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Spring 2013

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 2

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Angus Calves at Auction Bring Record Premiums Record-high calf prices last year spelled good news for most U.S. ranchers, but there was an extra bonus for many of them. That came in the form of record-high premiums paid for Angus calves at auction compared to non-Angus contemporaries, as reported to Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB). The database on more than 300,000 calves sold in 13,794 lots at 10 markets since 1999 is part of the company’s “Here’s the Premium” project. “Everybody who sold calves enjoyed the market response to supply and demand, but some may not have noticed the price differentials still held,” said Steve Suther, the CAB director of industry information who initiated the study. Data from nine cooperating auction markets last fall showed the all-time high Angus premium in absolute terms (see Fig. 1 on page 3 of this release).That was $5.30 per hundredweight (/cwt.) for the combination of 504-pound (lb.) heifers and 511-lb. steers sold in 660 lots. On the steer side, it was $6.20/cwt., down 8.6% from the 2008 record, but 17% above the 2006 figure. Meanwhile, the heifers set a 14-year high of $4.40/cwt. above non-Angus (Fig. 2). As always, market managers reported the winning bids on known Angusbased genetics from 450 lb. to 550 lb., noting breed type, sex, weight and price vs. non-Angus steers and heifers, keeping muscling, frame and other non-breed factors constant. They also note any preconditioning, management or sale factors. Kansas State University agriculture economist Kevin Dhuyvetter, who has analyzed the data from the start, says lots identified as weaned or vaccinated earned premiums of $7.36/cwt. compared to other lots, regardless of breed type. Premiums for Angus calves have grown in a near linear trend since 1999. Dividing those 14 years into two equal periods (Fig. 3) shows a per-head Angus steer advantage growing from $21.21 in the first seven reports to $31.40 in the four reports representing the last seven years. Angus heifers moved up from $15.05 to $19.72 per head in those same averages. “I’m not sure if there’s a replacement heifer phenomenon or simply that as prices in general have increased, the premiums associated with Angus genetics have increased in absolute terms,” Dhuyvetter says. “It does stand to reason that if people start rebuilding herds, we would see a narrowing of the steer-to-heifer spread,” he adds “If Angus calves continue to bring premiums, then Angus heifers that might be going as replacements should be gaining in value to non-Angus heifers.” People raising Angus cattle have seen ever-better maternal traits and weaning weights over those years, Suther said. “If they followed the calves’ progress through the feedlot, they saw an uptrend in their ability to gain and grade, and the carcass premium rewards are on the rise, too.” That could explain data from Superior Livestock video auctions since 2000 showing combined steer and heifer Angus premiums have dominated values by breed type for that similar span of time (see sidebar). Angus cattle show “Superior” value Data from 13 years of marketing 4.9 million cattle in 40,799 lots on the leading U.S. video auction shows a clear dominance of Angus genetics. Most of the calves sold on the video include data on breed type, which has always had an effect on sale price. In the first two years, the lowest premium above the Brahman-cross base were English and English crosses. Since 2002, the breed category with the smallest premium over those “cattle with ear” has been English-Continental crosses. In 12 of 13 years, and including 2012, the breed category with the highest premium was “Primarily Angus.” The only year it did not show the highest premium was in 2011, when it was edged out by black and black whiteface calves. Data analyst Mike King began to break out and quantify those reported breed type variables in 2000. He set strict guidelines to classify cattle, based on seller description, into one of five categories: mixed English or English crosses, EnglishContinental crosses primarily Angus black or black-whiteface and cat-

Brangus calves would fall into King’s latter category. On the other hand, a pen of mostly black English calves with less than a 90% share of black individuals only qualified as English/English crosses. Lots of black or black-whiteface calves had to be at least 90% black hided, and primarily Angus calves had to be described as at least 90% Angus by the seller. The spread showed its narrowest range ever in 2012, but primarily Angus calves sold at a premium $4.40/cwt., which was 55 cents above the black and black whiteface, and 51 cents above English and English cross premium (see line graph below).

