Cow Bid Estimator helps beef producers make better buying decisions

The Bid Price Estimator for Beef Cows has been around for years but has been updated to include important items such as cow management costs. Producers can use this tool to evaluate what they can afford to pay for a replacement cow or heifer. It also includes depreciation, financing costs, and estimate net present value. The tool is available from Texas AgriLife Extension at http://bit.ly/2o6wyvp.

Learn more about Livestock Risk Protection

Livestock Risk Protection provides protection against price declines for sheep, swine or cattle. The majority of policies are taken out for cattle. Fees range from 1% to 5% of the value of the animal and the premium must be paid at the time the policy is purchased. The purchaser must make decisions about covering the number, type and weight of livestock, coverage level, endorsement length, and ownership share. Experts recommend that producers find a reputable and experienced agent. For more information, visit http://www.rma.usda.gov/pubs/rme/lrp-feedercattle.pdf.

U.S. cattle ranchers praise Beef Caucus renewal

U.S. cattlemen have applauded the recent re-establishment of the Congressional Beef Caucus, set up to educate politicians on policy issues affecting cattle and beef producers. This bipartisan Congressional Beef Caucus will address controversial meat industry legislation. It also gives cattle industry representatives an opportunity to educate members of Congress and staff on policy issues affecting cattle producers, such as trade, taxes, federal lands, as well as the current and 2018 Farm Bill.

Florida officials expect to win screwworm fight

Florida officials expect to win the fight against screwworms. In September 2016, the screwworm fly was discovered killing small Key Deer, the first U.S. infestation in more than 30 years. Commissioner Adam Putnam reports that no wild screwworm flies have been found on the island chain since January 10. The parasitic insect once cost the U.S. livestock industry millions of dollars every year.

NCBA President testifies on cattlemen’s priorities for 2018 Farm Bill

Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, recently asked Congress to authorize $150 million a year over five years for a stronger foot-and-mouth disease (FMB) vaccine bank as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. Uden testified before the House Agriculture Committee that FMB is highly contagious, with the potential to spread widely and rapidly. An outbreak could cost American producers billions of dollars in the first 12 months alone, causing significant economic losses to livestock producers, auction markets, slaughterhouses, food processors and related industries.

Rangeland researchers urge smaller cows for better herd

Rangeland researchers in Oregon, Oklahoma and Wyoming are recommending that ranchers running beef cattle on dry, dusty landscapes should consider smaller cows to get the best out of their herd. Smaller cattle will help ranchers ease pressure on an increasingly drought-prone range. Researchers found that feed costs were lower for 100 head weighing 1,000 pounds vs. 78 head weighing 1,400 pounds. A smaller cow can produce milk more quickly because it uses less energy to maintain its body size, and is more efficient at weaning.

Eastern Oklahoma Beef Summit April 6

On April 6, the Eastern Oklahoma Beef Cattle Summit will be held in McAlester. This year’s summit will discuss maximizing the benefits of technological advances in animal agriculture. Making informed decisions is key to protecting investments in animals, feed, forage, labor and other resources according to David Cantrell, Pittsburgh County Extension director, and agricultural educator. For more information contact a local OSU Cooperative Extension county office or call 918-423-4120.

Tennessee Cattlemen’s donates funds to wildfire relief

In early March, wildfires raced through ranches in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Colorado, destroying pastures, buildings, livestock and killing loved ones. Millions of acres burned and several thousand head of livestock were killed or badly burned. The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) is offering a donation of $2,000 to each of the states with the most destruction for a total of $6,000. The affected rancher’s greatest needs are monetary donations, hay and fencing supplies. Anyone interested in making a donation may visit www.beefusa.org, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association website.

Kansas moves cattle brand registration online

Although cattle brands are not mandatory in Kansas, the state Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 75 percent of beef cattle are branded. Currently, nearly 18,000 brands are registered with the state, renewable every five years for $45. This April, the process of registering a cattle brand will go online. Ranchers will be able to create their own brand from eight “keyboards” of letters and numbers and some 84 symbols including a semi-circle, spade, heart and question mark. For more information, visit https://ks.productregistrationonline.com/activebrands.

Herds identified with TB strain previously found only in Mexico

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) was identified in three beef cows during routine slaughter inspection by USDA Food Safety Inspection Service inspectors at two Nebraska slaughter plants in February 2017. These animals had been in feedlots in Nebraska and South Dakota. National Veterinary Services Laboratory experts have determined this strain of bacteria is nearly identical to a strain of bacteria that exists in dairy cattle in Central Mexico. This strain has not been seen in the U.S. before. The investigation will likely last until late 2017.