Most producers don't devote much brainpower to the marketing of their cull cows. Yet very few herds can generate a profit without generating cull cow income, which can constitute as much as 25% of a herd's annual gross income. “Market Advisor” columnist Harlan Hughes provides background and insight into how to make it work in “The economics of culling cows” on page 8.
A survey of BEEF readers indicates almost 60% of you utilize horses for either work or pleasure. Just like cowboys, horses get old and require special treatment and considerations in care, diet and workload. Ann Swinker, a Pennsylvania State University horse specialist, provides some important pointers and considerations in “Caring For The Older Horse” on page 34.
The Food and Drug Administration's recent pulling of its approval of enrofloxacin in poultry production has stoked industry concerns regarding further encroachments on the use of antibiotics in food-animal production. In “The Antibiotics Argument,” on page 38, Stephanie Veldman updates the issue and examines Denmark's not-so-rosy experience with a ban on such products in swine production.
To the consternation of most folks in agriculture, the traditional mission and reach of America's agricultural Extension programs is in atrophy, writes Wayne Vanderwert in his page 46 commentary, “What's in store for land-grant universities?” He delivers his thoughts on what went wrong and what's at stake as a result of dwindling public support, in both dollars and emotion, and a realignment of the land-grant mission.
Problems with inactive kids and bulging waistlines aren't confined to this side of the Atlantic. On page 48, writer Meghan Sapp details, in “Europe's Fight Against Obesity,” how traditionally svelte countries in Europe are also awakening to the prospect of a blubbery future and what they're doing about it.
Cattle prices being what they are today, it's getting tougher to pencil in profitable replacement females at this stage of the cattle cycle, Wes Ishmael writes in “Hard Bargain” on page 60. Expanding cow numbers in a herd today is almost a sure recipe for equity loss by the end of this decade, unless perhaps your operation is among the lowest cost herds in the country, specialists tell him.