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Articles from 2011 In March


What Does Seasonality Mean This Year for Cattle Markets?

Historically, seasonal cattle price patterns have been one of the most reliable tendencies in cattle markets. This is particularly true in a stable market environment. However, the market is anything but stable now and that means that normal price seasonality may not mean much this year.

Anticipating cattle markets is always a daunting task and is particularly challenging this year with so many short- and long-run factors affecting the market. Feeder and fed-cattle prices have advanced more than seasonally through the first quarter but still there are indications that markets may be close to a seasonal top or plateau. However, there is much turbulence in the water and the picture is far from clear.

Most recently, a series of global events has introduced additional uncertainty and hesitation into markets in general and have affected cattle markets as well. The continuing unrest in the Middle East and Africa provokes general political uncertainty and adds volatility to oil markets. The Japanese disaster and ongoing nuclear concerns add additional uncertainty to markets.

These factors, which may or may not subside in coming days and weeks, make it particularly difficult to read cattle markets at this time. Though cattle and boxed-beef prices have looked a bit “toppy” recently, it’s unclear if this is normal seasonality or short-term uncertainty causing a brief pause in the recent strong market trends. The combination of global unrest and seasonality may cause cattle markets to plateau but the underlying market strength, driven by supply fundamentals, may limit any seasonal weakness through the middle of the year if the global factors subside.

Potentially adding more uncertainty are the 2011 crop conditions and corn markets, while emerging drought conditions may temper summer feeder cattle demand.

Looking a little longer term, there’s still the question of beef demand and trade. Over the next 12-24 months, these factors will be particularly important in determining cattle market possibilities. There seems little doubt that cattle and beef supply fundamentals will get even tighter over this period, and it will be domestic and international demand factors that determine the operating range for cattle and beef prices.

Longer term yet will be the influence of the internal dynamics of industry supply. The process of herd rebuilding is likely to begin in 2011 but the process will be slow and will take several years. The questions of just how tight supply will get and how long it will last will play out over the next 3-5 years. There’s still a cattle-cycle component to this industry but it may be hard to pick out amidst the myriad of other short- and long-run market factors that will be at work simultaneously.

Finally, there are some very long-run structural changes at work in this industry that will take years to work out. The industry we know today was built on cheap energy and cheap corn and we aren’t likely to have either in the future.

Permanently higher feed prices changes how the industry will produce by putting much more emphasis on forage. Increased competition for ag land use for crop production will likely also lead to regional shifts in the cattle industry over time. These factors will likely change cattle price relationships by cattle class and region.

Against this very complicated backdrop of influences, it’s difficult to develop a clear picture of the current market situation. Some of these factors will either pass or become more clear with time but no doubt other short-run factors will emerge. Supply fundamentals are certainly in the driver’s seat and suggest that downside risk is limited.

Still, it’s hard to forecast summer cattle prices. The seasonal bet is for lower prices, while recent trends could mean higher prices. Or the two could offset and move prices sideways. For the next few weeks, cattle prices will change according to the net effect of seasonal tendencies, underlying short and long term trends and external volatility. It’s a situation that requires constant monitoring.

Beef Magazine April 1, 2011 Issue

Beef Xpress April 2011

Livestock disease surges in Vietnam

Vietnam is under siege from a number of contagious animal diseases. A total of 26 provinces and cities across Vietnam have declared an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), while bird flu and blue-ear syndrome in swine are becoming more pervasive nationwide, says the director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Health Department, Hoang Van Nam.

The country didn’t have enough vaccines to properly combat poultry and cattle diseases and local authorities intentionally have not reported what was actually happening to the public despite the outbreak of the diseases, Nam says.

“It is not necessary to slaughter all the cattle infected with FMD; we can eat their meat if it is cooked properly,” says Agriculture Minister Cao Duc Phat. “We need to instruct people how to hygienically slaughter cattle infected with FMD,” he says.

STEC to be studied

Michigan State University (MSU) has been awarded a $2.5-million grant to study how to reduce shedding of shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) from cattle. The project will study shedding from cattle and develop strategies to reduce the shedding, with the intent of decreasing the number of illnesses caused by STEC.

“More than 70,000 people become ill due to STEC every year,” says Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Understanding how the bacteria contaminate water and food supplies will help prevent thousands of illnesses and improve the safety of the nation’s food.”

