This Month in Drovers

June 2013
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Hitting the mark

The 20-year history of the check off-funded National Beef Quality Audits has been a story of several successes; however, every audit has revealed there is still work to be done. The most recent audit was conducted in 2011, and the results were released in 2012. Typically done on a five-year cycle, the early audits revealed some “low-hanging” fruit, such as excess fat and injection-site lesions that were more easily “picked.” Those original efforts led to educational outreach to producers, often funneled through the check off-funded Beef Quality Assurance program, that have made many quality defects a thing of the past. Full story.

Food Safety Pioneer

If you have eaten a steak or a hamburger this week, it likely was produced under quality- and safety-control systems either initiated or implemented by Dell Allen, a former Kansas State University professor who retired in 2009 as vice president of quality assurance and safety for Cargill Meat Solutions. At Cargill, he was recognized as a food-safety pioneer, overseeing the development and implementation of numerous food-safety technologies that benefited not just Cargill but ultimately the entire meat industry. Full story.

Communicate, Yes, but what?

Beef producers and industry stakeholders face a communications dilemma. We know consumers have concerns over modern production of meat and other foods. We know they lack familiarity with farming and ranching and are susceptible to negative misinformation. Full story.

Flaxseed: A superfood for cattle, too

Flax earned its reputation as a superfood — for people — thanks mainly to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Full story.

Features MORE

Food Safety Pioneer

If you have eaten a steak or a hamburger this week, it likely was produced under quality- and safety-control systems either initiated or implemented by Dell Allen, a former Kansas State University professor who retired in 2009 as vice president of quality assurance and safety for Cargill Meat Solutions. At Cargill, he was recognized as a food-safety pioneer, overseeing the development and implementation of numerous food-safety technologies that benefited not just Cargill but ultimately the entire meat industry. Full story.

Communicate, Yes, but what?

Beef producers and industry stakeholders face a communications dilemma. We know consumers have concerns over modern production of meat and other foods. We know they lack familiarity with farming and ranching and are susceptible to negative misinformation. Full story.

Flaxseed: A superfood for cattle, too

Flax earned its reputation as a superfood — for people — thanks mainly to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Full story.

Markets MORE

Cattle markets prices, profit margins lower

Cattle prices continue to disappoint both ranchers and feedyards. Demand for yearling feeder cattle held firm through late May and early June, but calf prices declined 5 percent. Average prices are $20 per hundredweight lower than last year. Full story.

Japan again top export market

Market access issues and an oversupply of domestic product in key markets kept U.S. beef exports at sluggish levels during April. However, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says several of America’s leading trading partners showed positive signs in April. With exports up sharply in April, Japan regained its position as the top market for U.S. beef, the first time in that spot since 2003. At the same time, Hong Kong maintained its rapid growth pace, and Taiwan continued its rebound from beta agonist-related issues that slowed exports last year. Full story.

Stocker and feeder cattle lower

All classes of stocker and feeder cattle posted declines during May, according to Drovers / CattleNetwork’s 50-market auction summary. Prices were $20 to $25 per hundredweight below last year. Steer calves weighing 400 to 500 pounds posted an average loss of $8.87 per hundredweight for the month at $156.07. Yearling steers averaged $136.11 in May, a $2.07 decline from April. Heifer calves sold for an average of $137.01 in May, a decrease of $6.62 per hundredweight. Yearling heifers weighing more than 600 pounds saw average bids of $120.14 per undredweight, a decline of $2.99 from the prior month. Full story.

Columns MORE

Flaxseed: A superfood for cattle, too

Flax earned its reputation as a superfood — for people — thanks mainly to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Full story.

Departments MORE

Welfare focus at processing plants

With consumer interest in animal welfare on the rise, meat packers are adopting standards and auditing processes that go beyond those from government or industry, says Lily Edwards-Callaway, PhD, who oversees welfare programs for JBS. Prior to joining the company, Edwards-Callaway earned her PhD studying under Temple Grandin at Colorado State University and served on the faculty at Kansas State University. Full story.

Profit Tip: Tips for limit-feeding pairs

Due to the ongoing drought conditions, residual forage, soil moisture, hay production and 2013 grass growth continue to be severely limited in some areas. In order to reduce grazing pressure producers might consider limit-feeding cow-calf pairs in confinement. This can be a viable option, says University of Nebraska cow-calf range management specialist Karla Jenkins, PhD. But she says there are several management considerations that need to be addressed. Confinement options include a winter feed ground, pivot corners, crop ground or a feedlot. Each pair in confinement will need at least 350 to 400 square feet of space. Full story.

Profit Tips: Tips for drying hay

Although drying time for hay is affected by forage species, environmental conditions, cut height and swath width, Ohio State University Extension educator Clif Little says a good management plan can make a big difference in hay quality. “Proper tedding, raking and equipment care are just some of the steps producers can take to reduce drying time and produce high-quality hay,” he says. “Cutting and drying hay quickly is always important, especially with everything being a little behind this year because of the planting season. Feed prices are high, so anything producers can do to produce quality hay is a benefit.” Little offers the following tips for protecting your hay quality: Full story.

BiG X

The Krone BiG X features a MAN engine and a revolutionary crop flow design, VariStream. VariStream adapts the cross section ... Read More

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