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Beef

Grundfos Pumps Corp.

OLATHE, KS – Grundfos Pumps Corp. today announced the launch of its corporate Facebook Fan page with an initial focus on promoting the company’s product, programs, services and events. This is company’s first step into the virtual world of social media.

The Grundfos Facebook page will provide its partners with timely news and information about Grundfos, including features on the company's sustainability initiatives, product launches, trade shows, special events and community activities. “Social networking sites are a great way for Grundfos to keep our partners informed about topics ranging from product launches to trade shows and events,” said Grundfos President, Dennis Wierzbicki. “Our goal is to take advantage of communication tools already being used by many or our partners and provide timely, relevant and accurate information.”

To view and become a fan of the Grundfos Pumps USA Facebook Fan page, visit www.facebook.com/GrundfosPumpsUSA

Beef

Pfizer Animal Health Showcases Interactive Classrooms at 83rd National FFA Convention

Agricultural educators get hands-on training for inspiring future U.S. veterinarians

MADISON, N.J. (Oct. 21 , 2010)— Agricultural educators received up-close lessons in experiential learning today at the 83rd National FFA Convention. Those lessons, part of Pfizer Animal Health’s unique Interactive Classroom, are designed to introduce teachers to innovative ways of engaging students in animal agriculture.

The program—a staple of FFA’s annual convention for many years—is part of Pfizer Animal Health’s Commitment to Veterinarians, an initiative supporting veterinarians through training and education, research and development, and investment in the future of the profession. The future of the veterinary profession largely relies on tomorrow’s agricultural leaders making it imperative to support this type of program and educate students that could become part of the animal health industry one day.

Participation in the Pfizer Animal Health Interactive Classroom is voluntary for all who attend the convention, an event that attracted more than 50,000 attendees in 2009.

Professional development in animal science subject matter is mostly lacking, thus is frequently requested by educators from around the country.

“The Pfizer Animal Health Interactive Classroom provides content material agricultural teachers have been asking for—from instructional techniques to engaging students in agricultural education,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Diplomate ABVP, and Group Director of Veterinary Medical Services & Corporate Citizenship for Pfizer Animal Health.

The National FFA Organization’s agricultural education program provides instruction in all areas of agriculture including food, fiber, renewable fuels and natural resources to nearly one million students in grades 7-12. The program has provided the vehicle for students to gain knowledge in and about agriculture, develop necessary skills for future success in more than 300 agricultural careers and develop the leadership abilities that are so critical for students to be effective in the workforce.

“Pfizer Animal Health makes an impact in the overall delivery of agricultural education experience by providing educators with current and industry-based content,” said McFarland. “We want to do our part to help teachers get their students engaged and interested in a future in animal health.”

In addition to the Interactive Classroom, Pfizer Animal Health support for The National FFA Organization through donations to help with local chapter activities and scholarships. Pfizer has donated more than $2.38 million to the FFA through the Pfizer Animal Health support program since 2008.

To learn more about the Pfizer Animal Health, visit PfizerAH.com. For more information about the Pfizer Animal Health Interactive Classroom or the National FFA Convention, visit www.ffa.org/convention.

Beef

Plan for Fall Cow Herd Checkups

While producers are weaning calves this fall, giving the cows a little attention, too, will provide long-term benefits.

“For cow/calf operations, what is done in the fall can carry over to help make a successful spring,” says Glenn Rogers, DVM, Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Operations. “Making sure cows have the right vaccination boosters and are dewormed can help prevent losses and help protect the next generation of calves.”

Dr. Rogers recommends boostering the leptospirosis component of a cow’s vaccination protocol during fall processing even if vaccination was administered in the spring, especially if the operation is in an area with a high lepto prevalence.

For general reproductive disease protection, in herds that have vaccinated with Bovi-Shield GOLD® vaccines within the past twelve months, fall is a great time to administer vaccines. This can help protect cattle against critical reproductive diseases like infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD).

Producers also should consider deworming cows in the fall because larvae tend to build up on summer pastures and reducing the parasite burden can help keep cows in optimal body condition prior to winter.