STEC is a leading cause of foodborne and waterborne infections. Most outbreaks are caused by contact with fecal materials from cattle and other ruminant animals, yet little is known about shedding from these animals. The MSU research will be led by Shannon Manning, an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.

Utah approves vet school

Utah legislators have given the go-ahead to create a $1.7-million veterinary school partnership between Utah State University (USU) and Washington State University (WSU). The program would allow students to take their first two years of classes at USU and complete their last two years of clinics at WSU.

Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, says 20-25 Utah students go out of state each year to get the degree. Supporters say the program would save money in comparison to having USU operate its own veterinary program, which Mathis says would cost about $10 million.

More veterinarians needed

Bipartisan legislation termed “The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act” has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. The measure is aimed at helping address a critical shortage of veterinarians serving rural areas and would make the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program tax-exempt, thereby increasing the number of veterinarians who can participate. The act would also apply to similar state programs that encourage veterinarians to practice in underserved communities.

Nationwide, there are 500 counties that have at least 5,000 farm animals but no veterinarians in the area to treat them. Recent studies indicate that the supply of veterinarians working in food supply veterinary medicine will fall short by 4-5% annually through 2016.

Pressuring the President

U.S. Senate Republicans told President Barack Obama in March that they’ll block confirmation of a new U.S. Commerce Secretary until he submits pending free-trade bills with South Korea, Colombia and Panama to Congress. All three agreements were signed during the Bush administration, but Obama has yet to send them to the Senate for ratification. Without completion of the agreements, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) says U.S. trade in the amounts of $11 billion to South Korea, $3 billion to Colombia, and $1 billion to Panama are at risk.

U.S. exports to Korea boom

January 2011 beef export figures show U.S. beef exports to South Korea are surging. In fact, they totaled nearly 12,000 metric tons for the month, valued at $49.2 million – an increase of more than 60% in volume and 80% in value over a year ago.

Contrary to many reports in the international media, the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) situation in South Korea is not a major factor in the recent surge, says the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Rather, it’s due to a sharp increase in consumer demand, which had gained momentum well before the November 2010 FMD outbreak.

Meanwhile, measures to curb FMD in South Korea have thus far resulted in the culling of 35% of that nation’s swine herd. This will likely result in an increase in pork exports to Korea not only from the U.S., but also from Europe, Canada and Chile, USMEF says.

BEEF Book Corner

In his memoir, “Putting the Horse before Descartes: My Life’s Work on Behalf of Animals,” Colorado State University bioethicist Bernie Rollin relates with self-deprecating humor, detail and East Coast brashness, how a New York City-raised pioneer in animal ethics came to dedicate his life to improving animal welfare. In addition to his personal journey of discovery and development, this irreverent, 300-page memoir provides current and historical perspective into the field of animal ethics, as well as insight into trends in animal care and food-animal production.

In the section on “Religion and Animals,” Rollin quips of how in the fifth grade he “resolved to become a philosopher, seeing the power of reason to disturb.” It’s a sure bet that this personal look into the field of animals and ethics will tweak the nose of more than a few folks whose vocations and/or avocations revolve around working with animals.

It’s available for $35 in hardcover at www.temple.edu/tempress or www.amazon.com.

BEEF Tech April 2011

E. coli vaccine

Pfizer Animal Health announces the availability of E. coli Bacterial Extract vaccine with SRP® technology, the first vaccine to reduce E. coli O157:H7 shedding and prevalence at the source – inside the cattle – without any production setbacks, the company says. Research indicates E. coli was reduced by nearly 85% in feedlots where cattle were vaccinated. Of those cattle still positive with E. coli, there was a 98% reduction in total remaining pathogen load, the company says. Pfizer is the exclusive distributer and the vaccine is manufactured with Epitopix LLC.

For more information, call 800-733-5500 or visit www.PfizerAH.com.

Value calculator

Alpharma, LLC, makers of Deccox® (decoquinate), a medicated feed additive, offers an aid to help producers, veterinarians and feed manufacturers determine medication mixing rates and how to better manage expenses associated with coccidiosis. The easy-to-use, interactive tool found at www.alpharmacattle.com allows users to enter their operation statistics to calculate the impact coccidiosis can have on their business. The calculator also quantifies costs associated with subclinical coccidiosis. For more information, call 1-800-834-6470 or visit www.alpharmacattle.com.

