* In the state of Wisconsin there are approximately 12,500 beef producers and cattlemen and 16,900 dairy farmers. o There are approximately 800,000 ranchers and cattlemen in the United States, conducting business in all 50 states and contributing economically to nearly every county in the nation. * In 2003, Wisconsin cash receipts from livestock and livestock product marketing were $711 million. o U.S. cash receipts from livestock and livestock product marketing was forecasted to total $98.3 billion-almost half of the total forecasted for all farm cash receipts in 2004 ($202 billion). * On January 1, 2004 there were 3.35 million cattle in Wisconsin. o Beef Cows-245,000 o Dairy Cows-1,245,000 o Steers (over 500 lbs.)-350,000 o Beef cow replacement heifers-75,000 o Dairy cow replacement heifers-670,000 o Other heifers (feedlots)-75,000 o Bulls-30,000 o Calves (under 500 lbs.)-660,000 * On January 1, 2004 there were 94.9 million cattle in the United States. Nationally, that is 1.3 percent less than a year earlier and at the same level for the state! * Total beef production in Wisconsin during 2003 was 1.3 billion pounds (1.7 million head of cattle). In 2003, Wisconsin cattle averaged about 1288 pounds before harvest. The 2003 average carcass weight was 780 pounds, which translates into about 546 pounds of beef. o Total beef production in the United States during 2003 was 26.2 billion pounds (35.5 million head of cattle). In 2003, cattle averaged about 1,231 lbs. before harvest. The 2003 average carcass weight was 746 lbs., which translates into about 522 lbs. of beef. ...More
IT'S THE PITTS -- HELP IS ON THE WAY
Computers and the Internet have turned many businesses upside down and in many cases, eliminated them entirely. In this technological movement for improvement farmers seem to be ahead of ranchers.
IS "ALL NATURAL" OR "ORGANIC" A PRODUCTION OPTION?
Beef, in general is a quality, healthy product that has enjoyed a place in the world's diet for thousands of years. The world is a changing place, however, and as most of us are well aware, consumer's attitudes toward food, in general are changing.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT -- SO LONG, HERD EXPANSION
Even though it seems barely out of its infancy, national herd expansion may be coming to an end.
OPTIMIZE RESOURCES FOR BACKGROUNDING PROGRAM
Some ranchers hold their calves over as yearlings, to sell later when they are bigger, and some people buy light calves in the spring to put on grass and grow them to a larger weight. Some put weaned calves into a confinement programa drylot situation where they are fed a growing rationuntil these calves are ready to go to a finishing facility. The term backgrounding covers a broad spectrum that could also include preconditioning after weaning.
CASTRATION LESS STRESSFUL AT A YOUNG AGE
There are several ways to castrate calves and bulls. Regardless of the method, it's generally less stressful for the animal at a young age. Daniel Thomson, Kansas State University (Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology) says that castration, dehorning, branding are necessary but painful for the animal.
BRUSH PILES PROVIDE HABITATS FOR VARIOUS WILDLIFE
Wildlife enthusiasts often ask how to attract more animals to their property, and the answer is more complicated than most people realize.
WEANING CALVES BEFORE AUCTION REDUCES STRESS
Spring-born calves will soon be arriving at auction markets, but producers should consider a weaning plan that will help keep calves healthier and happier, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service beef cattle specialist in Overton.
CALVING SIMULATOR OFFERS TRAINING OPPORTUNITY
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine are offering a unique training opportunity for cattlemen who want more information on how to assist cows and heifers having difficulty calving.
MAKE FERTILITY TOP PRIORITY IN REPLACEMENT FEMALES
It's no secret that replacement heifers are some of the most valuable animals in your herd; however, value goes hand in hand with vulnerability. With recent record-high costs to develop replacement females, it may be time to consider a refresh on your replacement heifer program.
BREEDING FOR QUALITY BEEF BEST ASSURANCE FOR TOP PRICES
Cow herd owners leery of the futures market or insurance for risk management can look to quality beef for protection.
SOUND NUTRITION REDUCES DEPENDENCE ON ANTIBIOTICS
In Part 1 of this series we began a discussion of the transition process taking calves from the cow/calf sector on to the next stage of production. The initial destination may be one of several including a grazing stage, preconditioning operation, feedyard or some variation of these. In any case, the transition stage with the handling, transportation, lack of feed and water, comingling with other animals and the associated exposure to pathogens to which the calf has no immunity, all work together to create an extremely challenging situation. This commonly results in sickness in the calf, from which it may or may not fully recover. Worst-case it can result in the complete loss of the animal. All of these scenarios result in significant economic loss to the owner at whatever stage it occurs.
IT'S THE PITTS -- IN DE FENCE
I've got the scars to prove that I've spent a good chunk of my life fixing and installing fence. Those fences could be sorted one of two ways: they were either defensive or offensive fences.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- PURSED AND PINCHED
Aunt Pinky's Irish disposition was easily ruffled, but she was harder to scare than a slab of granite. That's why Hooter was extra shaken when his aunt grabbed his arm with one hand, scratched for the door handle with the other, and commanded him to stop, all at the same time.
INFORMATION IS KING WHEN MARKETING CALVES
Calving season discussion is often a heated debate among beef producers. Should I calve in the spring or the fall? Do I need to pull my bull? Is it better to be committed to selling calves at a certain time of year or should I have calves available year round? These are common questions beef producers often ask themselves, their neighbors, and the experts when trying to make management decisions. There are two key points that need to be considered when making calving season (or lack thereof decisions: management and marketing.
BLACK INK -- RETROSPECTIVE
A lot can change in 10 years. A quick glance at my family Christmas card provides proof. From a picture of an old Kansas farmhouse to today's Nebraska-based scene, where nearly half a dozen smiling faces fill the frame, transformation is obvious.
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