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Livestock



China, corn and cattle

The No. 1 factor in cattle feeding profit or loss is not fed or feeder cattle price, beef demand or the nation’s shrinking cowherd.It’s the price of corn.

“U.S. cattlemen, I can’t say it strong enough,” said Dan Basse, president of AgResource Company of Chicago.  “You’ve got to be focused on grain prices and your ingredient prices because it’s going to determine who stays in business, who makes money, who expands and who goes.”

Basse addressed crowds at the Feeding Quality Forum Nov. 9 in Grand Island, Neb., and Nov. 11 in Amarillo, Texas. The market analyst examined the interactions between corn and beef markets, starting with global factors that affect both.

“It used to be when I woke up in the morning, I would look at the weather forecast as one of the first drivers for grain markets,” Basse said. “Now I get up and the first thing I think about is, what are the Chinese markets doing?”

In general, that economy is bullish, its gross domestic product (GDP) expanding at 8% to 12% per year.

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Animal Welfare Symposium

The 2nd annual Animal Welfare Symposium featured Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and well-known animal handling expert and autism advocate. In addition, attendees got practical advice and answers to commonly asked questions about how to best handle and manage compromised animals, learned the latest consumer research on perceptions of animal agriculture and the implications for the livestock industry and heard an update on the activities of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.

For posted presentations from the program, visit:

http://vet.osu.edu/preventive-medicine/AnimalWelfareSymposium

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Optimism for hog prices

Hog producers have been feeling the bite of losses once again this fall, but there is reason for some optimism, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University Extension economist.

“First, hog prices are probably at their seasonal lows in late November as consumers are buying their Thanksgiving turkey rather than pork. Second, lower corn and meal prices provide an opportunity to lock in feed prices at levels that were not available a few weeks ago,” he said.

The 2011 outlook also provides some optimism for a year of positive margins on average. Producers may want to consider taking some of those positive margins now, he said.

Live hog prices fell from near $60 per hundredweight in September to the mid-$40s by mid-November. With costs of production in the mid-$50s, this means losses near $15 per head in the final quarter, he said.

“The saving grace is that profits were strong last spring and summer.

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio’s new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.

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HSUS, Missouri and Ohio's new ag director: HumaneWatching with David Martosko

A conversation with … David Martosko, director of research, Center for Consumer Freedom

OCJ: What is the Center for Consumer Freedom and what interaction does CCF have with the Humane Society of the United States?

David: The Center is a nonprofit food-issues “action tank.” We weigh in on matters of public concern related to food and beverage production and marketing, and on all the various political issues that surround what we eat and drink. For too long, anti-agriculture and anti-industry activists have presumed to wear the white hats — mostly because nobody spoke up to challenge them. When they’re wrong (which is pretty often), we go on the offensive.

Our relationship with the Humane Society of the United States would best be described as “watchdog.” There’s no one else focusing with any serious energy on what this group is doing, who’s running it, and what its goals are.

Much of what HSUS does is, we would argue, wrong-headed in the same way that PETA’s endgame is wrong-headed.

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Free program to demonstrate livestock handling principles

Animal handling is an important component of an overall animal welfare strategy, and implementing low-stress practices are not only healthy for the animal, but also make things easier for the animal handler.

Ohio State University Extension will be offering a free livestock handling demonstration on Nov. 20 from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Scott Pfeiffer Farm, 4315 Marion Johnson Road near Albany, Ohio. OSU Extension beef cattle specialist Steve Boyles will discuss the moving and handling of livestock and demonstrate some animal handling principles.

“In today’s social environment and with agriculture under increasingly close scrutiny, it’s important that livestock producers and animal handlers apply low-stress animal handling principles,” said Rory Lewandowski, an OSU Extension educator in Athens County. “Additionally, evidence clearly shows it is a more productive way of handling livestock.”

During the handling demonstration, a number of animal handling principles will be discussed, including:

• Flight zone: The flight zone is how close one can get to the animal before it begins to back away.

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NPPC urges resolution of issues related to U.S.-South Korea FTA

The National Pork Producers Council expressed disappointment that a final deal has not been reached between the United States and South Korea on issues related to trade in beef and automobiles. An agreement would have paved the way for the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement to be completed.

The two sides had hoped to resolve the outstanding issues before the conclusion of the  G-20 economic meeting in Seoul, South Korea, which was held this week. The U.S.-South Korea FTA was signed on June 30, 2007. The FTA must be approved by the U.S. Congress as well as the South Korean National Assembly.

The FTA would be one of the most lucrative for the U.S. pork industry, according to NPPC, which has championed the pact for more than three years now. The organization is urging resolution of the outstanding issues so that congressional lawmakers can approve the trade deal as soon as possible.

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Ohio team wins Dairy Quiz Bowl at NAILE

NAILE dairyquiz

Young people who have set their sights on a career in the dairy business, or in some other aspect of agriculture, turned out in big numbers to compete at the 2010 Dairy Quiz Bowl in Louisville.