Super Brace system

Fence braces and supports are the backbone of any fence and Southwest Fence Systems offers its patented self-anchoring Super Brace in complete field-ready kits. These braces can be set up by hand in less than 15 minutes, with no hole-digging, welding or concrete required. Upon assembly, they’re ready for wires to be stretched.

Super Braces come in single or double form (for corner bracing or in-line doubles) and are constructed of Post Schedule 40 27/8-in. x 7-ft. pipe with top welded caps and ground level welded guide tubes. The tubes allow the anchor rods to pass through the post at a 45° angle for absolutely positive anchoring. (Also available in Schedule 10.)

The self-anchoring Super Brace system conforms to all terrains and is ideal for use in soil prone to upheaval. The braces may be driven by hand or by air or hydraulic equipment.

For more information, call 1-800-843-3623 or visit www.swfence.com.

AccuSpread Spinner Discharge

Kuhn North America’s AccuSpread® spinner discharge for PSC Series ProSpread® commercial apron box spreaders gives operators the ability to spread at low rates with the most accurate material placement of any spreader in its class, the company says. The AccuSpread spinner discharge provides a wide, uniform spread pattern with its twin spinner discs, each fitted with three-shear bolt-secured, replaceable paddles.

A heavy-duty metering gate allows spreading of nutrient-dense materials at low rates to take best advantage of the nutrient value. Rugged horizontal beaters provide durability and efficient material breakup, for consistent spreading of dry, flowable materials up to a 60-ft. spread width. The AccuSpread spinner discharge is one of three beater options available on the PSC Series that includes truck and trailer models with capacities of 610, 710 and 810 heaped cu. ft.
For more information, call 608-897-2131, ext. 2259, or visit www.kuhnnorthamerica.com.

Superior loader visibility

The Massey-Ferguson MF5450 mid-range tractor allows you to clean lots, lift hay and mix feed without the hassle of a blind spot. The HighVisibility™ Hood design allows the operator to see the front of the loader bucket for better control and more accurate results. A left-hand power control lever, mounted to the steering column, allows simple directional changes, leaving the operator’s right hand free to operate other controls, such as a loader joystick. The MF5450 also features a Tier III emissions-compliant Perkins® 1104D 44TA turbo-charged engine to help maximize production and efficiency.

For more information, call 877-525-4384 or visit
http://www.masseyferguson.com.

Registration approvals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted registration approval for DuPont™ Perspective™, Streamline™ and Viewpoint™ herbicides. Based on aminocyclopyrachlor, these products provide long-lasting control of a wide spectrum of difficult brush and broadleaf weeds in utility rights of way, roadsides, railroad sites, nature preserves, parks and other areas. Commercialization of pasture/ran geland products based on the chemistry is anticipated in the U.S. in 2013.

• Perspective selectively controls broadleaf and invasive weeds along roadsides and other sites while preserving desirable grasses and natural habitats.
• Streamline controls noxious weeds, brush and broadleaf weeds in
utility rights of way and along roadsides where natural grasses and habitats need to be maintained.
• Viewpoint provides broad-spectrum brush control of tough species in utility and industrial rights of way.

For more information, call 303-716-3905 or visit www.dupont.com.

Hay moving made easy

Load, haul and dump hay without leaving your truck or trailer with GoBob Pipe and Steel’s 2EZ Hay Hauler. One of the most advanced hauling systems on the market, the unit features the traditional two rails that run the full length of the ground to control the hay, plus precision control to descend the rails to ground level. The added control allows the rails to easily slide under the bales to gather several at once. The unit’s hydraulic cylinders lift the rails to traveling height and a “lock out” system prevents malfunctions. The 2EZ Hay Hauler is available in either a gooseneck or bumper pull design. For more information, call 877-851-2365 or visit www.gobobpipe.com.

Alfalfa varieties

Pioneer Hi-Bred introduces Pioneer® alfalfa varieties with the Genuity® Roundup Ready® (RR) gene designed to meet any grower’s specific needs.

