AUDIO January Cattle on Feed Report – KTIC

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 12.0 million head on Jan. 1, 2020. The inventory was 2% above Jan. 1, 2019, USDA NASS reported on Friday.

The inventory included 7.37 million steers and steer calves, up 1% from the previous year. This group accounted for 62% of the total inventory. Heifers and heifer calves accounted for 4.59 million head, up 4% from 2019.

Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.83 million head, 3% above 2019. Net placements were 1.76 million head. During December, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 465,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 455,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 413,000 head, 800-899 pounds were 295,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 95,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 105,000 head.

Marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.83 million head, 5% above 2018.

Other disappearance totaled 67,000 head during December, 11% below 2018.

USDA Actual Average Estimate Range
On Feed Jan. 1 102% 102.2% 101.6-102.5%
Placed in December 103% 103.2% 100.5-105.3%
Marketed in December 105% 105.2% 103.9-105.8%

Jerry Stowell, Country Futures, calls the report neutral.

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Officials Dismiss Rumors of High Levels of Toxins in Dairy Products – Financial Tribune

Recent allegations spread by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting that milk in Iran is contaminated with excessive levels of aflatoxin has hurt the domestic dairy industry and further reduced per capita consumption of milk, Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, the head of Iran Food and Drug Administration, said.  
“Iran’s per capita milk consumption was already lower than the global average i.e. roughly one-fifth of the global average and has now reduced even more due to the misleading information disseminated by an official media outlet like TV,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“This is while Iran enforces milk production standards that are more stringent than those in the European countries. Such unfounded rumors have unfortunately created problems for exports by our renowned dairy brands, so much so that the Federation of Iranian Food Association had no choice but to initiate legal action against the source of this rumor.” 

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Twitter Has New Beef With Devin Nunes's Lawsuit Over Parody Cow Account – HuffPost

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New Crop, Cow-Calf Budgets Available for 202 – KTIC

Two decision-making tools created by Nebraska Extension for agricultural producers across the state have been updated for the new year.

The 2020 Nebraska crop budgets (https://cropwatch.unl.edu/budgets) and representative cow-calf budgets (https://go.unl.edu/cow-calfbudgets) are now available to provide producers with cost-of-production estimates.

Both sets of budgets are available as PDFs and Excel files, which feature tools that allow users to enter information into worksheets to calculate estimated production costs.

“Both the crop and livestock budget files are made available online so producers can download, then modify, production and expense figures to more closely match their various enterprises,” said Glennis McClure, a Nebraska Extension educator in the Department of Agricultural Economics. “Understanding enterprise cost of production in agriculture is important in product mix decision-making, pricing, marketing and financial analysis.”

The crop budgets include 82 production budgets for 15 crops produced in Nebraska, along with cost data for power, machinery and labor. They were compiled by a team led by Robert Klein, an extension crops specialist, and McClure, utilizing a template created by Roger Wilson, a retired extension farm and ranch management analyst.

There are five cow-calf budgets that offer representative herd data for different regions of the state. Background stories are included to assist producers with information relevant to each budget, which may guide producers in determining their own costs. McClure led the cow-calf budget effort, which was compiled from information gathered from producer panels that have met as part of the university’s multidisciplinary Beef Systems Initiative.

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Deputy uses stun gun to settle a beef between K9 and cow – TribLIVE

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Let those mama cows do their motherly thing – Beef Magazine

It’s possible that cow-calf producers can have a tunnel-vision focus on only the pregnant cow when calving time approaches. They hang their calf puller and chains near the calving pen and concentrate on getting that newborn calf on the ground. Questions dominate their minds. Will they be able to pull that smaller heifer’s calf? Which one will have a foot or two down in the birth canal? Will that black baldy have another backwards calf this year? 

The cows are in the nearby pen ready to be moved to the calving area no matter the hour, but they are largely ignored.

Although these worrisome questions and actions can at times be a large part of the process, progressive thinking is forcing producers to take a step back. Experts urge that to help deliver a healthy calf that will end up either at the packing plant or in the cow herd, it is important to first help the cow.

Allow the critical actions

There are critical actions that should take center stage when the pregnancy period is coming to an end. Isolation, potential assistance, birthing and establishing a bond are all precursors to that healthy weaned calf. If possible, they must be allowed and supported to offer the best opportunity for success.

Aaron Berger, University of Nebraska-Lincoln beef systems Extension educator, sees it as a complex process. “Weather conditions, the environment the cattle are in and the disposition of the cow can all contribute or take away from the success of the event.” 