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 4

CattleFax Projections Include Decline in Beef Supply, Rising Prices in 2013 TAMPA, Fla.– Cattlemen and women gathered at the 2013 Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show to hear CattleFax market analysts’ projections for the year ahead. Creighton University Professor Emeritus Art Douglas said that there is a chance some regions of the United States will see a return to more normal precipitation patterns during the upcoming spring and summer growing season. That was welcome news to participants, many of whom have been enduring an ongoing, multi-year drought which has affected more than 70 percent of cattle country. If precipitation returns to near-normal levels for the 2013 growing season, CattleFax predicts farmers in the U.S. will plant a record number of acres in both corn and soybeans. CattleFax Grain Market Analyst Chad Spearman told the audience that would lead to lower feed grain prices this year. “If we see anything close to trend line yields, we’ll see relief on the supply side and the result will be price relief, particularly in the second-half of 2013,” said Spearman, who added that the additional moisture will help mitigate hay prices after harvest begins this summer. “With a little help from Mother Nature, we will be in much better shape with regard to hay supply and prices during the second half of the year,” he said. Although input costs may provide relief, analyst Mike Murphy provided a note of caution, saying that a possible economic slowdown could put pressure on beef prices and demand among consumers. He projected that net income in the U.S. would be flat, with incomes struggling to keep pace with inflation. However, he predicted beef exports would continue to provide support for prices. ‘We expect to see an increase in exports, due in large part to an increase in shipments to Japan since that market recently opened to beef from cattle under 30 months of age,” said Murphy. “Imports will also be up substantially as well, due to tighter supplies in the U.S. at a time when we have strong demand for 90 percent lean trim.” Overall, CattleFax Senior Analyst Kevin Good predicted beef production in the U.S. will fall, with per-capita supply declining 2.2 percent. However, he said the decrease will be partially offset by increasing carcass weights

decline by 1 percent, due to a 1 percent decline in real income of consumers. Good said he expects that there will be a shift in leverage with the loss of packing capacity in the U.S. after the closure of a southern Plains packing plant earlier this year. “As a result of that decline in capacity, feedlots will get a smaller percentage of the wholesale value of beef,” said Good. He added that CattleFax is projecting average prices will be higher for all classes of cattle during 2013 compared to the prior year. Prices are expected to average $126 compared to $123 during 2012, an increase of 2.5 percent. Yearling prices are expected to average $155, an increase of 5 percent from the 2012 average of $147. According to Good, calf prices will average $175, up 5 percent from last year’s average of $167. “The cow-calf sector will remain in the driver’s seat during 2013, particularly if they have feed,” said Good. CattleFax CEO Randy Blach summarized the year ahead by saying it will be a difficult year for margin operators in the cattle business. He emphasized the importance of risk management due to continued volatility and rising capital requirements. Packer margins, though, should see some improvement as the result of the decline in capacity, a trend that he expects to continue. “Don’t be surprised if we see the loss of another one or two plants before we’re done with the consolidation phase,” said Blach. Likewise, he said the industry can expect cattle feeding capacity to continue its decline due to the current market situation.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or

© Copyright 2012 National Cattlemen's Beef Association, all rights reserved.

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 5

Free BQA Certification This Month for Beef and Dairy Producers Are you doing your part for the industry by getting BQA certified? Well, if you haven't, have we got a deal for you! Your checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is giving you the chance to become certified for free thanks to a partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and the Beef Cattle Institute (BCI) housed at Kansas State University. The cost of BQA certification is normally $25-$50; however, between Feb. 11, 2013 and March 15, 2013, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. will defray the cost of the certification, making it free for producers. Those interested in taking advantage of this BQA certification opportunity should start at “BQA provides cattlemen with the tools they need to produce the safe, high-quality beef while also looking at ways to make their operations more efficient and productive,” says Ryan Ruppert, senior director of BQA. BQA is the gold standard of livestock handling and animal-welfare programs, Ruppert says, and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.’s support of BQA online certification demonstrates the company’s commitment to improving the industry and telling consumers about the sound production practices most cattlemen use every day. BQA has customized programs specific to cow/calf, stocker, feedlot or dairy operations. Developed and

managed by the independent Beef Cattle Institute, these easy-to-use modules teach sound management techniques they can apply to their operation. The cattle industry has embraced BQA because it is the right thing to do, and certification is the next step to show your commitment producing the best beef possible. It also helps cattle operations tell their story to consumers who might not understand all of the safety measures cattlemen take in producing the food on the table. "We're proud to bring this certification program to more American cattlemen and dairy producers," says David Korbelik, director of cattle marketing for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. "Much like our 'Prevention Works' approach to animal health, BQA is about monitoring and making incremental improvements throughout the lifecycle to prevent disease and ensure a quality end product." Ruppurt says it is "clear that Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. is committed to helping consumers understand that beef is produced in a safe and humane manner," adding that "this partnership will help producers learn about the latest industry advancements and demonstrate the ways they continue to provide a top-quality food product.”

