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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 12 August 2015

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Wednesday 12th August 2015.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Ten Ways to Expand a Herd on Same Grass

A “vastly underutilised” feeding strategy could allow ranchers in the heart of US cattle country expand their herds without adding land.

Across the Midwest and Plains regions, crop residues could be used to help herd expansion, says a South Dakota cow/calf expert. See article here

Warren Rusche, South Dakota State University Extension, has offered the tip with nine other “potential solutions” in a "top ten" of measures to address a “dilemma” of a market calling out for more feeder calves after a decade of shrinking pastures.

“This list is by no means the last word and there are certainly other potential solutions,” said Mr Rusche. “These are simply a starting point in the conversation for ranchers that are searching for alternative systems to expand or maintain their business.”

Analysts say expansion is on the cards, eyeing a three per cent lift in the overall cattle inventory this year, taking the total to 92.4 million by January 1 2015. read more

Along with using crop residues, businesses can exploit cover crops and annual forage crops to extend grazing seasons.

A further use for crop residues is to mix them in diets in drylot or semi-confined systems to reduce the demands on pasture.

Pressure can be also taken off pasture by weaning calves earlier and supplementary feeding, advises Mr Rusche.

As well as fertilising appropriately and rotational management, he suggests changes to grazing distribution and looking at grass growth patterns.

This means ensuring mineral and water availability and timing grazing to hit pasture at the optimal time.

And while the industry focuses on rebuilding, some markets commentators see a strong dollar as a bearish factor that stall herd rebuilding. read more

Pressure from recovering pork and poultry sectors could also be part to blame for little sign of seasonal cattle price resurgence, despite trends following a close to "textbook year" through 2015. 

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Ten Ways to Run More Cows on the Same Grass
With pasture shrinking and cows needed to be added to the national herd, a South Dakota expert gives ranchers ten ways to make their grass go further.

Market Reports

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly - 11 August 2015
Irish CSO Reports - Agricultural Price Indices June 2015
USDA Bi-Weekly International Meat, Poultry & Egg Review - 7 August 2015

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Official Veterinarian Conference - Swindon, 22 - 23 October 2015 Book your place now



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