Informed Consumers Won’t Pay More For ‘Natural’

By: Greg Henderson

Consumers are willing to pay more for steak labeled “natural,” unless they know the definition of “natural.”

Researchers at Arizona State University asked 663 beef eaters about their willingness to pay for steak labeled with different attributes: natural, grass-fed or corn-fed, fed without genetically modified feed and produced without growth hormones or antibiotics. Half of the participants were provided with the definition of natural and half were not. Continue reading

FDA: Antibiotic Sales Drop 10% for Livestock in 2016

By Wyatt Bechtel, Drovers

Antibiotic sales for use in livestock has dropped according to a report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Dec. 7, FDA released a summary report for 2016 on “Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food Producing Animals.” A key finding in the report was antibiotic sales and distribution in the U.S. dropped 10% from 2015 to 2016 for food producing animals. Continue reading

Livestock Haulers Get Waiver from ELDs Regulation

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted drivers who haul livestock a 90-day waiver from a regulation that could have negative effects on animal well-being, a move hailed by the National Pork Producers Council and other livestock organizations.

NPPC requested on behalf of the U.S. pork industry and other livestock sectors a waiver from a requirement that certain drivers install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on their trucks. The organization also asked for an exemption from the regulation, citing the incompatibility between transporting livestock and DOT’s Hours of Service rules. Those regulations limit truckers to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes nondriving time. Continue reading

Now is the Time to Evaluate Body Condition

By: Jason Smith, University Of Tennessee, November 16, 2017 02:00 PM

Evaluating body condition has played a role in beef cow/calf systems for as long as they have existed – even long before the 1 to 9 scale was created.  Nonetheless, it continues to be an important and impactful part of a cattlemen’s or cattlewoman’s tool belt.  However it is a tool that is not used nearly as often as it should be.  The universal method of evaluating body condition involves visually evaluating the animal, and assigning a body condition score (BCS) that reflects the animal’s current state of condition. Continue reading

Delay Sought for Reporting Farm Air Emissions

With a Nov. 15 deadline looming, the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association today filed a brief in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to delay a mandate that farmers report certain air emissions from manure on their farms.

In April, a federal court, ruling on a lawsuit brought by environmental activist groups against EPA, rejected an exemption for farms from reporting “hazardous” emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). CERCLA mainly is used to clean hazardous waste sites but has a federal reporting component, while EPCRA requires entities to report on the storage, use and release of hazardous substances to state and local governments, including first responders. Continue reading

The Definition of Insanity

By: John F. Grimes, OSU Extension Beef Coordinator

From last week’s Ohio Beef Cattle Letter

At some point in time, you have probably seen in print or heard in conversations the title I am using in my article this issue. The phrase typically goes something like this: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” While you may not find this definition of insanity in a Webster’s dictionary, I have found this “real-world” definition of insanity to be very accurate. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the “real-world” definition can be easily found in today’s beef industry.

The beef industry has experienced a significant amount of economic volatility throughout the current decade. Continue reading

Chute Side Vaccine Management Tips

By Taylor Grussing, South Dakota State University Extension

“Shoot, I messed up the vaccines.” If these words have ever been uttered while processing cows and calves, it may be time for implementation of some simple chute side organization tips. A good vaccination program is only as good as the techniques used in each step of administration. 70% of beef operations administer vaccines to cows and calves at least one time every 12 months (NAHMS). With many dollars being invested in vaccines and herd health each year, it’s important to make sure the vaccines are taken care of, as well as administered correctly to get the most bang for your buck.

Here are some quick, easy tips to simplify the process and stay organized chute side during the fall processing. Continue reading

New Packing Plants Mean New Opportunities for the Pork Industry

By Garth Ruff, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator with The Ohio State University Extension in Henry County.

Previously printed in Defiance Crescent-News

This past September was a monumental month for the US pork industry as two major pork packing plants opened their doors for business. With the opening of the Triumph-Seaboard facility in Iowa and the Clemens Food Group plant in Coldwater, Michigan the industry has added more harvest capacity in the just the past month than it has ever added in a given years’ time. Continue reading