  • 54R01 (RR) – broadly adapted and selected for high forage quality, including resistance to Aphanomyces race 1, anthracnose, Phytophthora root rot, Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt. It’s also resistant to northern root rot nematode and stem nematode.
  • 54R02 (RR) – broadly adapted with high yield and an excellent disease package including resistance to Aphanomyces race 1, anthracnose, Phytophthora root rot, Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt. Also resistant to spotted and pea aphids.
  • 54VR03 (RR) – adapted to western alfalfa-growing environments, has a strong defensive package with resistance to anthracnose, Phytophthora root rot, Aphanomyces race 1 and pea aphid.
  • 53VR03 (RR) – a northern-adapted and winterhardy variety is paired with a strong defensive package and has resistance to Aphanomyces race 1, anthracnose, Phytophthora root rot, Verticillium wilt and Fusarium wilt.
  • 58R51 (RR) – a non-dormant option for the Southwest that is resistant to spotted aphid, Phytophthora root rot, stem nematode and blue aphid 1.

For more information, call 515- 535-3200 or visit www.pioneer.com.

Reproductive protection

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. announces Leptospira hardjo-bovis protection in its Express® FP 5-VL5 product, one of the most complete modified-live virus/bacterin vaccine combinations. Leptospira hardjo-bovis is associated with early embryonic deaths, poor conception rates and weak calves, as well as other reproductive losses in cattle. Express FP 5-VL5 offers five-way viral protection and protection against Lepto hardjo-bovis in just one syringe.

The new product includes antigens for bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) and parainfluenza3 (PI3), as well as prevents urinary shedding of lepto hardjo-bovis and other key respiratory viruses. Additionally, the Express FP line offers producers a written guarantee that no calf persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea will be born from a properly vaccinated cow. For more information, call 1-800-325-9167 or visit www.bi-vetmedica.com.

Clear pastures

Clear pastures, ditches and shelterbelts quickly and permanently with the HedgeHog by Hoelscher Commercial Products. The rugged design of the tractor loader or skid-steer attachment, along with the beveled tines, assure positive lifting action to easily remove hedgerows, invasive noxious shrubs and weeds and fence posts up to 8 in. in diameter. The attachment works with any Universal Quick-Tach brackets. For more information, call 620-562-3575 or visit www.hoelsherinc.com.

Immunity booster

Give calves a chance to start strong and stay strong with Agri-
Labs’ ACHIEVE with Cryptex. The latest in AgriLab’s line of natural products, the all-natural formula bolsters newborns’ ability to withstand disease stressors during their first stages of life. ACHIEVE is a highly palatable, easy-to-use and
extremely digestible paste formulated to combat common pathogens that cause malnutrition and scours, foster the growth of beneficial bacteria, and help remove pathogenic toxins from the intestine. It also creates a hostile environment for pathogens such as cryptosporidium, a major cause of protozoal diarrhea.
For more information, call 1-800-542-8916 or visit www.agrilabs.com.

Hexasol™ Injection

Hexasol™ Injection is the only medication on the U.S. market that combines the long-acting antibiotic oxytetracycline and the non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) flunixin meglumine in one convenient dose. Formulated with proven safe and effective ingredients, the product offers the convenience of subcutaneous or intramuscular dosing and a 21-day withdrawal time prior to slaughter.

Hexasol Injection is intended for the treatment of bacterial pneumonia associated with Pasteurella spp. and for the control of associated pyrexia (fever) in beef and non-lactating dairy cattle. It is available by prescription only. For more information, call 866-591-5777 or visit www.norbrookinc.com.

New vertical mixer

Patz Corporation’s 2400 Series II Stationary Twin Screw Vertical Mixer is the latest addition to its full Vertical Mixer Series. The mixer features a low height design that enables it to be used in feed rooms and other enclosures and comes in 810- and 950-cu.-ft. sizes. The mixer features a new Vortex™ Screw and patented baffles to promote fast blending and a quick discharge with superior cleanout that reduces waster, lowers costs and saves time. The customizable mixer is engineered with few moving parts to ensure long life and low maintenance. For more information, call 920-897-2251 or visit www.patzcorp.com.

Long-lasting fence

PasturePro posts from Kencove Farm Fence Supplies extend the lifetime of your fence-line with their unique wood-plastic composite construction. The self-insulating and non-conductive posts last up to 20 years and are a permanent high-tensile electric fencing solution. Designed for premium durability, resiliency and longevity, the posts flex against all types of impact. PasturePro posts are available in lengths of 3-6 ft., and diameters of 1-1.625 in. Available colors are white, hickory, cedar and black. For more information, call 1-800-KENCOVE or visit www.kencove.com.

