Multi-pasture system could cut nitrogen and hay costs

To survive the rapidly inflating fertilizer and fuel costs impacting the cow/calf business, livestock producers must change the way they manage pastures, says Gerald Evers, Texas AgriLife Research forage management scientist.

One change that could help livestock producers reduce inputs and make the most of their resources is to develop a three-pasture grazing system, Evers suggests.

Many producers use a multiple-pasture system already, but two-pasture systems based on warm-season grasses are probably more common in East Texas, he said. In a two-pasture system, one area is grazed most of the year and another reserved for at least part of the year for growing hay.

The main disadvantage of the two-pasture system is the calves are usually born in spring and are sold in the fall, a time when calf prices are usually at their lowest.

A two-pasture system also requires hay for an extended winter feeding program, an expensive proposition whether the hay is bought or harvested on the farm. And it doesn't take advantage of getting free nitrogen from cool-season legumes, Evers said.

"Things have changed. No one likes change, but high fertilizer prices require that we change," says Evers, who is based at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

Nitrogen fertilizers continue to skyrocket because natural gas is used to produce them. An increasing percentage of nitrogen fertilizer is being imported from other countries. Prices of other nutrients, such as phosphorous, potassium and sulfur also are rising rapidly because of increased transportation costs and higher world demand.

In much of Texas, livestock operations are anchored on improved forage grasses that under most management systems require the yearly application of nitrogen and other nutrients. However, the cost of fertilizer has made such conventional soil fertility programs economically impractical, Evers said.

But by understanding how different pasture management systems work, producers can stretch their fertilizer dollars and lengthen the grazing period by months to reduce reliance on hay, yet maintain livestock nutrition, he said.

One example of a multiple pasture system would use three pastures, consisting of a hay meadow (about 40 percent of open pasture), a pasture to be over-seeded with ryegrass-clover (also about 40 percent of open pasture), and a third pasture used for feeding hay and calving (about 20 percent of open pasture), Evers said.

"The hay meadow should never be over-seeded with annual ryegrass since ryegrass grows through May and delays spring growth of the warm-season perennial grass," Evers says "This results in the loss of the early hay cutting when warm-season grass growth and nutritive value are the highest."

Fertilizer, based on a soil test, should be applied when daily low temperatures stay above 60 degrees. Typically, only one or two hay cuttings will be needed. The hay meadow can be grazed until mid-September. Any growth should be removed by grazing or a hay harvest in mid-September and fertilized with about 60 pounds per acre of nitrogen to produce a standing hay crop, Evers said.

“Standing hay” means that instead of harvesting fall growth as hay, the grass is harvested with cows by grazing when hay feeding would normally begin, Evers said. Though the energy and protein levels may be low, it is sufficient for cows not nursing.

The pasture to be overseeded with ryegrass and clover can have any type of summer grass on it, he said. It is critical to select a clover that is adapted to the soil type and has the potential to reseed so it does not have to be replanted each fall. According to Evers:

– Grazing can begin about six weeks before Bermuda grass or bahia grass is ready in the spring, which will further reduce the winter feeding period.

– Clover will use nitrogen from the air and reduce nitrogen fertilizer needs.

– Ryegrass and clover have a higher nutritive value than summer grasses. Higher nutrition means better animal performance. Cows need to calve in January and February to obtain the greatest benefit from the ryegrass and clover.

Both the hay meadow and the overseeded pasture may be subdivided to allow rotational grazing, Evers said.

The success of this system is dependent on fall rainfall to grow a fall standing hay crop and get ryegrass and clover established. It is important to have a hay barn of some type to store excess hay for use when a fall drought occurs, Evers said.
More information can be found in "Forage Systems to Reduce the Winter Feeding Period," an article by Evers which can be found online at http://overton.tamu.edu/ForageSystems.pdf.