For all ages of cattle, applying a dewormer that controls lice can help get the parasites in check before heading into the winter months. For example, DECTOMAX® (doramectin) Pour-On is safe for any age or class of beef cattle and can control both biting and sucking lice or VALBAZEN® (albendazole) Suspension, which controls four major groups of parasitic worms plus liver flukes.

“When planning your fall herd health program, it’s important it fit the program with the specific herd health needs of the farm or ranch,” Dr. Rogers says. “It’s always best to talk to your local veterinarian when planning your fall herd health program.”

Porter Cattle Co. Named Stocker Award Winner

“It’s revolutionary,” says Rich Porter, of Porter Cattle Co. at Reading, KS. “The abundance of relatively cheap ethanol byproducts has totally changed the game, not only for finishing cattle but for backgrounding."

Consider how Porter is using wet distillers grain (WDG) to supplement stockers on late-season native pasture, after early-season double-stocking.

“Using WDG as a supplement on late-season grass is essentially like using range cubes," Porter explains. “The nutrition is similar to the Oklahoma Super Gold program but is dramatically more cost-effective.”

In both cases, a supplement high in protein, fed in low daily volumes, enables cattle to maintain or increase forage intake.

The way Porter employs WDG as a range supplement is by moving cattle from five native pastures into one at the end of July. “We’re able to utilize a resource that would be burned otherwise, while giving most of our pastures the opportunity to rest,” Porter says. “We’re trying to marry the best of both worlds, between a conventional cattle-feeding system and grazing cattle on a section of grass.”

Porter Cattle Co. was recently named the National Stocker Award winner by BEEF Magazine.

“Our system for calves is both the tight pen and grass trap. Once the feed bunks are empty (more later), we move them back out to the grass traps where it’s drier and they’re more spread out, which helps reduce the spread of disease,” Porter says.

Cattle are kept in 16 pot load-sized pens for the first 45 days; each pen opens to a grass trap of 10-15 acres. After 45 days, cattle graduate to either one of six larger pens that open to grass traps or 65 acres, or they go out to native-grass pastures where they’re supplemented with WDG on the ground.

Until three years ago, calves arriving here received a dry starter pellet and long-stemmed hay for the first 30 days. Now, Porter explains, “We feed a distillers-based ration. On an as-fed basis, they receive a ration that is about half WDG grain, one-quarter long-stemmed hay and one-quarter corn." Along with significant cost savings, he explains the ration is more palatable to the cattle. There are also fewer digestive problems as calves make the transition to growing then finishing rations. You see, Porter also feeds out all of the calves that he stockers, in his own lots at home.

As significant as the change in ration for newly received calves is the health savings achieved by how Porter feeds the calves.

“If you would have told me three years ago that I’d be limit-feeding calves, I’d have said you were crazy,” Porter explains. In basic terms, calves are fed the amount they can eat in three hours.

“We hold calves to consuming no more than 2.2% of their body weight for the first 30 days,” explains Robin Green, who has worked here 16 years. “It keeps them hungry and aggressive. If something isn’t feeling good, they’ll stand out. It makes our job pulling cattle easier and our health costs are way down.” It's referred to as slick-bunk management. More feed needs to be delivered if cattle clean the bunks too soon. Conversely, if there’s still feed in the bunk – after three hours in this case – less feed is called for.

Jeff Hale, head cowboy, explains, “With the kind of cattle we get, you start pulling based on appearance and you pull pretty deep.” Before limit-feeding, they’d pull cattle acting listless that weren’t sick, just over-full. Now they only pull the few that aren’t at the bunk eating.

Promoting A Healthy Lifestyle With Beef

team-beef.jpg The Kansas Beef Endurance Team recently geared up to compete at the Kansas City Health and Fitness Expo, where beef lovers, cattle producers and running enthusiasts join together to share one common message: lean beef is a healthy part of a well-balanced diet, and that’s a fact! A few noteworthy additions to the Kansas Beef Endurance Team were Dane Rauschenberg, an author, motivational speaker and ultra-marathoner; Heidi Wells, the Kansas and Missouri Beef Council’s staff dietician; and Deena Robinson, director for consumer information and coordinator for the beef team. I had the opportunity to visit with these folks who are proud to be putting checkoff dollars to use in order to boost beef demand and spread the positive message about America’s favorite protein.

