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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 23 July 2014

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Wednesday 23rd July 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Could Row Crops Hamper Herd Expansion?

The decision to keep a heifer for breeding is not just affected by cattle markets but the relative performance of the crop industry too.

This is according to Dr Kenny Burdine and Dr Greg Halich, University of Kentucky, who write that several years of increased arable profitability may have priced cattle off the land in parts of the US.

Firstly, there is less land on which to rear cattle and secondly, ranchers looking to buy land now have to pay higher prices due to the effect of crop growing profits and its effect on land values.

This is their message to Kentucky producers this summer in a state which has frequently favoured cattle and hay over growing soybeans and corn.

“The last few years have done an excellent job illustrating a basic economic principle - units of production are allocated to their most profitable use,” they wrote in a recent Extension newsletter.

“In many states like Kentucky, we have historically run cattle and produced hay on ground that was suitable for row crop production.

“As the expected profitability of corn and soybean production increased over the last several years, much of this land has become increasingly attractive to grain crop producers.”

The pair added that converting pasture to row crops is easier than reverting back to pasture.

Establishment time and installing fences are two obstacles, without taking into account competition with growers over land.

Describing land rent as ‘sticky’ they do not envisage a major drop in prices soon.

“Grain producers are still likely to be able to pay more than cattle producers for that ground,” they added. “Even at $4-$5 per bushel of corn.”

Then there is the issue of historically high cattle prices, which mean income is sacrificed the very second a heifer stays on farm to breed.

Coupled with the fact that most producers see more risk in the livestock industry that 10 to 20 years ago, Dr Burdine and Dr Halich stressed that producers require seeing future long-term profitability in keeping cows.

But profit won’t ensure rain and the pair states that drought conditions are the biggest cause of herd contraction.

“Over the last ten years, most major cattle producing areas have dealt with drought at some point,” they add.

“Given that so many areas were forced to reduce numbers recently, it is very likely that there will be interest in rebuilding in those areas once weather conditions improve.

“The best example is the Southern Plains where beef cow numbers in Texas are down 22 per cent from 2011 to 2014.”

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

EBBE - How Nutrition Affects Bovine Ovulation
The topic of nutrition and how it relates to egg/ovarian health is very broad and involves many aspects.

Preventing Milk Fever with Anionic Salts
Noelia Silva-del-Rio, University of California Veterinary Medicine Specialist offers up advice on preventing milk fever problems with Anionic Salts.

Weather Forecasts May Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Nitrogen Fertilser
Increasing the sustainability credentials of agriculture extends to fertilizer applications, which works along the four R's; right product, right time,right rate and right place.

Questions and Answers on Hormones in Meat and Milk
Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) answers some frequently asked questions on the possibility of human health risks from hormones in meat and milk.

Market Reports

USDA Cold Storage - 22 July 2014
EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 18 July 2014
UK May Agricultural Price Index - 17 July 2014
UK Slaughter Statistics - June 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Livestock Slaughterings June 2014
Irish CSO Reports: Agricultural Price Indices - May 2014

Global Beef Industry News

   United States

Researcher Uncovers Multiple Influences in the Antibiotic Resistance Debate
CME: Combined Meat Production in Mid-July Below Year Ago Levels
Weekly Cattle Summary: Demand Playing Part in High Prices
CME: Cow Slaughter Still Running Below Year Ago Levels
Tyson Starts Process to Buy Hillshire Brands
Cattle Futures: Small Trading Ranges Signal Major Price Move As Expected
NFU Asks for Clarity on Key Points Under WOTUS Rule
Cattle Futures: Is a Market Top in Place This Week?
Fight Heat Stress in Transition Barns and Beef Cattle


Paraguay and Argentina Team Up to Combat Cattle Diseases

   United Kingdom

Morrisons Launches Beef Shorthorn Suckler Herd Award
NFU 'Delighted' at Defra’s £400 Million Food Procurement Plans
Hardy Cattle Celebrated For Landscape Maintenance
Expert Animal Welfare Visit For Lancashire Plant
Beef Supplies Drop But Demand Stays Low
Science Minister Announces 'War Cabinet' to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
Pork, Lamb and Beef Production Up In June
Community Service and Fines for Owners Who Neglected Pregnant Horses and Cattle
MEPs Commit to Backing British Farming
Replace Reduce Refine – Way Forward for Antibiotic Use
Clear Interest for West Country Beef and Lamb
Call for Better Data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Farmers Applaud Carbon Tax Repeal
MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary


Collaring Cows to Save Lives on Roads
Meat Safety Concerns Hit Chinese Fast Food Supplier
China Lifts Ban on Brazilian Beef


Strong Performance in China, India Boost Yum Brands' Results
Dutch Welfare Research Receives Humane Slaughter Award
Animal Feed Additives Market Expected to Reach $20 Billion by 2020


FMD NEWS: FMD Outbreaks in Tunisian Farms Affect Cattle


Utrecht to Host Veterinary Nutrition Conference

   New Zealand

New Zealand Dairymen Negative, Beef and Sheep Farmers Positive
New Zealand Exports Rise in Value

   European Union

Copa-Cogeca Calls for Stronger Action to Combat Unfair Practices


The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
VIV Europe Digital 2014
VIV China 2014
EuroTier 2014



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