Finding a great “cow dog”

Dogs have long been a part of ranch life – some simply as companions, but many in the role as trained stock dogs that are working partners. When in their element, doing what they have been bred and trained to do, these ranch dogs are amazing to watch as they round up the herd or get a few strays back where they belong.

To learn more about ranch dogs, Wilton, California dog breeder and trainer Bret Venable, shares a few of his tips in finding the right dog for you and your ranch.

Like many people, Venable’s introduction to stock dogs came from growing up around cattle ranching where there is always a need to handle livestock. He recalls, “There always seemed to be dogs of some sort around when we had a job to do. Some were quite a bit of help, but many were just in the way.”

Early on, Venable also noted that some people were handier with their dogs than others, but he says, “For the most part, if a dog worked well for someone it just seemed to be a lucky fit.”

He explains, saying, “What I mean is the way each wanted to handle livestock just happened to complement the style of the other.”

Venable’s intuitive understanding of dogs and their handlers sparked a lifelong interest in working stock dogs. He says, “I always wanted to have a really great working dog.”

When asked what makes a good stock dog, he says, “A good stock dog is one that can accomplish whatever job it is required to do efficiently and effectively.”

As you might guess the possibilities are limitless. Venable adds that one person may need a dog to drive dairy cattle up a lane way. Another may need a dog to gather goats from a pasture and cattle off of a mountain lease. He says, “Different dogs are suitable for different jobs. Some dogs are very limited in their ability to change duties. Others can do almost anything. To try to include everything that goes into making a good stock dog would be hard to fit in a large book much less an article.”

That said, Venable says a good all-around stock dog that is capable of a variety of different types of work will have some combination of each of the following characteristics: confidence, dedication to work, stock sense, ability to take pain or discomfort in stride, ability to be forceful when necessary, and mentally capable of high levels of association in relation to the work it will be required to do (which is a form of intelligence). He concludes, “These characteristics when coupled with the proper guidance and/or training will make a good stock dog.”

Regarding what specific dog breeds he would recommend, Venable also says that depends on several factors. He says, “The breed or type of stock dog I would recommend is dependent on the work it would be required to do and the person who would be working it.”

However, he does suggest that folks who are serious about having a trained stock dog should purchase one bred for specific genetic traits. He says, “It is always better to get a dog that was born with all the basic tools to do the stock work you want him to do. A dog like this will be able to do that job with minimal input from you. It is possible in some cases to train dogs for handling stock a certain way when it is not natural for them to do so. However, this dog will always require more input from the handler while trying to do this work, and he will lack the potential to be as good as the dog that has the natural ability.”

Listening to Instincts
From his experience and observations, Venable says a common mistake he sees people make with their stock dogs is not realizing how big of a role instinct plays in the actions of their dog.

Of this he says, “Consequently, they do not end up with a dog whose natural instincts drive it to respond to things like working livestock in the same way the person wants it done. This causes constant friction between dog and handler as neither is ever able to have things go the way they want.”

Venable concludes, “I feel like one of the most important things that I continue to learn, and that every dog I have been around up to this point has contributed to, is my ability to see things from the dog’s point of view; and then, being able to convey what I need from him in a way that he can understand.”

For more information about stockdogs, visit:
Tony McCallum’s website with information and DVD’s;
Stockmanship.com, where well-known low-stress animal handling advocate Bud Williams shares his comments on training stockdogs;
intermountainstockdog.com, a list of upcoming dog trials in the West.

Love your dogs as much as these poets do? Read more on our poetry page:
Slabside, Jess and Old Dog Shep
Ol’ Bax

Monitor water quality for cattle health, performance

Rains in early 2008 have resulted in green pastures and full ponds for many cattle producers. This could ease your worries about water supplies for the summer, but will you have enough good quality water to get through the year? Early summer is the time to have your livestock water sources tested to be sure.

Water is the most important nutrient for livestock. Water is needed for all metabolic processes essential for life, growth and reproduction. The quantity of water that animals consume is affected by many factors including growth, pregnancy, lactation, activity, diet composition, feed intake and environmental temperature. The quality of water offered can also affect consumption and performance.