“The Kansas Beef Endurance Team promotes lean beef as part of a healthy diet by sharing lean beef information in community presentations, social media and in general conversations with family and friends,” explains Robinson. “The team members have shared with me that they hear many “Go Beef” cheers from spectators as they compete in events in their team jerseys. The jerseys are great conversation starters for sharing the lean beef message.”

Wells recapped the weekend events and shared how checkoff efforts are playing a big role in beef’s acceptance among the nation’s athletes.

In conjunction with the event, Rauschenberg, who earned renown by completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks, also spoke to the runners, and included several healthy lean beef messages in his presentation. Another feature of this promotional event was a beef producer who had a question-and-answer session with the athletes. Wells said the beef and running connection is a natural place for the beef checkoff program to focus its promotional efforts.

“I grew up on a backgrounding operation, so I’m personally invested in this industry," notes Wells. "I have discovered that many athletes feel like they can’t lose weight by eating beef. I have seen a lot of folks jump on the vegetarian bandwagon, and now even more are jumping back off. With the vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, there are more injuries and weaknesses for athletes. Runners naturally run low on iron because of their endurance workouts, and you can’t find iron in a better package than when it’s through lean beef. The trend is turning; people want beef.”

Wells says these promotional efforts are beneficial to producers because of their long-lasting impacts on the beef industry.

“Athletes are a group that our producers need to be focusing on with our beef checkoff dollars,” says Wells. “Often, these athletes are also leaders in their communities. Many are doctors and nurses who will pass along those positive beef messages to their patients just from seeing us at the booth or in the race.”

For more information on how to get involved, check out http://powerofprotein.blogspot.com. I'm a proud member of Team ZIP, and I think you should be, too! If you are, share your experiences in the comments section below. I would love to hear about your racing adventures and your efforts to promote beef and live a healthy lifestyle.

Decision Has No Impact – For Now

The waiver that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted, allowing up to 15% ethanol inclusion in gasoline (up from 10%) for vehicles manufactured in 2007 or after, is being criticized by ethanol supporters and opponents alike.

“We’re disappointed in the very limited scope of this approval, but pleased EPA has finally taken action to partially approve the waiver request to allow higher blends of ethanol in some motor vehicles,” says Bart Schott, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president and a Kulm, ND, grower. “We believe this bifurcation of the approval process, and the labels that are expected to be placed on higher-blend fuel pumps, can lead to general consumer confusion and therefore act counter to the original intent.”

By proceeding along this path, Schott says EPA’s decision casts an unnecessary shadow on all ethanol-blend levels.

Opponents of tying ethanol prices to feed costs have nothing to cheer about, although the decision had no impact on corn prices and likely won’t, at least for a while.

The waiver allowing a higher percentage of E15 is not a requirement. Given all of the headaches and confusion involved, plenty of analysts doubt that blenders will rush to produce E15.

“…For now, the market impacts of the higher blend limit are likely to be negligible due mainly to the narrow scope of the decision,” say John Michael Riley, Mississippi State University ag economist, and John D. Anderson, American Farm Bureau Federation livestock economist. In last week’s In the Cattle Markets newsletter, they explain, “Retailers cannot feasibly move to carrying E15 exclusively since it is only approved for 2007 and newer vehicles. Few are likely to devote storage and pump capacity to segregating E10 and E15 blends. Even with both E15 and E10 available, drivers of approved vehicles would still be able to use all gasoline grades. As a result, some level of confusion is sure to arise which will further diminish the higher limit's impact. Until the higher blend limit is made to apply to a much broader class of consumers, demand for E15 will be limited...”