He notes that many things are happening in a short period of time that can influence the situation. “Can that calf be born in a way that it gets up, nurses and receives colostrum in a timely way? And then will that cow protect the calf and get it safely to weaning?”

When the female becomes aware of the approaching delivery, isolation and nesting are a part of the natural process. Looking at the big picture, it’s important to let the mother do what mothers naturally want to do in order to kickstart things in the right direction. 

Experts see isolation as a preliminary step in forming the mother-offspring bond, as it establishes the protection of the pair from predators and facilitates early social interactions without unwanted interference. Cows become receptive to the idea of calving up to a week before the physical act. Hormones are triggered and the figurative meter is running.

“A cow that has open space on pasture can go off by herself and complete the birthing process without interruption. This should mean less stress for the cow and result in a better opportunity for bonding,” said Berger. “If she has limited space and ability to get up and move around, these are things that can contribute to the bonding process being more challenging for that cow.”

Endure the delivery process

For the micro-managing producer, it can be extremely hard to let nature take its course without reaching for that calf puller and chains. Like reading a book, it’s difficult for some to sit down and read all the pages without flipping to the ending to learn how it turns out. 

If females are given time and opportunity, the birthing process will eventually proceed. Changes in progesterone and estrogen levels initiate birthing, but rising oxytocin levels released during the physical event trigger maternal behavior.

Studies show that cervical stimulation is crucial for proper hormonal response. The fetus moving and stretching the birth canal while pushing against the cervix causes the release of oxytocin. This hormonal release combined with contractions is considered vital to the bonding process.

Berger encourages producers to give the process a real chance at succeeding as nature intended. “We have to think of the whole thing as a system that is not necessarily linear. A lot of hormones are changing in the cow with the birthing process about to take place. Minimize things that might be distractions.”

When the delivery is close, especially if the cow is lying down, maternal instinct and sensory clues provided by the calf and the birth fluids will seize the cow’s attention. “A vocal calf that is vigorous and struggling to get up encourages the cow and symbiotically the cow encourages the calf,” said Berger. “An aggressive cow and calf seem to be the scenario with the best opportunity for that calf to get colostrum in a timely way and further bonding to occur.”

Of course, location, land base, infrastructure, the environment and multiple other factors play a large role in what producers can and can’t do. Large, open ranches and confined scenarios could employ different breeding strategies on different types of cows because of the variations in human interactions.

“There is a lot of diversity in how cow-calf production occurs in North America. I think you need to have cattle that fit the environment and the resources.”

To keep the producer’s calf puller hanging on the wall where it belongs, it’s important to understand how vital the natural process of isolation, hormonal release, contractions and sensory stimuli are in producing a live and healthy newborn. If possible, let the mothers go through the process as nature intended, by experiencing all those motherly things.

Derksen is a freelance writer and feedyard pen rider in Lacombe, Alberta, Canada.

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'Climate Change Cow' to Protest 'Dairy Day at the Capitol' – PETA

As Dairy Lobbyists Target Lawmakers, PETA Will Point to Industry’s Role in the Climate Crisis

For Immediate Release:
January 20, 2020

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – Holding a sign proclaiming, “Go Vegan or We All Die,” PETA’s “climate change cow” will greet lawmakers as they arrive for the Dairy Business Association’s “Dairy Day at the Capitol” lobbying event on Tuesday.

The “cow” will point out that eliminating meat and dairy is the most efficient way to combat the climate crisis, whose effects are already being felt in environmental catastrophes such as historic droughts, floods, and wildfires, including the ones in California and Australia.

“The dairy industry is spewing out contaminants that are heating up the Earth and causing near-apocalyptic weather, not to mention treating gentle cows as milk machines until their bodies give out,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “In the face of the climate crisis, PETA is calling on everyone to choose vegan milks, yogurts, and cheeses—for the whole planet’s sake.”

According to the United Nations, animal agriculture alone is responsible for nearly one-fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions.  A recent analysis concluded that cutting dairy milk consumption by 60% in Western countries is essential to reduce disastrous climate change.

Where:           Wisconsin Capitol Building, Rm. 412, 2 E. Main St., Madison

When:            Tuesday, January 21, 10 a.m.

Protesters will also attend the event’s reception and fundraiser:

Where:           The Rigby, 119 E. Main St., Madison

When:            Tuesday, January 21, 4:30 p.m.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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