Providing limited access points to ponds is one way to improve water quality for livestock as well as wildlife and fisheries.

Many producers rely on wells and surface waters such as ponds and streams to provide water for livestock, but these sources can be contaminated by many pollutants within the watershed. Nitrates, bacteria, organic material and suspended solids are common sources of pollution. Additional factors that affect water quality and consumption are salinity, sulfates and mineral concentrations. If cattle are allowed to stand in water sources, fecal and urine contamination will decrease water quality and can spread diseases. In addition, allowing cattle unlimited access to ponds will usually result in suspension of sediments that can decrease water quality and consumption.

Fencing off ponds to provide limited access points or gravity-fed water troughs can decrease fecal contamination and prevent cattle from stirring up sediments. Wells should be protected from contaminants by sealing around the wellhead with a concrete pad and locating the well at least 150 to 300 feet from livestock working facilities, lagoons, septic tanks and manure stockpiles. In addition, pasture management can greatly impact water quality. Poor forage stands within a watershed can contribute to erosion and nutrient transport resulting in decreased water quality. Careful consideration should be taken when applying fertilizers, manure, herbicides and pesticides.

Testing your livestock water sources is the only way to know if they are acceptable for livestock use. All water sources should be tested annually at the beginning of the summer to identify potential problems and to assess the quality of each source. If a water source is tested and determined to be marginal, a management plan should be developed to utilize the forages associated with these sources before the water becomes health- and performance-threatening. In addition, you can be prepared for potential water quality problems that can easily arise throughout hot, dry periods due to evaporation and use. As always, the sooner problems are identified, the easier they are to manage, even if this means you have to provide a new water source.

Questionable water sources, including ponds that have decreased in size, sources that may have been contaminated and any that were marginal at the beginning of the summer, should be tested again as supplies become limited. Periods of hot, dry weather can concentrate dissolved contaminants through evaporation, leaving water that may be unacceptable for livestock use.

Livestock should be provided with free-choice access to clean, quality water at all times. Water quality is often overlooked, even though research is clear that growth and reproductive performance is decreased when certain components of water quality reach threshold levels. Poor water quality also affects consumption, which may limit feed intake and animal health. Contact a livestock consultant at the Noble Foundation or your local extension agent for additional information about livestock water testing.

Read more on Cattle health on our Health Archive OR
Search our archives for more articles on Water Quality

Be aware of rain effects on hay

The rain during the early summer of 2008 has been wonderful for the recovery of drought-damaged pastures, plant growth and replenishment of moisture in the soil profile, but has hurt hay production. When plants are cut for hay, they do not immediately die. As long as moisture is above 40 percent, they will continue to respire - exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide - a process that burns energy. In a study at Texas A&M Overton Research Station, Coastal bermudagrass went from 11.1 percent crude protein (CP) and 51.6 percent total digestible nutrients (TDN) to 8.9 percent CP and 42 percent TDN at baling after two days of drying.

When drying conditions are poor, the period of time that plants can continue to respire after cutting is extended. This can lead to even greater losses in quality and a loss in dry matter.

The timing of when rainfall occurs after cutting will also influence quality. If rain occurs immediately after cutting, the plant cells are still relatively turgid, or firm, from retained water, and, though some losses will occur, little moisture will enter the cells and leach the water-soluble cell contents. If plants have been drying a couple of days and then are rained on, plant cells will re-absorb moisture and greater leaching of cell contents will occur. In addition, drying will make plants somewhat brittle. If hard pounding rains occur, leaves can be broken off, which will also lead to dry matter losses and a drop in quality.

Sometimes, rain will not reduce hay quality significantly if the hay has adequate time to dry and cure prior to baling. The only way to know for sure, though, is to test the hay. This simple task is even more important this year. If, however, moisture was an issue at the time of baling, pulling a test immediately may not be as accurate as waiting to test after the bale has gone through any changes due to moisture.