Show you care. Start today by visiting or For more information about your beef checkoff, visit

CONTACT US ABOUT ADVERTISING IN THE LIVESTOCK AUCTION GUIDE! This will be published quarterly and distributed to the entire Country Folks readership PLUS over 70 livestock auction barns from Maine to North Carolina.

Call or email us to reserve space in this publication. (800) 218-5586

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 6

Dairy Cow Heat Detection New University of Wisconsin research has concluded that your chances of success for detecting heat in high-producing cows is just over half the rate for average milking animals. If you routinely check for heat only once or twice per day, your success rate drops even more. Wisconsin researchers report that high-producing cows are in estrus for a shorter period of time than lower producing herdmates. A regular, frequent heat detection routine could detect standing heats more successfully. Heat detection is basic to reproductive success in artificially bred dairy herds, yet estrus detection rates have decreased in recent years. A study of southeastern U.S. Holstein herds, for example, showed heat detection rates dropped to 41.5 per cent in 1999 from 50.9 per cent in 1985. Reduced heat detection success tends to be blamed on increased herd sizes and more cows per person, as well as higher milk production per cow. Higher milk production is related to negative energy balance, which occurs when cows simply can't eat enough to replace body weight used to produce milk. Researchers have generally attributed delayed first ovulation and smaller follicle size-factors contributing to reduced fertility rates-to negative energy balance. Part of the negative relationship between fertility and high milk production may be genetic. However, the genetic component in cow fertility performance tends to be small.

This leads to the question of whether shorter estrus durations make heats more difficult to detect. Dr. Milo Wiltbank and associates in Wisconsin studied lactating dairy cows to measure duration. They used the HeatWatch system that fits cows with radio transmitters, and allows continuous monitoring and recording of mounting activity. The study monitored 267 early-lactation cows housed in a free-stall barn and milked twice daily. The HeatWatch system let researchers record number of mounts and how often they occurred. They checked ovulation by ultrasonic exam for all detected estruses. Researchers made comparisons according to lactation number, days since calving, and the amount of milk given 10 days before the day of estrus. That let them make sure the production level was linked closely to when the estrus occurred, not overall lactation milk. When the cows were grouped according to high and low production, estrus duration [standing to be mounted] was shorter for the high-production group, the researchers found. This group, averaging 46.4 kilograms of milk per day, were in estrus 6.2 hours on average, compared with the lower production group at 10.9 hours. There was a negative correlation between milk production and estrus duration. The high group had more intense mounting activity, with more mounts during the shorter time period. Still, the lower production group averaged 8.8 mounts versus 6.3 for the high-producing group.

NCBA Statement on Japan's Easing of Trade Restrictions for U.S. Beef WASHINGTON (Jan. 28, 2013) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has learned that as of Feb. 1, Japan will begin accepting beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age. The new terms and conditionsexpand market access from cattle under 20 months to cattle under 30 months. It is estimated that this change in protocol will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in additional exports of U.S. beef. “This is great news for cattlemen and women and is a significant milestone in our trading relationship with Japan,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander. “Japan is a great market for U.S. beef and we look forward to continuing to meet Japanese consumer demands. This move is an important step forward in paving the way toward greater export opportunities to one of our largest t k t ”

Through November 2012, Japan was the second largest export market for U.S. beef totaling $849 million and nearly 130,000 metric tons. Alexander added that this announcement is a shot in the arm to a market and producers facing continued drought, high input costs and increasing federal regulation. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has represented America's cattle producers since 1898, preserving the heritage and strength of the industry through education and public policy. As the largest association of cattle producers, NCBA works to create new markets and increase demand for beef. Efforts are made possible through membership contributions. To join, contact NCBA at 1-866-BEEF-USA or

© Copyright 2012 National Cattlemen's Beef Association, all rights reserved

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 7

Determining The Value Of Silage To Buyers And Sellers The shortage of forage and high grain prices have left many cattlemen searching for livestock feed, and many long white bags in a cornfield will draw questions if silage is available, and if so, what is the price. While a fair price is a function of the availability, how is that determined? Determining the price of a quantity of corn depends on its volume and quality characteristics. And that can usually be quickly determined. But determining the price of silage takes longer because of all the variables that have to be reconciled. Michigan State University Extension Specialist Craig Thomas says silage prices depend on the quality, moisture content, and the grain content per ton of silage, which are all considerations of the buyer. But he says the seller has value considerations as well as they pertain to the value of the biomass removed from the field. Thomas offers a pricing scheme for corn silage based on compensating the seller for the value of the shelled corn and comparing the silage to alternative feeds the buyer must purchase. He says negotiate a price, then adjust that price, “It is primarily based on the price of dry shelled corn, but also accounts for the seller’s cost of bringing dry shelled corn to market, the value of the stover for fertilizer, and for variation in dry matter (DM). Once an initial negotiable price has been calculated both seller and buyer should consider several non-quantifiable factors to arrive at the final price.”