Likewise, according to last week’s CME Group Ethanol Outlook Report:

“…The EPA's decision will not result in any significant increase in ethanol demand until at least the second half of 2011. There are still serious issues to address such as whether legislation is needed to enforce auto warranties when an owner uses E15. In addition, most retailers are not likely to sell E15 because they are concerned about misuse by consumers, liability, whether their pumps are UL-approved for E15, and the likely cost for installing new pumps. Progress on selling E85 has been glacial and E15 is likely to face the same hurdles. Still, the EPA has started down the road of allowing more ethanol to be used in 2007+ vehicles that represent one-third of U.S. fuel consumption, which at least opens the door towards an eventual increase in U.S. ethanol consumption.”

For the week ending Oct. 17, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service:
Corn – 68% of the crop is in the bin, which is 52% or 36 days ahead of last year; 29% ahead of average. Ten of the 18 major estimating states were 20 points or more ahead of both last year and the five-year average.

Soybeans – Harvest is 83% complete, 54% or 26 days ahead of last year and 21% more than average. Dry weather and excellent harvest conditions had pushed progress in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, the five largest soybean-producing states, to 35 points or more ahead of last year and 20 points or more ahead of normal.

Winter wheat – 80% is planted, the 9% ahead of last year and 3% ahead the five-year average. Seeding was most ahead of last year and normal in the Middle Mississippi and Ohio Valley. 51% has emerged, 2% ahead of last year and 1% behind the five-year average. While warm, sunny weather provided nearly ideal conditions for winter wheat seeding, unfavorably dry conditions left portions of the Central and Southern Plains in need of rain for adequate crop establishment.

Sorghum – 94% is at or beyond the mature stage, 23% ahead of last year and 15% ahead of the five-year average. Most notably, crop maturity in Kansas and Texas, the two largest sorghum-producing states, was 23 points or more ahead of last year and 11 points or more ahead of normal. 62% has been harvested, 27% ahead of last year and 14% ahead of the five-year average.

Pasture – 40% of the nation’s pasture and range is rated as Good or Excellent, 10% less than last year. 28% is rated Poor or Very Poor, 8% more than a year ago.

2010 Cow-Calf Returns Are Positive

Most cow-calf operations will be profitable in 2010, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center's (LMIC) report Friday. Projections call for returns of $26/head this year, compared to losses of $32 and $16/head in 2009 and 2008, respectively.

“Although production costs in 2010 were slightly less than the last two years, net returns continue to be pressured in 2010 as input costs still remain rather high compared to historical norms,” LMIC analysts say.

Since the early 1970s, LMIC has estimated cash returns over cash costs plus pasture rent for a typical Southern Plains commercial cow-calf operation.

Looking ahead to 2011, LMIC analysts estimate cow-calf operations will remain positive, but returns could moderate some compared to 2010, depending on calf prices and input costs.

GIPSA Rule's Bite Will Be More Than $1 Billion

Common sense tells proponents of free markets that the rule proposed by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stock Yards Administration (GIPSA) represents an economic albatross. Thanks to the American Meat Institute (AMI), there are numbers to substantiate the sense.

According to a study AMI commissioned, conducted by John Dunham and Associates, 104,000 Americans could lose their jobs if a new USDA regulatory proposal is finalized. This would reduce national GDP by $14 billion, and would cost a total of $1.36 billion in lost revenue to the federal, state and local governments.

Further, the study finds that the disruption and resulting inefficiencies in the market should the rule be implemented would increase retail meat prices by 3.33% at a national level, causing a 1.68% decrease in consumer demand for potentially lower quality meat and poultry products.

“At a time of record unemployment, slow economic recovery and rising poverty levels, it is unfathomable that the administration would propose a rule that could cost one American job, let alone 104,000,” says J. Patrick Boyle, AMI president and CEO. “As the analysis shows, these aren't just jobs in meat packing or livestock production, but in nearly every sector of the American economy. This is, quite simply, reckless regulation.”

Boyle adds that, according to Gallup's 2010 annual governance survey, an expanded proportion of Americans (59% – up 8% from a year ago) believe the government has overstepped its bounds and grown too intrusive and too powerful.

The study’s findings released last week also highlight the fact that livestock producers would be especially affected by the implementation of this rule, losing as many as 21,274 jobs, many in rural America.

Keep in mind, while private industry was willing to conduct an economic study of the rule’s impact, USDA has been unwilling to.