In the rush to get hay baled in between rains this year, some hay may have been baled with extra moisture. The effects we see in the windrow can occur in the bales packaged at greater than 20 percent moisture levels. At these moisture levels, there will be an increase in mold, which leads to animal refusal and increased dry matter losses. If mold has occurred, it is also a sign that a drop in energy has taken place as the sugars (energy) in the hay have been used to fuel the growth of the microbial population. In extreme cases, temperatures can rise in a bale to the point that a portion of the protein becomes bound to the fiber fraction of the plant cell and is essentially unavailable to the animal consuming it.

Storage of bales is also critical, as anything that can be done to reduce the amount of degradation or spoilage of the hay is beneficial to the cow and to the bottom line of a beef operation. In a 66-inch-diameter round bale, 59.5 percent of the total quantity is in the first 12 inches. Round bales that are stored outside typically show discoloration and some degree of degradation at least 6 to 7 inches into the bale.

High moisture bales tend not to store very well as they undergo heating, and dry matter losses occur. These bales will lose their shape, making them more vulnerable to damage from subsequent rain because they will not effectively shed water. Using net wrap or covering bales with a tarp will help shed moisture off the tops of the bales and reduce chances of additional damage.

Take additional precautions with hay that is exposed to the elements, as unstacked bales stored outside and in direct contact with the ground will suffer the highest degree of degradation. Placing round bales in well-drained storage areas in a north-south orientation with at least 3 feet between rows and bales placed end to end within rows will allow air and sunlight to pull moisture from the bales. Placing round bales on some type of barrier, ideally either gravel or pallets, between the ground and bale will decrease the wicking of moisture from the ground into the bottom of the bale.

Ultimately, storing hay inside a barn greatly reduces hay losses. Storing high-moisture hay in a barn still comes with some risk. If high-moisture bales are stored inside and their internal temperatures exceed 170°F, fire can occur. To reduce the risk of fire, temperatures of high- moisture bales that are stored inside should be monitored for at least 15 to 20 days.

Read more articles like this in our Pasture and Range archive

Avoid these common ATV mistakes

There are a number of reasons why many ATV riders fail to make safety their No. 1 priority, here, Ohio State University Extension, points out some of the common rider mistakes:

The perception that ATVs are not dangerous. ATVs are often thought of as toys. Or, at the very least, thought of as being no more dangerous than, say, a riding lawnmower.

The misconception that the long seat is designed for more than one rider. ATVs should only have one person on them. The long seat is designed that way so riders can shift their weight when going up or down hilly terrain.

The idea that ATVs are safe to ride on pavement. ATVs should never be ridden on pavement. The design of the ATV is such that it doesn’t turn like you normally expect, or in some cases not at all, on paved surfaces.

The idea that ATVs are “one size fits all.” According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 30% of all injuries and deaths occur in youth under 16, and riding the wrong ATV is a contributing factor. A small rider on a full-size ATV, even if all other precautions are taken, can be just as dangerous as not following safety guidelines. Would you allow someone to drive a car if he or she can’t reach the pedals?

Read more ATV product news and reviews on Farm Industry News

Beef

ALAN JACKSON TO HEADLINE ALLTECH FESTIVAL

Countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games begins

Alltech, a global leader in animal nutrition is pleased to announce Grammy award winning country music artist Alan Jackson as the headlining act for the 2008 Alltech Festival. The “GOOD TIME” tour will roll into Applebee’s Park in Lexington, Kentucky on July 30th. The Alltech Festival will continue throughout the year at various locations around the state, stretching, literally, from Pikeville to Paducah.

Jackson’s special ability to connect with fans everywhere has made him a three-time CMA Entertainment of the Year. He is one of the most compelling performers/songwriters in country music, selling more than 49 million albums. He has penned 22 of his 32 #1 records, and is the most nominated artist in CMA history. He topped the album charts not once, but twice, in 2006, with the success of Precious Memories and Like Red on a Rose.