Determining the grain value The grain price should be the local cash price at the time the silage was harvested. The quantity will vary depending on the environmental conditions during the growing season, and 2012 will create some problems with that determination. Research points to a total of 7.5 bushels of corn per wet ton of silage, based on a grain yield of 125 to 150 bushels per acre. Thomas says the silage should be sold on the basis of 35% dry matter content. Adjust the silage price The seller’s adjustments include several deductions that are not expenses, since the corn was not sold as grain. Those include

drying, transportation, and storage costs. Thomas says the grain yield, multiplied by the seller’s adjusted grain price is the sellers adjusted value of the silage at 35% dry matter.

Adjustments to the fertilizer value of the stover The seller is losing the value of the stover to return phosphate and potash to the soil. Those values are determined by the dry stover yield in weight, multiplied by the value of the nutrients per pound. Since the seller is losing that value, the final price of the silage should be adjusted to compensate him. Adjustment for changes in dry matter The dry matter of the silage may vary considerably due to stage of maturity of the corn and any delay in harvest, so the moisture content should be checked to determine the moisture. If the dry matter is below 35%, the wet price is reduced, and if the dry matter content is above 35% the price is increased. Thomas recommends weighing every load. Final considerations Once the negotiated and adjusted silage price of dollars per wet ton of silage is calculated, that becomes the initial negotiating point, says Thomas. He says that is the minimum price for the seller, based on his breakeven price that would have been an alternative to harvesting shelled corn. Other considerations for the seller include soil compaction at harvest time for the silage and the value of the stover to prevent soil erosion. The buyer should consider alternative feed availability based on price and nutrition. Another adjustment may also include a trade of manure application in return for the stover loss. Thomas offers a spreadsheet to help calculate the various equations. Summary: One farmer’s corn is another farmer’s silage, but determining the value to each has to include many considerations. The value of the dry matter in the silage should be determined, and then adjusted by many factors including factors both beneficial and detrimental to the seller, and factors that the buyer must

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WASDE - 515 Approved by the World Agricultural Outlook Board February 8, 2013 LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The 2013 forecast of total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month reflecting higher forecast beef, pork, broiler, and turkey production. Beef production is raised based mostly on heavier carcass weights. The beef production forecast is also raised as cow slaughter in the first quarter is expected to be relatively high. Pork production is raised as carcass weights are expected to reflect more moderate feed costs. Broiler hatchery data pointed to continued expansion of bird numbers and weights at slaughter have been increasing. Thus, the broiler production forecast is raised from

last month. Turkey production is raised slightly on hatchery data. Egg production is raised on higher producer prices and lower forecast feed prices. Estimates of 2012 meat and egg production are adjusted to reflect December data.

forecasts are unchanged from January. Beef and pork export estimates for 2012 are lowered due to slower-than-expected shipments in November. Poultry is raised based on larger-than-expected November shipments.

The beef export forecast for 2013 is unchanged as trade restrictions by Russia are offset by gains to Japan and other markets. Pork exports are lowered on trade restrictions imposed by Russia although there is expected to be some offset in higher exports to other markets. Broiler and turkey export forecasts are raised from last month on stronger demand from a number of markets. Import

Cattle, hog, and turkey prices for 2013 are unchanged from last month. Broiler and egg prices are raised on expected demand strength in 2013.