2011’s Top Offerings In ATVs And Utility Vehicles

2011’s Top Offerings In ATVs And Utility Vehicles

Yamaha Grizzly 450 EPS

The Grizzly 450 EPS from Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., brings top-of-the-line features to a mid-sized, utility ATV machine. Assembled in Newnan, GA, the Grizzly 450 is Yamaha’s latest ATV to get electric power steering (EPS).

Yamaha was the first ATV manufacturer to introduce EPS – first on its big-bore Grizzly 700 and then on the Grizzly 550. EPS reduces handlebar feedback and rider fatigue, especially over long days and tough chores.

The Grizzly 450 features Yamaha’s exclusive Ultramatic® automatic transmission, the ATV industry’s most durable continuously variable transmission (CVT) system; and push-button On-Command 2WD, 4WD and 4WD diff lock, which provides the only true rider-controlled all four-wheel-drive option. Combined with an all-new one-piece frame and a new rear sealed wet brake system, these features make the Grizzly 450 the toughest, lightest and most off-road capable ATV in its class, Yamaha says.
 

 

The Grizzly 450 EPS also comes standard with independent suspension, 11 in. of ground clearance, a water-resistant DC outlet that’s perfect for powering a sprayer, and a multi-function LCD display illuminating a speedometer, odometer/trip meter, hour meter and clock, as well as gear selection. The Grizzly’s plush seat, full-sized floorboards and oversized fenders add comfort to the ride.

The Grizzly’s steel racks boast more than 250 lbs. of total carrying capacity (88 lbs. in front; 176 lbs. in the rear), and a 1,322-lb. towing capacity.

The Grizzly 450 EPS is available in Hunter Green, Steel Blue and Realtree™ AP HD® Camo. For more information, call 1-800-962-7926 or visit www.YamahaOutdoors.com.

Arctic Cat biodiesel model

Arctic Cat’s 700 Super Duty Diesel ATV features a 686-cc, liquid-cooled, in-line twin-cylinder, single overhead cam (SOHC) diesel engine that provides 50% greater fuel mileage over a conventional gasoline engine and plenty of low-end torque, the company says. The engine runs efficiently on six forms of diesel fuel (DF 1, DF 2, DF A Arctic, JP 5, JP 8 and up to B20 Bio Diesel) with a glow plug pre-heater assist for starting.

Arctic Cat has extensively tested the Super Duty on bio diesel, the alternative fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fat, with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) and the Minnesota Soybean Growers.

The blend (B20) burns cleaner than conventional diesel, producing fewer carbon dioxide emissions and lower levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulates – all goals that help environment impact, Arctic Cat says.

 

 

An all-encompassed electronic 2WD/4WD/diff lock switch on the right-hand control makes going in and out of 4WD or diff lock an easier process.

The double A-arm fully independent front and rear suspension (both with five-position spring preload adjustment) delivers 8 in. of travel, keeps the rider firmly planted and comfortable, as well as giving 10 in. of ground clearance.

For more information, see your local dealer or visit www.arcticcat.com.

John Deere Gator XUVs

John Deere’s 2011 lineup of Crossover Utility Vehicles (XUV) is packed with advanced features that deliver unparalleled balance between work and recreation.

Headlining the 2011 XUV models is the Gator™ XUV 825i – the fastest and most powerful Gator ever produced. The 50-hp engine provides superior low-end torque to take on the toughest tasks, trails and terrain. The 812-cc, liquid-cooled, inline, three-cylinder engine features four valves/cylinder, dual-overhead cams and electronic fuel injection (EFI).

The 825i boasts a top speed of 44 mph and sports a completely redesigned front and rear independent suspension system for a superior ride through rough terrain. The new models are designed for less body roll and superior side-hill stability with either no-load or maximum cargo. All the models also feature an entirely new braking system for improved stopping performance over previous models.

 

 

The Gator XUV 825i features a 1,500-lb. towing capacity and 1,400-lb. payload capacity, with the all-new hybrid metal and composite cargo box offering 16.4 cu. ft. of capacity. The sides of the cargo box easily remove for flatbed use.

