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A country road sermon

Orion Samuelson offers his annual safety sermon on country roads with tips for city drivers making that rare trip outside of town.

Samuelson Sez is a special feature of This Week in Agribusiness where Orion Samuelson shares his insights and perspectives into key issues of the day.

This Week in Agribusiness, May 27, 2017


Part 1

Max Armstrong opens this week's show talking about the Trump budget with Zippy Duvall, president, American Farm Bureau Federation. In the Bayer Farm Challenge of the Week, Dale Foiles, Raymond, S.D., talks about his problems with herbicide-resistant kochia. And Farm Broadcaster Alan Watts, WKDZ Radio, Cadiz, Ky., talks about issues impacting farmers in that part of the country.

Part 2

Max Armstrong takes a look at the markets with Jerry Gulke, The Gulke Group. In Samuelson Sez, Orion Samuelson offers his annual safety sermon on country roads with tips for city drivers making that rare trip outside of town. Greg Soulje, agricultural meteorologist, looks at weather for the Western United States.

Part 3

Max Armstrong shares a report on the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation from Patrick Haggerty. Max Armstrong shares his conversation with Jane Berbaum, Champaign County, Ill., about her Spirit of '76 Case tractor. And she talks about the Case Collectors group too. And Max notes that the 175th Case Collector's Show in Albert City, Iowa - Aug. 10-13. And he shares some interesting dairy facts.

Part 4

Max Armstrong offers the latest episode of Freeways to Farms with a look at Jay Fillman, Mazon, Ill., and his approach to ag, which includes some interesting outside jobs too from accounting to insurance to ethanol. You can watch more at freewaystofarm.com. Greg Soulje, ag meteorologist, looks at weather for the Eastern United States. And in Max's Tractor Shed, Max tells the story of a 1941 Farmall H owned by Dave Bailey, Chesapeake, Va., which is festooned with flags.

Part 5

Max Armstrong continues his market discussion with Jerry Gulke, The Gulke Group, including a look at the corn market in Brazil.

Part 6

Max Armstrong offers the FFA Chapter Tribute with a look at Fruita FFA, Fruita, Colo., a 100-member, 75-year-old chapter. Member McKenna Young offers a look at highlights for the group. And Greg Soulje takes a look at weather for the week ahead, including his four-week forecast.

Part 7

Max Armstrong  offers a look at Agri-Starts with Founder Randy Strode, a company that grows starter plants from tissue culture, with a wide variety of products available. And Max pauses to remember Memorial Day.

Celebrate Memorial Day with burgers, steaks & voting

Beef Checkoff National Hamburger Day

The extended Memorial Day weekend will wrap up today, and it’s not only the unofficial kick-off to summer, but it’s also a time for reflection and to pay tribute to the men and women who sacrificed everything to protect our nation’s freedoms.

We’re spending the weekend artificially inseminating the last group of heifers and moving some final pairs to summer pasture. From there, I’m headed to speak at the Beef Improvement Federation in Athens, Ga., so needless to say, I’m looking for quick, easy and tasty beef meals to prepare for my family this week.

Whether you’re home on the ranch or making a quick getaway, beef is always a great meal of choice.

In case you missed it, yesterday was National Hamburger Day, and to celebrate the occasion, the beef checkoff listed its top 10 most-searched-for burgers on the site, www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. These top 10 fan favorites are: Lean Mean Cheeseburger, Ranch Burgers, Caribbean Beef Burgers with Mango Salsa, Cheesy Jalapeno Pepper-Stuffed Burgers, Carolina Barbecue Burgers, Classic Beef Cheeseburgers, Maple-Bacon Beer Burger, Barbecue Chipotle Burgers, Thai Burger and Zesty BBQ Cheeseburgers.

If you’re feeling inspired, check out these recipes here.

While ranchers certainly don’t need any convincing to grill steaks this weekend, the blog Girls Can Grill lists three reasons why consumers should fire up the grill-- flavor, budget and health.

Check out the blog here and pass it along on social media to encourage others to add steak to the menu more frequently this summer.

As we wrap up this holiday weekend with burgers and steaks, don’t forget to vote for your favorite photo in the “For the love and livestock” photo contest. Voting will end at noon on May 30, and we’ll announce the winners on May 31.

Check out the complete gallery of entries here.
Check out our finalists gallery here and vote for your favorite.

Thanks for your help making this another awesome contest!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

MIDDAY-MidwestDigest-05-26-17

We will never forget, Linda and I, the Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery all those years ago. Every year 260,000 graves adorned with American flags. No more more meaningful than those you will participate in.

It's the beginning of the cookout season. It seems like 3/4 of Americans will barbecue over Memorial Day weekend.

This week in Agribusiness hear about the weather. Corn planting reports deceiving in light of all the replanting that needs to take place. 

