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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 19 June 2013

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Wednesday 19th June 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Managing With Open Cows

Spending a few dollars on pregnancy testing can help proper management of open cows and maximise cull cow income, worth a fifth of revenue to some farms.

Missing pregnancy can be down to a variety of factors including; climate, nutritional issues and Trichomoniasis that mean it's decision time between buying a new heifer and feeding the old one.

Very seldom is retaining an open cow cost effective, says University of Minnesota, Beef Researcher, Allen Bridges. “In fact, studies have shown the cost of keeping an open cow over winter can exceed $250.”

Although the economics of retaining open cows depends greatly on market trends, on-farm forage sourcing and the price of breeding replacements, Mr Bridges advises farmers that the money spent on open cow diagnosis is worthwhile.

He recommends serology, ultrasonography and rectal palpitation monitoring as measures to allow planned marketing of culled animals so cows can hit the good spring trade.

“For the average beef operation, the marketing of cull animals provides 10-20 per cent of the gross income, so making the best judgment on if or when to send her to market can impact the farms bottom-line,” urges Mr Bridges. “In most years, cull cow prices are also cyclical during the year, peaking in spring and dipping in the fall and winter. This makes sense as most open cows hit the market in the fall after weaning, driving prices down.”

In terms of keeping open cows until the market improves or selling immediately, Mr Bridges admits this is a complex area and one which can require the office calculator. He says that break even costs of maintaining a cow over winter take in lost revenue, additional keep costs and the final weight when sold.

“For example, if you can sell an open cow in November for $900 (Lost Revenue; 1250 lb $72/cwt) and it costs you $200 (Total Additional Costs) to feed her from November to March and she gains 200 lb (1450 lb Final Weight) the minimum price per hundred weight (cwt) you must receive in March to break even would be $76/cwt.”

However, to accurately gauge this, a rough knowledge of spring cull prices needs to be known.

The general 'take home' message from Mr Bridges is to make an informed decision based on whole herd assessment, taking into account markets and future trends of both feed and cattle.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Flies and Fly Problems
Information on the types of flies found on farms that may need to be controlled from 'Fly Management: How to Comply with Your Environmental Permit' from the UK's Environment Agency.

Fertiliser: How Much Is In Each Bale?
A huge cost to farmers growing forage, fertilser is a nonetheless vital expense which has trebled per ton of dry matter produced since 2002, writes Dennis Hancock, Extension Forage Specialist at the University of Georgia.

Utilising Pasture Effectively
Stock management is as important for utilising pasture as grass management is for ensuring quality grazing, say beef consultants at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

What to do With Open Cows?
Due to their costs implications, open cows need to be diagnosed early via a blood test, rectal palpatation or ultrasonography due to the expensive nature of keeping cows over replacing with a new heifer.

Enhancing Safety at Every Step in Food Supply Chain
Few would dispute that the emergence of chilled and frozen food technologies in the last century was a major advance for modern society, transforming all our lives and bringing convenience and choice. In Europe today, consumption of chilled and frozen foods is rising by more than 10 per cent a year.

Company News

The 'Chew On This Tour' Visits Novus International
US - The “Chew on This Tour” visited Novus International on 12 June in St. Charles, MO as part of their tour to promote awareness of food insecurity.
Market Reports

QMS (Quality Meat Scotland) - June 2013
USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - June 2013
Irish CSO Reports: Agricultural Price Indices - April 2013
USDA Feed Outlook - June 2013
UK April Agricultural Price Index - 14 June 2013

Global Beef Industry News

   United Kingdom

Ultrasound Scanning Can Spot Better Breeders
Scottish Red Meat Sector Worth £2.1 billion
Limousine Bull Sale Makes £4242 on 20 Bull Average
LMC: Supplies Stay High as Prices Fall Slightly
Demand for Provenance and Traceability Boosts UK, Irish Prime Cattle Prices
Scottish Farming Leaders in Talks with Minister Ahead of CAP Crunch Time
Spanish Market Benefits As Bull Calf Values Sink
Use of Antibiotic Discussed Ahead of G8
Drive for Modulation Masks Government Failure for a Fair Deal

   United States

CME: Futures Close Down 32 Cents to $119.50, Tuesday
CME: Cattle Market Continues to Struggle; Pork Values Likely to Stay Strong
Anticipating USDA June Stocks and Acreage Reports
CME: Futures Close Up, Finishing on $119.82, Monday
Cattle Outlook: June Cattle Lose $1.12 On Week and Beef Forecasts Drop
CME: Futures Close Week Lower, Friday
Imported Beef Cheaper to US
Consumer Sentiment Improves
Cost of Gain and Cost of Grain
CME: August and 2014 Futures Close Lower, Thursday
Pasture and Range Conditions Improve
NFU Applauds Speaker Boehner’s Farm Bill Support
CME: Futures Finish Higher Both Short and Deferred, Wednesday
Weekly Roberts Market Report
NFU and JA Zenchu Statement on TPP Negotiations
NFU Congratulates Senate on Passage of Farm Bill

   New Zealand

Toolkit to Be Unveiled For Environmental Planning


Growing Forward 2 Paves Way for Risk Management Initiatives
Canada Counts on US Interests to Press for Resolution of COOL Issue
Govts Announce New Research Chair to Focus on Forage


FMD Outbreak in Taiwan Affects Pigs


Exploring Corn Alternatives For Bull Fattening


Protecting Livestock Sector Should Be A 'Red Line Issue'


18,000 Cattle to Be Moved in Record Drive
Australian Beef Exports to South Asia Hit Record Levels
MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary
Tapping Into Chinese Middle Class Is Key For Beef

   European Union

Europe Mops Up After Floods
EU Meat Market Study


Beef Cuts Prices Slump Through Early June
Brazilian Cattle Prices Move Higher


Agri-food Prices Rise Marginally
China Reports More FMD in Tibet
FMD NEWS: China Reports More FMD in Tibet
Ceva Invests to Help Control Zoonoses in China
China to Tighten Punishment for Work Safety Crimes


Disinfection Ruling Introduced on EU Bound Cattle


Ranchers Benefit From Dominican Interest In Mexican Cattle


FAO Forecasts More Balanced Food Markets Ahead


Cattle FMD Vaccine Programme Still to Treat 70,000 Animals


Beef Inspection Hots Up as Mission Heads To Paragauy
Decline in Chile's Agriculture Sector


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Biomin - Mycotoxins



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