All Gator XUV models are available in three finishes: olive and black, Realtree Hardwoods™ HD Camo, or traditional John Deere green and yellow.

In addition to its headlining Gator™ XUV 825i, John Deere also offers the 625i and the 855D to round out its full line of crossover utility vehicles.

• The Gator XUV 625i features gas EFI; a 617-cc, liquid-cooled V-twin engine with 23 hp; and a 30-mph top speed.
• The Gator XUV 855D is a diesel unit featuring an 854-cc, liquid-cooled, three-cylinder engine rated at 25 hp; a 32-mph top speed; and a full clutch enclosure.

For more information, see your local John Deere dealer, call 1-800-537-8233 or visit www.JohnDeere.com/Gator.

Toro Workman MD Series

The new Toro® Workman® MD Series utility vehicles feature injection-molded body styling and combine a coil-over shock absorber suspension design with a patented Active In-Frame twister joint to deliver SRQ™ – superior ride quality – for added operator comfort and vehicle control. The hefty payload capacity and four-wheel hydraulic brakes combine with SRQ to provide enhanced productivity to tackle the toughest jobs.

 

 

  • The Workman MDE is an electric unit with a 48-volt DC motor with external fan and offers a 1,200-lb. total capacity,
  • The MD offers a 12-hp, 357-cc, air-cooled single-cylinder Kohler® Command Pro™ engine and 1,250-lb. total capacity.
  • The MDX boasts a 14-hp, 48-cc, air-cooled, two-cylinder Briggs and Stratton® Vanguard® engine and a 1,650-lb. total capacity.

For more information, call 1-800-803-8676 or visit www.toro.com/md.

Arctic Cat TBX 700 LTD

Load it, haul it, dump it. Take on work and fun with a new sense of confidence – a confidence provided by power steering in the Arctic Cat TBX 700 LTD.

Variable-assist Electronic Power Steering (EPS) allows steering assistance before the ATV even starts to move at idle – a huge benefit to conserving the rider’s input energy when in 4WD. The variable-assist system is driven by an electronic control unit (ECU) that measures steering input force vs. tire resistance and vehicle speed then provides appropriate assist to the steering column through an electric motor.

The rear dump box offers a 300-lb. capacity and has a “pickup style” tailgate latch, plus box tilt latches on both sides of the machine. Handy tie-down attachment points are built directly into the cargo box and TBX frame, and integrated rails accept accessory clamp-down fixtures.

Arctic Cat’s race-proven 700 H1 power plant is a 695-cc, liquid-cooled, single overhead cam (SOHC), single-cylinder engine designed for a wide torque curve with the smoothest power delivery via electronic fuel injection.

 

 

An all-encompassed electronic 2WD/4WD/diff lock switch on the right-hand control makes going in/out of 4WD or diff lock an easy
process.

Front and rear independent suspensions are calibrated with 11 in. of ground clearance and 10 in. of suspension travel to provide the ultimate trail cornering and handling.

The TBX 700 LTD is available in Green Metallic, with 12-in. aluminum wheels, 3,000-lb. winch, front and rear bumpers, electronic power steering. For more information, see your local dealer or visit www.arcticcat.com.

Toro Workman HD Series

The Toro® Workman® HD Series of utility vehicles are powerful, durable and versatile. The Workman’s DeDion I-beam axle is seven times stronger than a comparable tubular design, and gives the Workman superior vertical loading capacity by isolating the engine, transmission and main frame from all load forces, Toro says. The unit’s maximum capacity of 3,002 lbs., allows it to haul up to 35% more than the competition, while four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes are safer and easier to service than traditional drum brakes, the company adds.

The unit features true independent front suspension, with opposing dual coil springs and dual shock absorbers. The powerful 31.5-hp electronic fuel-injected engine offers a 15-20% increase in fuel economy, instant cold weather starting, smoother throttle response and onboard diagnostics for quick troubleshooting.

The Workman HD Series offers dozens of attachments and accessories to tackle a wide variety of jobs.

For more information, call 1-800-803-8676 or visit www.toro.com/hd.

Arctic Cat Prowler 700 HDX

Arctic Cat’s all-new Prowler 700 HDX Side-By-Side has been designed from the ground up, starting with the 85-in. wheelbase that provides a 1,500-lb. payload. The all-new 2-in-1 cargo box, with 1,000-lb. box capacity and multiple tie-down options, is wide enough to house a wooden pallet, while easily detachable side panels quickly convert it to flatbed use.