Enter the drawing by completing the information on the form below and fax or mail to:

First Name ____________ Last Name ________________ Farm Name ____________________________________ Address ________________________________________ City ________________ State ________ Zip Code ______ * Email Address __________________________________ * Business Phone ________________________________ * Cell Phone ____________________________________ * Average # of beef cattle sold per week

____ per month ____

* Average # of dairy cattle sold per week ____ per month ____

The milk production forecast for 2013 is raised. Milk cow numbers are raised as USDA’s Cattle report indicated that the number of cows on January 1 was about unchanged from 2012. Milk per cow forecasts are raised as last quarter-2012 estimates were higher than expected and lower forecast feed costs support higher milk yields in 2013. Fat-basis trade estimates for 2013 are unchanged. The skim-solids export estimate for 2013 is raised largely on expectations of stronger nonfat dry milk (NDM) shipments, but the import forecast is unchanged. Milk production estimates for 2012 are raised, reflecting end-of-year production data. Dairy trade estimates for 2012 reflect the pace of trade through November. Cheese prices are unchanged from last month, but the price range is narrowed. NDM and whey prices are raised reflecting stronger demand, but the butter price is lowered. Despite a higher whey price, the forecast Class III price is unchanged although the range is tightened. Lower butter prices are more than offset by higher NDM prices resulting in a slightly higher forecast Class IV price. The range of all milk price for 2013 is narrowed to $18.90 to $19.70 per cwt.

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 11

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 12

Bull buying, have a game plan by Dr. Scott P. Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, VA Tech Have a game plan heading into bull buying season. Evaluate the current herd sire battery for their physical and reproductive soundness, as well as the performance of their progeny. With the spring bull sales just around the corner, now is the time to spend some time planning for those new purchases. The following outline provides some coaching suggestions to establish your game plan: 1) Examine Herd Goals Herd goals serve as the foundation for sire selection and provide guidance as to traits with the most economic importance. Defining the production and marketing system, along with management strategies and environment are key factors. 2) Determine Herd Strengths and Weaknesses Basic records are necessary to identify herd strengths and weaknesses. Performance parameters such as calving percentage, weaning percentage, weaning weights, sale weights, carcass merit, feed usage, etc. are necessary to serve as the basis for assessing areas of strength and those needing attention. 3) Establish Selection Priorities Concentrate on those factors which stand to have the largest impact on profitability. Remember that income is derived from performance which in influenced by both genetics and environment/management. Focus on the handful of priority traits rather than attempting to change many traits simultaneously. 4) Utilize Selection Tools Genetic differences across breeds have been well established, and utilization of different breeds in a complimentary fashion through structured crossbreeding plans provides the opportunity for improvement in multiple traits. Most importantly, heterosis attained through crossbreeding has been shown to have significant favorable impacts on traits such as reproductive efficiency and cow longevity which are critical for herd profitability. EPDs and indexes are available for many traits of economic importance. Again, with the large number of EPDs at our disposal, the critical step is to determine the EPDs which are most important and establish benchmarks relative to each. 5) Establish Benchmarks - Several tools can be utilized to assist in the determination of EPD specifications. EPD values for current and past sires can be used as benchmarks. With these benchmarks, EPD specifications can be set to reflect desired increase, moderation or stabilization of performance for a

6) Find Source There are many sources of bulls that warrant consideration- production sales, test stations, and private treaty sales. Of critical importance is that the bull be from a reputable source and breeder which will stand behind their product. 7) Do Your Homework Closely study the sale catalog, performance pedigree, and data. On paper, determine which bulls meet the EPD and other specifications that have been established and eliminate those which do not. Stay firm to the selection criteria and qualifications/specifications that have been established. All this can and should be accomplished prior to attending a bull sale. 8) Take a Look Once the list has been narrowed to only bulls which meet the criteria, these bulls can be further evaluated and selection refined. Having a list of suitable bulls prior to arrival at the auction or farm will not only save time, but also assist in making sure the right bull for the situation is purchased. Upon narrowing the potential candidates on paper, the bulls can be evaluated for suitability of phenotypic traits and the potential candidate list shortened even further. 9) Make a Sound Investment For many cow calf producers, purchasing a new bull is a relatively infrequent occurrence. This emphasizes the importance of selecting the right bull, particularly in single sire herds. The value of the right bull cannot be underestimated. Investments in good genetics will pay dividends both short and long-term through the influence the bull has on each calf crop as well as his daughters that are retained in the herd. 10) Proper Management Lastly, proper management and nutrition are essential for the bull to perform satisfactorily during the breeding season. With most new herd sires purchased as yearling bulls- management prior to, during, and after the first breeding season is particularly important. Plan ahead by acquiring a new yearling bull at least 60 to 90 prior to the breeding season so that ample time is available to allow for adjustment to a new environment, commingling with other bulls, and getting the bull in proper breeding body condition.

