It’s time to close the gap
Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images
“There’s a big gap between rural and urban America. We see a lack of knowledge and understanding of rural America,” says Rep. Rick Crawford, (R-Ark.). “Farm policy, unfortunately, is now debated and adjudicated in the court of public opinion.”
And he’s not talking just about consumers. The mid-term election that gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives underscores the need for farmers and others in the agriculture industry to increase efforts to educate legislators and the public on the contributions farmers make to the U.S. economy and national security, reports Southwest Farm Press.
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Heat tolerant Red Angus produced with gene editing
Photo courtesy of the Red Angus Association of America
It may be controversial among some consumers, and perhaps controversial within the beef business, but gene editing is now part of the genetic possibilities for beef producers to consider. The Wall Street Journal shares a video of a research project taking place in Brazil to create heat-tolerant cattle through gene editing. Researchers identified the “slick hair” gene in Senepol cattle and have developed a Red Angus heifer that has the same gene mutation found in Senepol cattle.
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What’s up with retail beef prices?
Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
At the retail level, rising prices for Choice grade beef and stable-to-lower prices for beef sourced for grinding material is consistent with the beef supply situation during the first quarter of 2019, according to the Daily Livestock Report. Steer and heifer beef production during the first quarter was down 1% from a year earlier due to lighter average carcass weights and a 4% decline in steer slaughter. Heifer slaughter was up 8% but heifer carcasses are smaller than steers.
Beef production from cows and bulls along with imported beef volumes during the first quarter was up 2% from a year earlier. Lean beef prices at the wholesale level averaged 6 cents per pound (3%) less during the first quarter than a year earlier for both domestic and imported product. Fifty percent lean beef prices at the wholesale level were 17% cheaper than a year ago during the first quarter, providing the rationale for aggressive pricing at the retail level this quarter.
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Check heifer body condition going into calving
A study done at Oklahoma State University illustrates the difference between good and not-so-good body condition—heifers that were in thin body condition at calving time only rebred at a 67% rate, even when they were fed to greatly increase body condition after calving, reports Onpasture.com.
In contrast, those heifers that were in good body condition at calving time, and either maintained that through the breeding season or had a chance to gain a little bit more after calving, had much better breed back rates of 91% and 94%.
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Temple Grandin, world famous for her work in animal handling, was among a solid group recognized by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for excellence in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, La., reports the Tri-State Livestock News.
The National BQA Award recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers and marketers that demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. As good stewards of the cattle industry, a common trait among all contest entrants must be a strong desire to improve their operations through BQA, while encouraging others to implement the producer education program.
Click here to read the full line-up of BQA award winners.