GOOD TIME, his newest effort, debuted at #l on the pop and country charts when it was released earlier this week. The first single from the album, Small Town Southern Man, was a #l single. “Good Time”, the current single, is headed toward #l and the video for the song has sparked a renewed interest in line dancing. At Jacksons’ shows, audiences are spontaneously breaking in to dance when he plays the song.

“We are pleased to have Alan Jackson headline the 2008 Alltech Festival. His success as an artist is legendary and given Alltech’s success in working with the American farmer, and farmers the world over, I couldn’t think of a better fit,” said Alltech president and founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons. “As I toured the state last fall, I realized we needed something above and beyond the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, something to bring the state together, and something for which everyone could be excited. Music is the great communicator, and we believe this one-of-a-kind entertainment festival will put Kentucky on the map.””

“We are delighted to host Alan Jackson as the inaugural concert of the Alltech Festival on July 30th,” said Alan Stein, chief operating officer of Ivy Walls Management, parent company to the Lexington Legends. “We hope this is just the first of many Alltech Festival events that Applebee’s Park will host as we move toward 2010.”

The Alltech Festival will be an annual event, culminating with a “fortnight” of live music held in conjunction with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010. For more information, please visit www.alltechfestival.com.

The Alltech Festival concept originated shortly after Alltech announced their title sponsorship of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech, came up with the idea after a tour of the state to promote Alltech’s rural community biorefinery concept, which has since been awarded a $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Alltech had been looking for a legacy event that would build up to and continue beyond the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

# # #

Alan Jackson Publicity Contact:

Diana Baron

Diana@dbaronmedia.com

Alltech Festival Media Contact:

Billy Frey

bfrey@alltech.com

What To Do In This Negative Business Environment

This week, I received a phone call from a bright young lady preparing a speech for an upcoming national heifer show and competition. Her speech centered on the impacts of rising energy and corn prices. One of the questions she asked me was, with there being no indication of any reprieve on the corn- or energy-price fronts, is what should a cow-calf producer do in the short term to deal with this negative business environment?

It’s a great question, and I’d love to hear what all you readers are doing differently in your operations to combat this. I think that in the long term, we’ll liquidate cows and, as we decrease the size of our industry, prices will stabilize and a new equilibrium will be established. The future, in fact, looks extremely bright, but we know that margins will narrow in the short term.

Previously I’ve advised doing everything possible to lower costs and ensure that you’re one of the low-cost producers; to place even more importance on having cows harvest their own forage; and to adjust management schemes to minimize the amount of harvested feed that’s fed. I’ve also mentioned that, in times of narrow or negative margins, putting more emphasis on marketing of one's cattle makes sense.

Since most of the rise in commodity prices can be attributed to speculation, poor fiscal and monetary policies, and decisions that have been made on our behalf in Washington, D.C., it also makes sense to ensure your voice is heard in the halls of Congress. After all, that’s where the problem was created, and likely from where the fix will come.

The good news is that fed-cattle prices will rise. This week, we saw the October live fed-cattle contract trading above $110/cwt. That’s a price level never before seen on the fed cattle side.

Incidentally, VeraSun Energy announced this week a delaying in the opening of its new ethanol plant in Welcome, MN. This is significant, as the plant was near completion. The move signals just how tight margins are becoming for the ethanol industry with corn prices rising above the $7/bu. level.

Interestingly, corn prices aside, one of the biggest problems for ethanol plants is the higher cost of energy, which have hurt these plants’ margins. In fact, ethanol production is expected to fall short of the 10-billion-gal. estimate for the year, as industry losses force curtailed production.

So Is The Economy Really That Bad? Indicators Say “No”

Droughts, floods, seemingly uncontrollable market factors – I'll be the first to admit it’s easy to get pessimistic from time to time. But the trouble with pessimism is it works. The law of the self-fulfilling prophecy is a universal constant that’s too powerful to ignore.

