Trending Headlines: Is herd expansion over? PLUS: How to know pseudoscience when you see it

Based on cow and heifer slaughter numbers, any herd growth this year will be small. What does that mean for the future? That and more awaits you in this week’s Trending Headlines.

Burt Rutherford, Senior Editor

June 18, 2018

4 Min Read
Trending Headlines: Is herd expansion over? PLUS: How to know pseudoscience when you see it
Jamie Purfeerst

Is herd expansion over? Cow and heifer slaughter numbers tell the tale

Based on USDA data, Jim Robb of the Livestock Marketing Information Center says he is beginning to see a picture develop of where we are on beef cow herd rebuilding in 2018. "We had a 12% year-over-year increase in the latest data in terms of beef cow slaughter. So, clearly, we have open beef cows, we have drought conditions and we're increasing beef cow slaughter a little bit more than we anticipated a couple months ago."

More importantly, however, Robb says heifer slaughter is up 33,000 head year-over-year, a 29% increase, which is huge for any statistic in agriculture, let alone heifer slaughter. What this tells Robb is that the overall size of the herd is probably growing at an even slower pace than previous thought. Down the road, he says this moderation will be very beneficial from a supply perspective in terms of cattle prices, according to the Oklahoma Farm Report.

Click here to read and hear more.

Got ticks? Here’s how to handle them


Summertime brings good times. But it also brings biting insects, some of which, like ticks and mosquitoes, can have serious health implications. With beef producers out in pastures, a tick bite can easily happen. The best defense against ticks is a repellant containing at least 25% DEET, but no option is 100% effective, according to Southwest Farm Press.

In the event one, or a few, slip past the barrier of protection and attach, proper first aid involves a pair of tweezers, said Justin Talley, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension livestock entomologist. “Whenever possible, use tweezers to remove ticks, and especially smaller ticks such as seed ticks or nymphs,” Talley said. “If tweezers aren’t available, adult ticks can be pulled out by hand slowly and steadily.”

Click here to read more on how to safely remove ticks.

Beef groups support Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act


Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) recently introduced the Modernizing Agricultural Transportation Act, bipartisan legislation to reform the hours of service (HOS) and electronic logging device (ELD) regulations at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Further, the enforcement of the ELD rule would be delayed until the reforms required under the bill are formally proposed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Specifically, the Hoeven-Bennet bill would establish a working group at DOT to identify obstacles to the safe, humane and market-efficient transport of livestock and, within one year of the group's establishment, develop guidelines for regulatory or legislative action to improve the transportation of these commodities. The working group will be comprised of representatives from the transportation and agriculture industries, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports Tri-State Livestock News.

Click here to read more.

Here’s how to know 'pseudoscience' when you see it

What makes something “pseudoscientific”? The answer to this question—of how to discriminate between genuine science and a wolf in science’s clothing—can be very complex, as it actually falls under the jurisdiction of philosophy. But even without wading into the waters of the philosophy of science, we can identify warning signs that one’s credulity might be taken for a ride, according to the Genetic Literacy Project.

Let’s focus on an interesting example.

There are, spread over Ontario, a dozen Correactology Health Care Centres. If I suffered from a debilitating and degenerative disease and weren’t a scientist, I could conceivably be tempted by their offer of “a method of treating people who are sick or in pain by changing the density of the body’s cellular network.” It sounds scientific, and the website’s design is both soothing and academic looking.

But is Correactology a genuine science? Click here to find out.


Peeling back the layers of the Senate Ag Committee’s Farm Bill


The Senate Ag Committee passed its version of the Farm Bill this and will send it to the floor before the chamber's July recess. The bill passed with a 20-1 vote, with the sole "no" vote coming from Sen. Chuck Grassely, R-Iowa, because his amendment to limit subsidy payments wasn't added to the bill. There were more than 180 amendments total, according to AgDaily.

Many have expressed their approval for the bipartisan bill, titled the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. Click here to read more.


About the Author(s)

Burt Rutherford

Senior Editor, BEEF Magazine

Burt Rutherford is director of content and senior editor of BEEF. He has nearly 40 years’ experience communicating about the beef industry. A Colorado native and graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural journalism, he now works from his home base in Colorado. He worked as communications director for the North American Limousin Foundation and editor of the Western Livestock Journal before spending 21 years as communications director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He works to keep BEEF readers informed of trends and production practices to bolster the bottom line.

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