The Prowler HDX cab features a 40/20/40 seat for comfortable, sculpted seating for three occupants. The dashboard houses a fresh digital gauge package with an all-new dash-mounted shifter that has park, low, high, neutral and reverse.

 

 

Electronic power steering (EPS) is new to the Prowler HDX in 2011, while a five-position tilt steering column enhances handling. Arctic Cat’s variable-assist EPS allows steering assistance to the HDX before it even starts to move at idle, conserving riders’ input energy when in 4WD, especially when the differential lock is engaged. The EPS reduces the torque necessary to steer the HDX when changing direction with a loaded cargo box or navigating tough obstacles.

The unit’s 700 H1 engine’s electronic fuel injection puts power to the ground via the front and rear suspensions. Fully independent, double-A-arm front and rear designs have 10 in. of suspension travel and 10 in. of ground clearance.

Fox FLOAT® Air Assist shocks complete the HDX suspension, combining FLOAT Air Technology with a coil-over spring for increased load capability. Under heavy load conditions the FLOAT Air Assist allows the vehicle’s load requirement to be easily adjusted by simply adding air pressure to the FLOAT air chamber. During normal conditions the coil takes over as the main spring.

The units are available in Tungsten Metallic and Advantage Timber Camo. For more information, see your local dealer or visit www.arcticcat.com.

Yamaha Rhino 700 FI

The latest edition of the Rhino 700 FI is the toughest, most off-road capable and versatile side-by-side (SxS) vehicle on the market, says Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. Assembled in Newnan, GA, the Rhino’s 700-class power plant is a liquid-cooled, four-valve, single overhead cam (SOHC) engine that provides plenty of torque. Fuel injection offers performance and dependability in any condition, especially at high elevation and in cooler conditions, Yamaha says. And the vehicle’s standard 2-in. receiver is capable of towing up to 1,212 lbs. with 400 lbs. in the cargo bed.

Yamaha’s flagship SxS gets much of its durability and off-road capabilities from its Ultramatic® automatic transmission – the industry’s most durable continuously variable transmission (CVT) system. On-Command® 2WD/4WD and 4WD diff lock gives the driver control with the push of a button. The Rhino has more than 12 in. of ground clearance and hydraulic disc brakes with dual-piston calipers on all four wheels for superior braking performance.

 

 

Standard features include a 12-volt accessory outlet; padded bucket seats for both driver and passenger; grab handles and cup holders; roto-molded doors to keep mud, water and trail debris out of the cab; a digital LCD multi-function display meter featuring a speedometer, odometer, dual-trip meter, clock, fuel gauge and gear position display; a voltage meter for monitoring battery condition; and an hour meter function that operates only while the engine is running for more accurate servicing.

The 2011 Yamaha Rhino is available in Hunter Green, Red and the Sport Edition White Armor. For more information, call 1-800-962-7926 or visit www.YamahaOutdoors.com..

Animal Cruelty Bill Headed To The Governor

A Mississippi bill that makes aggravated cruelty to a domesticated dog or cat a felony has been approved by both the House and Senate and is now on its way to Governor Barbour for his signature.

SB 2821, originally introduced by Sen. Bob Dearing, is the product of a compromise between The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation. These two organizations, originally on opposite sides of the bill, hammered out their differences and agreed to the amended legislation.

“I think this bill addresses the major concerns of both organizations and the people that they represent,” says Randy Knight, president of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.

“This legislation provides meaningful penalties for the worst cases of animal cruelty,” says Lydia Sattler, HSUS Mississippi state director. “We needed a starting point to update animal cruelty laws, and this is a huge step for Mississippi."


10 Signs It's Calving Season

img00129-20110222-1706.jpg At our place, we have finished calving out the first-calf heifers and are getting into the rest of the cows. Calving season is certainly an interesting time of year. It has it's ups and downs, that's for sure. Even when you're tired and things aren't always going right, you know there are other ranchers all across the country doing the same thing -- working hard to ensure a bright and healthy start for their newborn baby calves.

img00168-20110329-1708.jpg Just for fun, I've put together my top 10 list of signs that indicate it's the middle of calving season.