There’s currently a largely unfounded wave of pessimism in this country. Much has been written about why consumer confidence is at a 30-year low, but the economic indicators are nowhere near anything approaching the other times when consumer confidence faltered.

Some of the arguments that seem to make sense to me is that while the economy hasn’t actually even entered a recession and the overall economy has remained fairly strong, the segments that have taken a hit have had a direct impact on a lot of people. For instance, the decrease in housing values affects a lot of people; so does the soaring price of energy and food.

The actual statistics say we haven't even approached the numbers of the 1990 and 2001 recessions. In 1980, consumer confidence levels were comparatively as low, but the unemployment rate was 7.5% and inflation was at 14.4%. Today, those numbers are a respectable 5.5% and 4.2%.

But the important thing to remember is that, despite what the economic indicators say, consumer confidence is the most important number. If consumers believe things are getting worse, they won’t spend and then things get worse.

In fact, there’s similarity between the national mood and that of the U.S. cattle industry. U.S. cattlemen are enjoying near-record prices, strong demand, and mind-boggling prospects for demand growth globally. Our product is higher quality and more consistent than it was a few years ago, and the tools to make it even better are there.

But the longest cattle cycle in history has also occurred because of a lot of weather disruptions, droughts, and now excess moisture. Input costs have exploded, and the industry has suffered a string of defeats –the new farm bill and global marketplace challenges, to name a few.

As a country, and as an industry, it’s good to sit down and identify our greatest threats and weaknesses. But we have the choice of dwelling on those weaknesses or setting out to take advantage of the opportunities with our strengths.

One of my mentors describes his philosophy very simply – he wakes up each morning and answers two questions. The first is: What is the greatest opportunity I can pursue today? The second is: What must I pursue today? He then makes sure he spends 50% of his time pursuing that day’s great opportunity, and the rest performing day-to-day tasks.

He admits he doesn't always spend that much time pursuing opportunities, but the exercise keeps him focused on identifying and pursuing them, rather than dealing with the multitude of challenges that arise. It is that nuanced difference in perspective that makes a quantum difference in actual outcomes.

Beef

IGENITY® Now Offers a Combination RFID Tag, Tissue Collection Device

Producers can now take advantage of two technologies in one simple-to-use device.

DULUTH, GA — June 19, 2008 — Merial announces today the introduction of a combination radio frequency identification (RFID) tag and tissue collection device for use with the IGENITY® profile. Producers can now collect a tissue sample needed for the comprehensive IGENITY profile and apply an RFID tag in one simple and efficient step.

“As the leader in DNA technology, IGENITY is committed to making the power of DNA more convenient and profitable for producers,” says Dr. Stewart Bauck, Executive Director of Strategic Marketing, IGENITY. “The new RFID tag with the IGENITY tissue collection device creates efficiencies and opens up new management and profit opportunities for our customers.”

RFID tags are becoming an increasingly essential, and in some states a mandatory, tool for cattle producers. They are instrumental for participation in source and age verification programs, export markets and more.

“The RFID tags available from IGENITY are eligible for use with many U.S. government and source- and age-verification programs,” Dr. Bauck says. “Therefore, they can be used to add value to calves and qualify them for premiums that, according to Cattle-Fax, can bring an average premium of $22 per head.”1

He adds that combining RFID technology with the most comprehensive DNA profile available is a common-sense move.

“The new RFID tags provide our customers with a convenient, streamlined way to gather inside information and easily pass it — in addition to source and age verification, vaccination history and other valuable data — on to buyers,” Dr. Bauck says.

The RFID tag from IGENITY can be read with any standard RFID reader. Producers can use the tag to attach a valuable data set, including the comprehensive IGENITY profile, to a specific animal. The IGENITY profile provides multiple-marker analyses of economically important traits, such as tenderness, marbling, quality grade, yield grade, hot carcass weight, fat thickness, ribeye area, heifer pregnancy rate, stayability (longevity), calving ease, docility, coat color, breed-specific horned/polled, multisire parentage and an optional diagnostic test for persistent infections (PI) of the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus — all from a single tissue sample.