We have it by reliable sources - two fisherman found 2.5 foot alligator near Bedford, Ind. - quite concerned that something like that could lurk in Chippewa River.

Here’s why managing nutrition and estrus synchronization in yearling heifers is important

Replacement heifers on pasture

By Tyler Melroe, M.S., beef nutritionist, Hubbard Feeds

When it comes to managing replacement heifers, perhaps nothing is more critical than managing their nutrition. The traditional recommendation was to target 65% of their mature weight at breeding. However, recent research has focused on challenging the lower limits of this number.  

Producers in situations with limited feed resources and low input genetics can achieve satisfactory pregnancy rates by targeting approximately 55% of mature weight, if they are on a positive plane of nutrition. This limits the resources required to develop heifers and can limit mature size. However, if maximizing pregnancy rates is the goal, 65% of mature weight should be the target minimum.

Practically speaking, a 550-pound heifer weaned in October and targeted for breeding in May would require around a 1.75 pound average daily gain if we expect her mature weight to be 1400 pounds. It is important that you work with a nutritionist that can help you achieve this goal.  

One key to success will be having the vast majority of heifers achieving puberty well in advance of initiating the synchronization program. Remember to be conscientious of the lightest and youngest heifers in the pen, not just the average.

Nutrition can often be a balancing act and involves more than just hitting the minimums. The move toward breeding heifers at a lower percent of mature weight highlights that fact that over-feeding replacement heifers can have negative consequences. The most obvious consequence is the increased cost. Additionally, developing heifers with excessive condition may limit their longevity.

While the feeding program may be targeting a lower average daily gain than some are used to, a common practice is to slightly increase the energy prior to initiating the synchronization and breeding program. This flushing technique ensures the heifers will be in a positive energy balance at breeding and signals her system that adequate energy is available to conceive and maintain the pregnancy.

Energy and protein are not the only important nutrients to support conception as trace mineral quality and quantity also play a critical role. Copper, manganese, and zinc are involved in several enzyme functions that can in turn impact fertility in both females and males.  

Another trace mineral of interest is selenium, where deficiencies have been linked to increased embryonic loss and higher rates of retained placentas. Of note, some rangelands in the United States are naturally high in selenium and toxicity can be an issue. Be sure to understand your environment and need, or lack thereof, for selenium.

Because of the importance of trace minerals, producers and researchers have looked at utilizing trace minerals that are more bioavailable and less reactive. These minerals are often referred to as organic trace minerals or chelates. Utilizing them at the appropriate level has been shown to have a positive influence on pregnancy rates to AI (artificial insemination).

Concept of Estrus Synchronization
Synchronizing estrus utilizes three separate hormones, each with a specific function. The basis of synchronization programs is utilizing prostaglandins to initiate estrus. Progestins (progesterone), like MGA or CIDRs, allows for more heifers to respond to prostaglandin. Most recently, GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone) has been used to help synchronize ovulation.

Utilization of progestins and GnRH have played a big role in the use and ultimate success of timed AI programs. It is critically important that the protocols be followed with precision, as deviations in timing can have a negative impact. To keep up to date on the latest synchronization protocols for all cattle visit: http://beefrepro.unl.edu/resources.html 

Post Breeding Management
It is important to remember that these programs start well in advance of AI and, as recent research would indicate, continues well after. Both post AI transportation and nutrition have been shown to have an impact on the success of the program.First, plans should be made to transport heifers either as quickly as possible after AI or maintained at the same location until approximately 6 weeks after AI.

Physiologically, several events are occurring. Within the first week, the embryo is already developing, maternal recognition of pregnancy occurs around 2 weeks post-AI, and definitive attachment of the embryo to the uterus does not occur until around 6 weeks post-AI. It is that intermediate period where the greatest risk of embryonic loss exists.
 

As impactful as transportation can be, dramatic changes in nutrition can have an equally detrimental effect on AI pregnancy rates. One of those dramatic changes that occurs is when heifers developed in the feedlot are moved to grass, going from a total mixed ration offered in the bunk to selecting their own nutrition.

In addition to the dramatic change in diet, heifers are also extremely active when turned out on grass as they adapt to their new environment. Because it has been observed that heifers can lose a significant amount of weight in the first week on grass, ways to overcome this negative energy balance should be considered.

If supplementation is an option, be aware of the protein content of the forage. In most early summer situations, when grass is growing quickly, there is sufficient and very digestible protein. In this situation, we would want to address the energy deficiency and supplementation can be as simple as offering corn or low protein range cake. However, if protein is deficient – either through quality or quantity, supplementation is necessary. It would be recommended that they are maintained on appropriate mineral, preferably one that contains organic trace minerals.

