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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 10 December 2014

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Wednesday 10th December 2014.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Novus International

MSD Animal Health

Don't Forget the Suffering Drought Causes

Use good times to invest in water on your operation, and bear in mind that cattle prefer drinking from a tank rather than a pond.

A team of MidWest catchment experts are telling beef producers that now is a great time to either modify existing water resources or add new.

And when geography imposes challenges, producers can turn to the sun for answers.

Whether pumping water from a well, pond, stream or spring, extension advisers at the University of Kansas recommend solar pumps.

They are gaining popularity, replacing windmills, are cost-efficient and require “no fuel and very little attention”.

Ponds in particular may require careful handling, added the team. 

Citing a range of studies, the team states that sedimentation, erosion and winter ice make ponds hazardous to animal health.

For those farming in regions with many ponds, such as Kansas, there are two things to do.

“One involves putting a pipeline through the dam and gravity feeding a tank below the pond dam,” advised the extension article. “Once the tank is installed, the pond can be fenced, keeping cattle from direct access.”

However, elevation is not always sufficient and so pond fencing is required, limiting access.

When combined with a small area, similar to a boat ramp, topped with geotextile fabric and then gravelled, the hardened peninsula keep cattle away from pond side, explained the experts in the regular Beef Tips publication.

The approach should have no more than a 6:1 slope.

Looking forward, rain is predicted to remain elusive at times in the coming years.

The well documented large scale herd liquidation and subsequent market tumult of recent droughts is still fresh in the memory, the Kansas State article explained.

This is why steps to offer security of water, both in terms of quality and quantity, are a must, wrote a grazing specialist in the midst of the 2012 drought.

Lance Smith of the Natural Resources Conservation Service message was that drought is unavoidable in general but the effects can be minimised.

He warned that, if not monitored, water stores become toxic.

He added that grazing pressure can be managed by speeding up or slowing grazing rotation and stocking rates should offer “flexibility” of 20 per cent, with 80 per cent stocking.

Numbers can be lifted when rain comes.

Supplementary forage, early weaning and stock relocation were other methods as part of his message to US cattlemen battling a widespread and severe drought.

Further Reading

Read more about water as a precious resource at our Water Page by clicking here.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Water: A Wise Investment
Money made now is best invested in water on your operation. Do not forget the drought you've just battled through.

What Are the Dangers of a Warm and Wet October?
October was wetter and warmer than average, contrasting with a dry September, and raising the risk of parasites to cattle.

Angus Bulls on Dairy Farms: As Easy as Black and Black and White
Docile, fertile and easy calving, Aberdeen-Angus cattle have complimented an Irish dairy herd for nearly twenty years.

Uganda Latest: Porridge, Hand Wounds and Harvest Prospects
Apollo Saku is a farmer, agricultural academic and project leader for Planting for Hope Uganda, a sustainable wealth creation programme aimed at empowering rural communities through farming and cooperative schemes.

Market Reports

EBLEX Cattle and Sheep Weekly 5 December 2014

Global Beef Industry News


GRSB: Why Principles, Criteria Needed for Sustainability
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Spain and Germany Join AgriCord
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Sustainable Beef Gathers Pace
OIE Urges Stronger Animal Disease Surveillance Worldwide

   United States

"Truly Shocking" Account Given of Antibiotic Malpractice
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CME: US Cow Slaughter Down Massively
NFU Calls for New Direction for Beef Checkoff
What is the Pace of Corn Consumption?
Cargill to Produce Sustainable Beef


Australian Farm Output Forecast Down for Next Year
A$100 Million For Australian Farmers Battling Severe Drought
Success for Wagyu Genetic Discovery Programme


Canadian Meat Industry Celebrates Korea's Ratification of FTA
Legislative Approval of Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement

   Korea, South

South Korea Reports FMD Outbreak in Pigs


Four Point Programme to Tackle French Beef Sector Concerns

   United Kingdom

Call for Research to Improve Welfare of Managed Animals
Health Templates Not Compulsory, Health Plans Are
Alternative Test for Identifying Horse Meat Developed

   New Zealand

New Training to Improve On-farm Productivity
Jobs Saved at Study Abattoir


Nutreco Recommends Takeover Bid


China Extends Tax Breaks for Farmers to Boost Agriculture
Slight Rise for China Farm Produce Prices


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Farm Incomes to 'Fall Sigficantly' in 2015


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