“With IGENITY, producers can get inside information about more than a dozen traits — all in one easy-to-use report,” Dr. Bauck says. “Producers also can take advantage of the optional diagnostic BVD-PI test and parentage option for even greater value and convenience.”

Information from the IGENITY profile can be used to help make more confident selection, management and marketing decisions about cattle at every stage of production. Producers can use it to help sort feeder calves or to choose the best replacement heifers. They also can use the information as a marketing tool, providing valuable inside information to buyers.

Dr. Bauck says this addition is one more reason producers should use a comprehensive profile from a company that is working to make their business more efficient.

“Producing a consistent, quality and traceable product is becoming more and more important in the global beef market,” Dr. Bauck says. “By combining two technologies that are key to attaining these goals, we are making it easier for our customers to stay competitive and profitable in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

Standard IGENITY tissue collection devices are still available. For more information, contact your IGENITY Sales Representative, call 1-877-IGENITY or visit www.IGENITY.com.

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs more than 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.

-end-

1Cattle-Fax update. May 16, 2008. Issue 20.

®IGENITY is a registered trademark of Merial.

©2008 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. LAGEIGB827

Merial

3239 Satellite Blvd.

Duluth, GA 30096

www.merial.com

CONTACT:

Natasha Joseph

Merial

(678) 638-3681

natasha.joseph@merial.com

Wendy Mayo

Bader Rutter & Assoc.

(402) 434-5307

wmayo@bader-rutter.com

Beef

U.S. Armed Forces Orders 85 Bobcat S330 Loaders and Attachment Packages

(WEST FARGO, N.D. — June 2008) The Bobcat Government Sales Department in West Fargo has secured an order with the U.S. Armed Forces Contracting Division for 85 Bobcat S330 skid-steer loaders and attachment packages. The order was handled through a strategic partnership with Kipper Tool.

Mike Melroe, Government Sales Manager, says the machines are being staged in Lisbon, N.D., where they’re being prepared for delivery to U.S. military units in Afghanistan. Some of the machines could be sent overseas as soon as next week. “Twenty-five of them are considered a high-priority requirement,” Melroe says. “They will be put on planes. The remaining 60 will be sent on ships.”

The attachment package includes a trencher, snow v-blades, pallet fork and frame and bucket for each of the 85 loaders. According to Melroe, the loaders and attachment packages will be used by U.S. military units based in Afghanistan. "These machines will be used as a force multiplier, making individual soldiers more productive," Melroe says. “The loaders they ordered all come equipped with the top-of-the-line option package. These loaders will be ready to perform in any climate.”

The S330s are a step up from the Army's previous orders. “That is in line with an overall trend of people wanting compact equipment with more capabilities, which translates to larger machines,” Melroe says. “Typically, the Army has bought Bobcat S150s. They’re stepping up their requirements as well. They realize that their compact loaders do more than they anticipate, so they’re getting larger compact equipment with even more capabilities.”

Fifty years ago, Bobcat Company unleashed a way to work better, smarter, faster. During 2008, the company is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bobcat compact equipment, which began with the Melroe Self-Propelled Loader — a three-wheeled front-end loader — in 1958. That machine evolved into the Bobcat skid-steer loader and spawned the worldwide compact equipment industry. Today, Bobcat continues to lead the world in the design, manufacture and distribution of compact equipment.

Bobcat Company, headquartered in West Fargo, N.D., is part of Doosan Infracore International (DII), a U.S.-based subsidiary of Doosan Infracore, a global manufacturer of construction equipment.

For additional information about Bobcat Company, its products and services, point your Web browser to www.bobcat.com/our_company/media_center. Bobcat® and the Bobcat logo are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries.

©2008 Bobcat Company. All Rights Reserved.

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