic acid poisoning. High concentrations in plants and water can harm or even kill animals.</p> <p>High nitrate, mostly concentrated in grass stems, causes quick death, says University of Missouri Extension agronomist Jill Scheidt. Nitrate in the blood blocks oxygen uptake. Without oxygen, cows die quickly.</p> <p>Quick testing is vital to helping animals survive, Scheidt says. Most MU Extension centers offer diphenylamine-sulfuric acid spot tests. She suggests calling your local center before bringing in a sample. Bring the lower 8 inches of the stem to test. Split, moist stems work best. Producers with positive results benefit from a quantitative forage analysis.</p> <p>All plants take up nitrates, but not all plants develop toxic levels. Poisoning happens when excess nitrogen builds up in the lower part of some forages, which can happen despite good fertility and management decisions by producers, Scheidt says.</p> <p>Drought, too much manure or commercial fertilizer, and cold or cloudy weather lead to excess nitrates. Corn, sorghum, sudangrass, sorghum-sudangrass hybrids and johnsongrass are forages to watch, she says. Livestock also will eat some weeds, including pigweed and lambsquarters, which may have toxic levels.</p> <p>To avoid nitrate poisoning, do not cut hay less than 8 inches or force animals to graze more than 8-10 inches to the ground. Wait five days after a “good” rain to graze, Scheidt says.</p> <p>If you suspect high nitrate levels, immediately move cattle to other pastures and call a veterinarian. Death from nitrate poisoning usually occurs within four hours. Too often, she says, the first sign of poisoning is death of livestock.</p> <p>High nitrate levels do not reduce in stored hay. Dilute by blending high-nitrate hay with other feedstuffs. “If dry-baled, concentration level of nitrate is preserved,” she says. “In silage, nitrate concentration can dissipate 20%-50% over time.”</p> <p>Hay ferments slowly. MU Extension beef nutritionist Eric Bailey suggests adding starchy grain, which speeds up rumen fermentation more than other feeds.</p> <p>“Nitrogen is needed by the rumen bugs, and nitrate provides it,” Bailey adds. “Bugs break nitrate down to provide nitrogen. When fermentation is slow, not much nitrate is digested.” Unused nitrate, converted to nitrite, spills into the blood. Adding grain to hay diets speeds nitrate usage.</p> <p>“Start with half a pound of grain per 100 pounds of body weight,” Bailey says. “In short order that goes to a pound of grain per hundredweight as rumens adapt to more grain.”</p> <p>Research by MU Extension forage specialist Robert Kallenbach shows safe levels to feed. Ration the forage if tests results are in the 2,500-15,000 ppm range. Do not feed hay testing more than 15,000 ppm. Forage under 2,500 is safe to feed to all classes of livestock.</p> <p>Poisoning symptoms include heavy breathing, frothing at the mouth, staggering, frequent urination, diarrhea and discoloration of the mucous membranes. The animal collapses, convulses and dies. Less obvious symptoms may be poor breeding, abortions and reduced calf gain. Testing fluid from eyes of dead animals for nitrate confirms the diagnosis.</p> <p>Pregnant animals, old animals or those in poor body condition do not tolerate nitrates well. It is difficult to determine “safe” levels of nitrates, as animals may tolerate nitrates differently. For more information, see the MU Extension publication “Nitrate Problems in Livestock Feed and Water,” available for free download at extension2.missouri.edu/g9800.</p> <p>Another concern during drought is prussic acid (or cyanide) poisoning. This sometimes happens when livestock cannot find desirable forage and turn to tree leaves to curb hunger. “Know what is in your pasture and keep livestock away from potentially toxic plants and trees,” says Scheidt.</p> <p>She recommends the “rule of two” offered by longtime MU Extension livestock specialist Eldon Cole. “Wait two weeks or 2 feet of growth after extreme drought or a late frost before allowing livestock to graze susceptible plants,” she says. “Do not turn in hungry livestock, since high consumption increases poisoning potential.”</p> <p>Prussic acid affects new growth and does not affect millet. Sorghum-sudangrass plants release prussic acid when injured or under stress. Enzymes convert glycosides to sugar. Levels of cyanide greater than 2 milligrams per kilogram (2 ppm) of dry plant tissue are considered potentially dangerous. Prussic acid is readily absorbed into the bloodstream and causes toxicity by blocking normal cellular respiration.</p> <p>Prussic acid levels are highest in young, leafy tissue, whether in initial growth after planting or regrowth after clipping.