The Invitational 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl took place Nov. 5-6 at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE). Ohio brought home top honors in the event.

Teams of young people from 20 states competed by testing their knowledge on many levels of the dairy business. The contest began with a written test the evening of Nov. 5, and the teams competed in a toss-up question phase on Nov. 6.

The contest includes a double elimination. Ohio was advancing through the main bracket and then was beaten by the team from New York, so they went to the consolation rounds. They ended up being undefeated in the consolation rounds, resulting in them going against the winner of the main bracket — a rematch with New York that Ohio won.

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ATI gets a new milking parlor to further an old work ethic

By Kyle Sharp

For years, I’ve heard about Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute (ATI) in Wooster. I’ve driven past the teaching and residential campus while visiting the neighboring Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. I’ve known students who have gone there. I even wrote several stories about faculty and programs taking place there when I used to work for the OSU College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences prior to joining Ohio’s Country Journal.

But the reality of the institution was really driven home to me this month when I visited ATI’s Apple Creek Farm to learn about ATI’s new dairy parlor and renovated facility that has been shaving milking time and labor costs, improving milk quality, and providing a brighter and more inviting work environment.

Here’s what I knew about ATI before: “ATI is ranked number one in the nation among two-year schools awarding associate degrees in agriculture and related sciences.

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Staugler family has long, continuing legacy in Ohio poultry

If you ever work with Cooper Farms, a large integrated turkey operation in northwest Ohio that also is involved in egg and pork production, there’s a good chance you will run into a member of the Staugler family.

Tom Staugler is the manager at Cooper’s Fort Recovery feed mill, Chuck Staugler is in charge of meat sales and works out of St. Henry, Sandy (Staugler) Hastings is a human resources specialist at Fort Recovery, Jack Staugler is Cooper’s corporate director of human resources, Bill Staugler is the turkey production manager, and Dave “Chester” Staugler and Bob Staugler are in charge of support services, assisting with movement of turkeys, hens and hogs among Cooper’s contract producers.

It’s no coincidence. The Stauglers play a key role in the Cooper Farms story.

Nearly a century ago, Werner “Dick” Staugler began his career working at the St. Clair Mills, located in downtown Ft. Recovery, where 1,000 turkeys were raised.

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American Goat Federation completes incorporation

The American Goat Federation (AGF), the first-ever national organization devoted to the entire goat industry, proudly announces its incorporation. The purpose of the AGF will be to build and define the U.S. goat industry on a unified front to work on issues facing the whole industry.

“The AGF will strive to promote and facilitate the development of all segments of the goat industry including dairy, meat and fiber by encouraging sound public policy, enhancing production and marketing of goat products and promoting research beneficial to member organizations and all producers,” explains Tom Boyer, AGF president and Utah sheep and goat producer.

Boyer is joined on the board by Robin Saum (Ohio), vice president; An Peischel (Tenn.), secretary/treasurer; and board members Steve Burton (Utah), Linda Campbell (Va.), Brian Faris, Ph.D. (Kan.), Will Getz, Ph.D. (Ga.), Shawn Harper (Ky.), Katherine Harrison (Ohio), Pierce Miller (Texas) and Sandra Miller (Pa.).

Currently, the organization is completing membership development guidelines and seeks to actively represent the interests of more than 100 organizations and thousands of producers engaged in the sustainable production and marketing of goat milk, meat, fiber and grazing services across the United States.

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Study finds GISPSA to be costly regulation

An economic impact study conducted by John Dunham and Associates, Inc. concludes that the Obama Administration’s proposed rule on livestock marketing could leave approximately 104,000 additional Americans without jobs. Consequently, the study reports a $14 billion reduction in the National Gross Domestic Product.

“The estimated rate of producer job loss in rural America would be high. When folks are forced out of the livestock industry, they don’t come back,” said Sam Carney, National Pork Producers Council president. “Given this study, it is now more important than ever for USDA to conduct a thorough economic analysis so that producers understand the true cost of the Administration’s proposed regulations.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration proposed the rule on June 21, 2010, in response to a request made by Congress. However, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President (NCBA) Steve Foglesong said the rule goes beyond the intent of Congress and serves as another example of government overreach into private business. 



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Animal Welfare Symposium

An animal welfare symposium is scheduled for November 30, 2010 at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center located at 2201 Fred Taylor Drive on the OSU Campus. The symposium has a great line up of speakers, including Temple Grandin as the keynote speaker and is co-hosted by The Ohio State University Department of Animal Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine. To see the complete program agenda, including online registration, go to: http://vet.osu.edu/preventive-medicine/AnimalWelfareSymposium.

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Livestock Care Board Passes Civil Penalty Rule

Director Boggs recaps the October 19th meeting where they passed the civil penalty rule and discussed veal and non-ambulatory animals

Ohio (Oct. 19, 2010) – The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board today passed a vote on proposed civil penalty rules that will be used to enforce newly created livestock care standards. Proposed civil penalty rules will be filed with the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) to begin the rule-making process.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, under its regulatory authority, has the responsibility to enforce the livestock care standards the board puts in place. The civil penalty rules provide guidance for major and minor livestock care standard violations, and the civil penalties apply to each set of livestock care standards the board creates.