In fact, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack ignored requests from 115 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and several U.S. Senators for a comprehensive economic analysis. That according to representatives of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA).

The proposed GIPSA rule was written in response to a directive made by Congress in the 2008 farm bill. However, as the 115 House members cited in their request for the economic analysis, “GIPSA also included additional proposed regulations that greatly exceed the mandate of the Farm Bill.” The members also stated, “the analysis contained in the proposed rule fails to demonstrate the need for the rule, assess the impact of its implementation on the marketplace, or establish how the implementation of the rule would address the demonstrated need.”

“This government intervention will dismantle 20 years of progress that has helped the U.S. meat and poultry industry to deliver the safest, most affordable meat and poultry supply in the world,” Boyle says. “As our study shows, this protectionist policy proposal would do nothing but harm Americans who work every day to put food on our tables.”

“As an economist who makes his living studying and modeling the economic impact of government regulations on businesses and industries, I have seen firsthand the unintended consequences of misguided policy proposals like the one proposed by USDA,” notes John Dunham, president of John Dunham and Associates, which conducted the study. “It is noteworthy that USDA says this proposal will revitalize rural America, yet my analysis shows it will actually cause substantial job losses.”
See more at www.MeatFuelsAmerica.com/GIPSA.

Roots Define Wheat Pasture Readiness

“Cattle should not be put onto wheat pasture until there is crown root development to anchor the plants,” says Jim Shroyer, Kansas State University (KSU) Extension crop production specialist. “That may take a little longer than normal this year if growth is slowed by dry soil conditions.”

Despite dry conditions over much of western and central Kansas this fall, some areas have had enough recent rain to increase the chances of having pasture for cattle. As well, producers in Oklahoma are finally receiving some moisture.

“Don’t just look at top growth and assume that if the wheat is tillered, crown roots have developed; sometimes that’s not the case,” Shroyer explains. “Check some plants to make sure there's good root development. Cattle shouldn't be able to pull the plants out of the ground as they graze.”

In general, Shroyer says there should be 6-12 in. of top growth before pasturing wheat, but the true test of when the wheat is ready is to see if crown roots have developed enough that the wheat is hard to pull out of the ground.

As well, Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, a KSU Extension nutrient management specialist, says producers should use extra nitrogen (N) on wheat being used for pasture.

“Cattle remove N in the wheat forage. It’s not uncommon to see N deficiencies in wheat after cattle have been removed. For every 100 lbs./acre of animal gain, producers should apply another 40 lbs./acre of N in order to maintain grain yields,” Ruiz Diaz says. He adds that producers should use split applications of N, with part of the N going on in early fall, and part of it applied as soon as the cattle are pulled off in the late winter or early spring.

Finally, Shroyer advises those utilizing wheat pasture to maintain a dry area cattle can be moved to when fields get wet. That helps limit problems with soil compaction.

calendar - oct 26, 2010

Oct. 28-29 – King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management’s Holt Cat Symposium, “Managing Risk In A Risky Business,” Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Kingsville; 361-593-5401 or krirm.tamuk.edu.

Nov. 8-9 – Missouri Forage and Grassland Council annual conference, Resort at Port Arrowhead, Lake Ozark; 573-499-0886

Nov. 9 – Beef Financial Management Conference, Ambassador Hotel, Amarillo, TX; www.cpe-conference.com.

Nov. 9 – East Carolina Cattlemen’s Conference, Clinton, NC, Paul Gonzalez, 910-592-7161.

Nov. 10-12 – Small-ruminant reproductive management workshop, North Dakota State University campus, Fargo; 701- 231-5597 or www.ag.ndsu.edu/reproductiveworkshop..

Nov. 17-18 – McCook Farm and Ranch Expo, Red Willow County Fairgrounds, McCook, NE: 866-685-0989 or www.mccookfarmandranchexpo.net.

Nov. 17-19 – Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Mid-Winter Conference, Colorado Springs; 303-431-6422 or www.coloradocattle.org.

Dec. 8-10 – Nebraska Cattlemen annual convention, Holiday Inn, Kearney; 402-475-2333 or www.nebraskacattlemen.org.