</p> <p>“Since it is the young, fast-growing tissue that contains dangerous levels of prussic acid, avoid grazing until the plant reaches a height of at least 24 inches to allow prussic acid to dissipate,” Scheidt says. “Unlike nitrates, which are persistent, prussic acid disappears during the hay curing or ensiling process.”</p> Angus drought fescue grazing cows info@farmjournal.com (Linda Geist 17564 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 09:49:05 CDT Latest News Feed Ask the Quality Silage Experts: Harvesting Immature Corn https://www.drovers.com/article/ask-quality-silage-experts-harvesting-immature-corn <p><strong>Q.     I might be forced to harvest immature corn. How will this affect the resulting silage? </strong></p> <p>A.     In general, immature plants will have more soluble sugars since they did not have enough time during development to convert them to starch. In addition, producers can expect higher fiber and crude protein contents proportionally. Thus, the starch content and subsequent energy value of immature corn silage will be lower than corn silage that was harvested at the proper stage of maturity. </p> <p>Although fiber levels will be higher than normal, it may be more digestible, depending upon the maturity when harvested, and may feed quite well.</p> <p>Some producers chose to harvest extremely immature corn last year to avoid an upcoming frost. In this scenario, the corn can be harvested before the reproductive phase of the plant and treated like a grass forage. Corn plants are mowed during the vegetative phase, wilted and ensiled, or baled, for the best quality.</p> <p>For additional silage tips, visit www.qualitysilage.com.</p> <p> </p> <h3><strong>Sponsored by Lallemand Animal Nutrition</strong><br />  </h3> lallemand_animal_nutrition.jpg info@farmjournal.com (Sponsored Content) 17563 Tue, 04 Aug 2020 07:06:06 CDT Latest News Feed APHIS Seeks Sources for Livestock Foreign Animal Disease Test Kits https://www.drovers.com/article/aphis-seeks-sources-livestock-foreign-animal-disease-test-kits <p>USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on Monday the availability of a sources sought notice that will be posted for 30 days to gather information from interested diagnostics manufacturers on their ability to supply test kits for three major livestock diseases: foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF).  </p> <p>APHIS said it plans to analyze information gathered through the sources sought notice to determine whether it would be possible to include test kits and their components in the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB).</p> <p>The 2018 Farm Bill created and provided funding for the NAVVCB to allow USDA to stockpile animal vaccine and countermeasures including diagnostic assays to use in the event of an FMD outbreak or other high-impact foreign animal diseases. More information is available <a href="https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/farm-bill/farmbill12101">here</a>.</p> <p>“USDA anticipates the potential need for diagnostic kits and reagents from more than one source to ensure an adequate supply of these products for a sudden surge of diagnostic samples that could result from an infectious disease epidemic,” a USDA release said. “Limited reagent availability during the COVID pandemic highlighted the potential need for a diagnostics stockpile to support a nationwide large-scale foreign animal disease outbreak.”</p> <p>Understanding options for sourcing these vital test kits and components is important, APHIS believes. APHIS wants to maintain a sufficient supply of diagnostic kits and reagents to facilitate disease surveillance and monitoring of animals in the event of a nationally significant infectious disease outbreak.</p> <p>The sources sought notice may be viewed <a href="https://beta.sam.gov/opp/17444cfb927d493b88663c16c510ad25/view">here</a>. The deadline is Sept. 3. </p> <p><strong>More from Farm Journal's PORK:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/livestock-industry-praises-usdas-first-vaccine-bank-purchase" rel="bookmark">Livestock Industry Praises USDA’s First Vaccine Bank Purchase</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/us-vaccine-bank-best-insurance-policy-fmd-outbreak" rel="bookmark">A U.S. Vaccine Bank: The Best Insurance Policy to an FMD Outbreak</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/foot-and-mouth-disease-preparedness-high-priority" rel="bookmark">Foot and Mouth Disease Preparedness is High Priority</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/agriculture-groups-urge-usda-establish-fmd-vaccine-bank" rel="bookmark">Agriculture Groups Urge USDA to Establish FMD Vaccine Bank</a></p> <p>Coming to a screen near you Aug. 25-27 – the Farm Journal Field Days!    |    Register at <a href="http://www.farmjournalfielddays.com/" target="_blank">FarmJournalFieldDays.com</a></p> APHIS-logo jshike@farmjournal.com (Jennifer Shike) 17562 Mon, 03 Aug 2020 02:15:20 CDT Latest News Feed