10. Your shelves are stacked with ear tags, markers, nurse replacement, tubes and record books.

9. Your idea of a good night's sleep is three uninterrupted hours and sneaking in a short nap during Sunday church.

8. The ringing of your cell phone, then the house phone, then the cell phone, means you're needed outside, ASAP.

7. You start to schedule your days around cattle checks.

6. Coffee is a staple of your diet, but if you’re in a hurry, then a pop on the way out the door will have to do. (Or is it soda or Coke in your neck of the woods?)

5. Even though you’re dog-tired, you can’t help but think about next year’s breeding season already. You spend hours in the evening pouring over the new AI catalog for the next hot sire to breed your cows to.

4. Your four-wheeler, coveralls and gloves are all covered with a familiar coat of mud.

3. Your favorite time of the day is watching the calves play while their mothers moo for them to behave.

2. No matter how long you’ve been in the business, losing one still breaks your heart.

1. Every year you say this is the “last time you’ll calve out these cows in this weather.” Yet, when summer rolls around, you’ve forgotten all about how tough calving season can be and are enjoying them out in the pasture.

By the way, if you're on Twitter, follow the hashtags #farmlife or #calving11 to get updates on other ranchers and their calving seasons. You can follow us on Twitter here: @BEEFMagazine or @RadkeAmanda.

For calving season articles, check out the following:

Calving Season Is A Busy Time For Cattle Ranchers

Calving Season And Life

The Ideal Calving Season

How’s calving season going for you? When do your cows typically calve? Has the weather been holding up? Share your calving memories with the BEEF Daily crowd today!

Video: Renewable Fuels Present 'Tremendous' Opportunities

Recent claims by food manufacturers that the use of corn in ethanol production is driving up food costs have prompted a renewed round of criticism of the practice. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed the issue during a news conference that followed his appearance at this year’s Commodity Classic in Tampa. Vilsack says oil and natural gas and alternative sources all have a role to play in providing the nation’s energy needs.

To watch more from Secretary Vilsack's press conference watch Video: Small Vs. Large Is Not The Issue.

Food And Fuel Debate Important To All

This week, the USDA will release a couple of very important reports about the supply of corn currently being stored in America as well as the planting intentions of farmers for the upcoming growing season. No matter the reporting, critics of ethanol production will pounce on the reports as a more “proof” that ethanol is raiding supplies of corn and driving up the price of food.

This fictional food vs. fuel debate is one that has plagued America’s ethanol industry from the beginning, and it threatens to derail the continued growth and evolution of the industry. This faux debate is as important to future ethanol producers as it is to existing ethanol producers. And, those looking to capitalize on starch-based ethanol’s public relations struggles need to be cognizant of the fact that if current ethanol producers fail, next generation ethanol producers will be next on the hit list.

But first, let’s discuss some of the facts around American ethanol production and the use of corn. Producing 2.8 gals. of ethanol requires just one-third of every bushel of corn entering and ethanol facility. Another third of the bushel is refined into a highly valuable livestock feed that is resold into the livestock feed markets. The remaining third of each bushel is converted to carbon dioxide which some plants capture and sell to soft drink bottlers and dry ice manufacturers.

To read the entire article, link here.

For additional information, check out Ethanol Uptick And Corn Use Examined. Read Troy Marshall's column, Ethanol Subsidies -- The Gift That Keeps On Giving.


Livestock Futures Hit Record Highs On Demand, Tight Supplies

U.S. cattle futures hit all-time highs as strong global demand and the start of the grilling season in the U.S. bumped up against shrinking supplies.

Lean hog futures are lower on the day after setting new records Tuesday. Hog futures remain strong overall with demand holding up even as prices climb.

Cattle for June delivery closed up 1.4% at $1.19/lb., just below all-time highs at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. June hog futures closed down 0.3% at $1.03/lb.

"Packers are making money, (cattle) feeders are making money and the meat is moving. We have never seen these kinds of dynamics before when all sectors were profitable," says Daniel Bluntzer, director of research for Frontier Risk Management, a commodities brokerage firm headquartered in Chicago.

Export demand continues to grow as developing nations have the means to consume more pork and beef. The U.S. is the low-cost supplier of pork and leads the world in exports. It also is a major exporter of beef, ranking third in the world behind Brazil and Australia on a volume basis.

To read the entire article, link here.