Summary
A successful AI program starts early, requires significant attention to detail, and must be followed throughout the breeding season.It starts with managing average daily gain and body condition while providing the appropriate vitamins and trace minerals. It continues with following synchronization protocols, timing of transportation, and managing the changes to their diet. More pregnancies are always the goal – and the ultimate payout of this process!


 
 

MORNING-MidwestDigest-05-26-17

It's the beginning of cookout season. It's reported that 3/4 of Americans will BBQ over Memorial Day weekend. 87% BBQ over Fourth of July weekend.

More than 50/50 chance of rain for Indy 500. Most memorial was 1997 when Indy was pushed back because of rain. One of three times pushed back.

U of MN high ranking official suspending for two weeks because of inappropriate conduct.

World Pork Expo is week after next. 48 countries represented last year. Most activities start Wednesday, the 7th and wrap up on June 9th.

List being circulated of best beaches in Missouri.

Farm Progress America, May 26, 2017

Max Armstrong looks at the very busy schedule of the new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the many people he's been meeting with including broadcasters, employees and Congress. And he's been on the road meeting USDA staffers too. Max shares that Perdue is off to a busy start.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Elanco files suit against Arla's 'Live Unprocessed' campaign

Noel-Hendrickson/Thinkstock Milk on shelf with female consumer checking label

Elanco filed suit on May 19 demanding Arla cease its advertising campaign against rbST. Recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST) is a supplement marketed and sold by Elanco under the brand name Posilac.

The Arla “Live Unprocessed” campaign launched across the U.S. in late April. The campaign is built upon a child’s interpretation of what rbST is, and then brings that perception to life as an animated, six-eyed monster with “razor-sharp horns” and electrified fur.

Elanco’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, states that the company believes the campaign deceives consumers with false notions about the safety of rbST, which was approved by the FDA in 1993.

"We are surprised at the response to Arla’s new “Live Unprocessed” campaign from pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and its subsidiary Elanco," said a spokesman for Arla Foods. "We believe the allegations in the suit are completely baseless and without merit, and look forward to defending ourselves in this case."

“We believe these ads intentionally frighten and mislead consumers in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage,” said Eric Graves, president, Elanco North America. “In fact, the FDA has concluded rbST poses no human health risk and requires companies to disclose that there is no significant difference between milk produced from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows if they include the ‘rbST-free’ claim on their packaging. This Arla campaign blatantly disregards the proven safety of rbST as well as the real consequences of removing this type of innovation from our US dairy industry.”

"Our campaign is about helping people understand the benefits of Arla products so that they can make well-informed choices," said an Arla spokeswoman. "All of the milk used in Arla dairy products worldwide comes from cows not treated with rbST. We believe that the simpler things are, the better they are.

“'Live Unprocessed' is a philosophy that speaks to the increasing number of people today who are looking for ways to 'unprocess' their lives. When it comes to food, people are choosing products for themselves and their families from sources they trust." 

“This is a campaign against science and innovation,” Graves said. “We will fight to protect this important technology for future generations of dairy farmers.” 

Research shows that rbST helps cows produce more milk – about a gallon more per cow per day, according to Elanco. The collective impact of this increased productivity saves 95.6 billion gallons of water, reduces land needed for dairy farms by 1,023 square miles, and eliminates 2.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses per year in the U.S., Elanco says.

“Products like rbST greatly improve farmers impact on the environment without changing the composition, quality or nutrition of the milk their cows produce,” said Mike Hutjens, professor emeritus, University of Illinois. “We should not ignore science and technology that have been proven safe and effective for the sake of marketing claims that confuse consumers.”

Source: Elanco, Arla

Weekly Cattle Market Wrap Up: Heavy weight feeders continue to head to town

Heavy weight feeders continue to move off of grazeout wheat pastures, with 36,800 head at USDA test auctions and cattle over 800 lbs. showed the biggest numbers. Prices continued to improve following last week's late rally but were more varied with lighter weight yearlings steady to $4 higher, but heavy weight cattle showed some weakness especially mid-week.

Slaughter cow receipts at USDA's 20 test auctions was 7,800 head up about 400 head. Prices were steady to 2 higher as buyers got more aggressive, partially because next week runs will be smaller because of the holiday shutdowns. Also, cow meat prices were a little over $1 higher on Wednesday compared to the previous Wednesday.

Meat Market Update | Cutout tops out, starts seasonal decline

The daily Choice box beef cutout topped out and started to decline which is normal trend as move closer to the big grilling holiday. However, the weekly Choice cutout still was $6 higher. The daily Choice Rib primal which has been the biggest driving force in the rally has also topped out but the price went from $295 at the end of February to $420 on Wednesday, May 17, showing just how important ribeye steaks are during the grilling season. Luckily, these same items are extremely important during Father’s Day grilling.