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Friday, August 22,2014

The farm bill keeps on going

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
U.S. farmers and ranchers finally got a farm bill in 2014 after waiting years for an update on the 2008 version. The bill was passed with little fanfare—or booing—outside of the agricultural community, but there have been a steady stream of implementation dates and milestones since it was signed by the president.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Feeder cattle prices and the economics of stocker production

by WLJ
The rollback in price between stocker purchase price and feeder sales price, along with overall price level, is the principal determinant of the gross margin, i.e., value of gain, for stocker production. For example, Oklahoma feeder prices last week indicated that the value of 250 pounds of gain for a 450-pound steer was $1.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Four men indicted in Rancho beef scandal

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
Last Monday, the U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and Lori Chan, USDA Office of Inspector General, announced the indictment and charges against two co-owners and two employees of Rancho Feeding Corporation, the slaughter plant that resulted in 8.7 million pounds of recalled beef in February 2014.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Manure management for the small farm

by WLJ
Small farms are different than large farms; the challenges of managing manure nutrients are different but the principles are the same. Small farms may have fewer animals and sometimes several animal species on the same farm. Those farms could also have limited acreage and possibly lack the equipment necessary for spreading manure.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Marbling matters as weaning time approaches

by WLJ
Marbling in cattle—the taste fat—was long considered the feedlot’s responsibility, until research pointed to opportunities all the way back to the ranch. Genetic potential is a key, and deposition of this intramuscular fat links to management decisions much earlier than those final months on feed.

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Friday, August 22,2014

PETA video backfires

by Kerry Halladay, Associate Editor
PETA’s most recent video, taken at a small North Carolina dairy, shows Holstein cows walking through hockdeep liquid manure. The voiceover claims the cows are emaciated and forced to live in the squalid conditions, a detail that caught the attention of dairy farmer and active ag blogger, Carrie Mess, better known online as “Dairy Carrie.

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Friday, August 22,2014

PLC annual meeting on grazing

by WLJ
Public Lands Council (PLC) will hold its annual meeting Sept. 3-6 in the southwest Colorado town of Ignacio. PLC is the only organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated solely to representing ranchers with public land grazing rights.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Spring and summer weather conditions prime for ergot

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
This year’s wet, cool spring, followed with heat and humidity created the ideal conditions for ergot growth, according to extension specialists in some states across the upper Midwest.

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Friday, August 22,2014

Prevented planting acres decline

by DTN
“The temptation here is to subtract FSA’s prevent planted acres from USDA’s planting estimates, but later [World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates] reports don’t always turn out that way,” Hultman said.

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Friday, August 22,2014

USDA seeks input on revisions to outdated beef grading standards

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
The current U.S. Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef were set in 1997, and 17 years later, some key players in the industry are wondering if they may very well be a little outdated. The U.S. Department of Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is included in that and has plans to make some adjustments with a little help from producers and consumers.

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