For more information visit Virigina Cooperative Extension at

Source: Livestock Update, January 2013

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 13

Pasture Management and Electric Fencing Good pasture management leads to increased milk and meat production, as animals are grazing fresh, high energy, palatable pasture. Pasture management is dependent on three basic areas of animal control: 1. Control of the area to be grazed. 2. Control of the number of animals to be grazed. 3. Control of the grazing time. These three controls are fundamental to any pasture management programme.

Control of the grazing time Control of the grazing time, determines the annual production of the pasture area. It is important that the plants are not grazed down too low, as the leaves are required for the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is vital for the plant itself to grow and feed its own root system. Good root reserves are needed to provide healthy tillering and leaf growth. Pasture that is maintained at the tillering stage is young, lush, green pasture with high protein and high energy levels. Farm animals have a very acute sense of taste and smell and will only eat pasture 4-6 weeks after dung and urine have been deposited. Subdivision with high stocking density of pasture ensures animal manure is spread more evenly over the whole grazing area.

Control of the area to be grazed Control of a grazing area is achieved economically with Gallagher power fence systems, using either permanent or portable fences. Fencing allows specific areas of pasture to be grazed, while ensuring other pasture areas rest and re-grow. When a pasture is rested, the plants " tiller " or produce leafy shoots from the base of the plant. Tillering produces high quality, palatable pasture. To encourage these shoots to grow, regular but controlled grazing is required.

Control of the number of animal numbers to be grazed This control factor determines the stocking density of the grazing area. The stocking density is the number of animals in a given grazing area for a stated point of time. Stocking density determines how efficiently the available

To achieve quality pasture rotational/controlled grazing is the preferred grazing method. Rotational/controlled grazing involves grazing paddocks in rotation by shifting the power fence regularly to allow the stock an allocated ration. The stock are contained by both a front and a back fence. The back fence protects the recently-grazed area to allow it to recover so it can be grazed again at a later stage. Set stocking can also be used to successfully manage pastures, however, care must be taken to achieve the right balance between the number of animals contained in a grazing area and the length of grazing time. The grazing area or paddocks generally vary in size. Set stocking should be done for each, individual paddock. Large paddocks, can be fenced off into smaller more manageable grazing areas, with a portable power fence.

For additional resources go to: ndex html

Country Folks • February 25, 2013 Page 14

How to Improve RFID Ear Tag Retention RFID ear tag retention is one of the most important physical elements of livestock ear tags. With most livestock agencies such as The USDA, and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) retention is high priority on the scale for approving livestock ear tags, after material safety. This is the reason why only a few tag manufacturers are approved for use in livestock, versus the many other manufacturers on the market.

If tagging livestock with an applicator and you feel movement as you apply the tag to the ear, chances are retention will not be good, and that tag will eventually will get removed from the ear.

To improve tag retention there is some basic tag maintenance that should be performed before tagging livestock, such as cattle, bison, elk, deer, sheep, goats, and pigs.

• Make sure you are tagging the RFID ear tag in the correct location. • Make sure you are using the correct applicator with the ear tag. • Make sure you are using the correct backing studs that came with the RFID ear tag.

The most important tip, is to use the correct tag applicator with the ear tags you are using, also you Should be using the most current tag applicator, if the manufacturer had designed a newer version of the applicator, then you should be using the current version. If the applicator allows you to change the tips, then this should be inspected and tips changed frequently. Worn out or bent tips in the applicator, makes it difficult to tag livestock correctly and efficiently, and will decrease tag retention.

Additional Tips to Improve RFID Tag Retention: Ear-Tag-Position

Following these tips, will improve RFID tag retention, these are steps that are often overlooked. Read more: © Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID

Hydraulic Neck Bars by Moly Mfg. Lorraine, Kansas: Moly Manufacturing, Inc.’s Hydraulic Neck Bars, the Industry Standard in Head & Body Control, provide three head control options for animal comfort and control: Straight Forward, Left & Right. The Hydraulic Neck Bars can be utilized on large or small cattle, and provide increased neck access.

“They could only wiggle their ears,” says Jeff Martindale, Brewster, Nebraska. “We used the SILENCER Hydraulic

Neck Bars to re-implant 1,200 heifers. The rubber-belted neck bars held them well – yet we had plenty of neck access. I’m very pleased!” Available on all eight SILENCER Hydraulic Squeeze Chute Models, The Hydraulic Neck Bars offer Operator and Animal Safety. Visit for more information and video.

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Livestock Auction Guide 2.25.13  

Livestock Auction Guide February 25, 2013

Livestock Auction Guide 2.25.13  

Livestock Auction Guide February 25, 2013