“The Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is making strides in its endeavor to do what Ohioans have asked of it: to create livestock care standards and civil penalties that will protect not only Ohio’s livestock but also consumers, producers and the livelihood of the state’s number one industry—food and agriculture,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs.

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High prices coming for cattle

The cattle industry is ready to set records for high prices this year and next, said Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt.

“Although this is positive news for finished cattle prices, calves and feeder cattle still face the price-depressing burden of high feed costs. In the longer run, current high feed prices will keep the industry in a liquidation phase, and smaller beef supplies in coming years will be positive for returns for years to come,” he said.

The cattle industry continues to adjust to high feed prices not only from the last three years, but also from the most recent increases in corn, distillers, and soybean meal costs. The longer-term adjustments continue to play out in the reduction of cow numbers, he said.

“The most recent surge in feed prices will likely keep producers from expanding until feed prices moderate. That will not be until the 2011 U.S. crops are assured, which is still at least 10 months away.

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United Producers Inc. Opposes Proposed Rule by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration

United Producers Inc. (UPI), which operates livestock marketing facilities throughout the Midwest, has submitted written comments opposing a proposed rule by the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

“We are extremely concerned about the proposed rule as it relates to regulations regarding livestock contracts, arbitration use in contracts, and establishing criteria for the Secretary to consider in determining whether an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” said Dennis Bolling, president and CEO, United Producers Inc.

UPI’s concerns about the proposed rule focus on regulations that would negatively impact its members and its operations. These concerns include:

If the definition of competitive injury is changed, the ensuing frivolous lawsuits would be devastating and result in a one‐price‐fits‐all bid from packers. This type of pricing does not recognize variation between animals.

If alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs) are restricted or eliminated, it will severely limit UPI’s members’ ability to manage risk, finance production and compete with one another to negotiate premiums.

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United Producers Inc. Opposes Proposed Rule by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration

United Producers Inc. (UPI), which operates livestock marketing facilities throughout the Midwest, has submitted written comments opposing a proposed rule by the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

“We are extremely concerned about the proposed rule as it relates to regulations regarding livestock contracts, arbitration use in contracts, and establishing criteria for the Secretary to consider in determining whether an undue or unreasonable preference or advantage has occurred in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act,” said Dennis Bolling, president and CEO, United Producers Inc.

UPI’s concerns about the proposed rule focus on regulations that would negatively impact its members and its operations. These concerns include:

If the definition of competitive injury is changed, the ensuing frivolous lawsuits would be devastating and result in a one‐price‐fits‐all bid from packers. This type of pricing does not recognize variation between animals.

If alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs) are restricted or eliminated, it will severely limit UPI’s members’ ability to manage risk, finance production and compete with one another to negotiate premiums.

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Go whole hog to celebrate October Pork month

If you eat, you have a connection to the farm every day. October is National Pork Month, and it offers a special opportunity to recognize Ohio hog farmers’ multi-faceted commitment to producing safe, nutritious food; while promoting animal well-being, safeguarding natural resources, and contributing to a better quality of life in local communities.

“During National Pork Month—and every month—Ohio hog farmers work tirelessly to care for their animals, employees, consumers and communities,” said Jim Albaugh, Ohio Pork Producers Council (OPPC) president. “Hog farmers in our state continuously make decisions to promote quality, both on the farm and in the pork products we produce. It is both our commitment and responsibility.”

To thank consumers for enjoying pork and supporting Ohio farm families during National Pork Month, Ohioans can visit www.OhioPork.org to download a coupon for $2 off fresh pork at any Ohio retailer. Featuring an Ohio hog farm family and their quick pork fajitas recipe, the coupon is a great resource for families to try pork’s versatility while consuming an affordable, delicious and healthy meal.

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Protect pasture leaf area in the fall

By Rory Lewandowski, Extension Educator, Athens County, Buckeye Hills EERA

I’ve gotten some questions recently about pasture management during dry fall conditions. Specifically, how will future pasture production be affected by grazing off pasture leaf area now, in the fall? The short answer to that question is that pasture production will be harmed by grazing off leaf area at this time. Now, let’s examine the reasons behind the answer and some management options.

Fall is the time when the perennial plant prepares for winter. As a perennial plant, the root system remains alive over the winter and depends upon stored carbohydrate reserves to survive and to regenerate new growth the following spring. Manufacture of those carbohydrate reserves depends upon photosynthesis. Photosynthesis depends upon leaves capturing sunlight. More leaf area equals more sunlight captured, higher photosynthetic rates and higher levels of carbohydrates produced for winter storage. As we go farther into the fall, grass growth rate slows down considerably, but photosynthesis can still occur at productive rates, provided there is adequate leaf area.

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