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MAY 2016


GET YOURS Details Inside

Stewardship and You The Dirt on Water Quality What’s Really in Your Soil?

SPRINGFIELD, MO Permit #96 P O Box 634 Carthage, MO 64836



Best of the Best Calf Roping May 30 Details Inside MAY 2016



MAY 2016

Field Representatives

VIEW FROM THE BLOCK The market just can’t seem to get any momentum and that’s causing prices to trend lower. Not only are we in a spring market, but we’re also seeing the orders fill for grazing cattle. Most of the calves that are hitting the market are new crop and aren’t weaned. Those calves are carrying a lot of flesh, and they’re a different type of calf than what has been selling through the winter. All of that combines to put a lot of pressure on the market. Long-term projection for the market is down. That’s just the way it is. It may not go straight down, but rather bounce around a little. Historically, our June valueadded sale is a really good market. Feeder calves have lost about $30 per hundred in the last three weeks. If you haven’t sold your calves prior to now, I’d suggest you wean them by May 10 and target them for our June value-added sale. That will put those

calves out into a little different market and add some value to them. While the market isn’t as wild as it was a year ago, there is still some value in weaning and preconditioning those calves. We’ll be hosting the ShowMe-Select Replacement Heifer Sale on May 20 and the market is still strong for good, young females. However, we do need a rain. I think the expectation of getting $3,000 a head for them is a little overboard. We’ll probably see prices somewhere around $1,800 to $2,200, which is right in line with the current market. Plan to join us May 30 for The Best of the Best Calf Roping. It’ll be a great time with some of the world’s best calf ropers, and we’re raising money for a good cause. Hope to see you there! Good luck and God bless.


Bailey Moore: Granby, MO M(417)540-4343

Skyler Moore: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)737-2615

ARKANSAS Dolf Marrs: Hindsville, AR H(479)789-2798, M(479)790-2697

MISSOURI Dan Haase: Pierce City, MO M(417)476-2132

Billy Ray Mainer: Branch, AR M(479)518-6931

Jim Hacker: Bolivar, MO H(417)326-2905, M(417)328-8905

Jr. Smith: Melbourne, AR M(870-373-1150

Bruce Hall: Mount Vernon, MO H(417)466-7334, M(417)466-5170

Kent Swinney: Gentry, AR H(479)736-4621, M(479)524-7024

Mark Harmon: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)316-0101

KANSAS Chris Martin (Video Rep): Alma, KS M(785)499-3011

Bryon Haskins: Lamar, MO H(417)398-0012, M(417)850-4382

Alice Myrick: Mapleton, KS H(620)743-3681, M(620)363-0740 Bob Shanks: Columbus, KS H(620)674-3259, M(620)674-1675 LOUISIANA James Kennedy: DeRidder, LA M(337)274-7406 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION OKLAHOMA Russell Boles: Watson, OK M(903)276-1544 Chester Palmer: Miami, OK H(918)542-6801, M(918)540-4929 Dennis Raucher M(417)316-0023 John Simmons: Westville, OK M(918)519-9129, M(417)310-6348 Shane Stierwalt: Shidler, OK M(918)688-5774 Troy Yoder: Chouteau, OK M(918)640-8219 MISSOURI Rick Aspegren: Mountain Grove, MO M(417)547-2098 Clay Barnhouse: Bolivar, MO M(417)777-1855 Sherman Brown: Marionville, MO H(417)723-0245, M(417)693-1701 Joel Chaffin: Ozark, MO M(417)299-4727 Rick Chaffin: Ozark, MO H(417)485-7055, M(417)849-1230 Jack Chastain: Bois D’Arc, MO H(417)751-9580, M(417)849-5748 Ted Dahlstrom, DVM: Staff Vet Stockyards (417)548-3074 Office (417)235-4088 Tim Durman: Seneca, MO H(417) 776-2906, M(417)438-3541 Jerome Falls: Sarcoxie, MO H(417)548-2233, M(417)793-5752 Skyler Fisher: Collins, MO M(417) 298-9051 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Nick Flannigan: Fair Grove, MO M(417)316-0048 Kenneth & Mary Ann Friese: Friedheim, MO H(573)788-2143, M(573)225-7932 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Fred Gates: Seneca, MO H(417)776-3412, M(417)437-5055 Brent Gundy: Walker, MO H(417)465-2246, M(417)321-0958

Doc Haskins: Diamond, MO H(417)325-4136, M(417)437-2191 Mark Henry: Hurley, MO H(417)369-6171, M(417)464-3806 J.W. Henson: Conway, MO H(417)589-2586, M(417)343-9488 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Joe David Hudson: Jenkins, MO H(417)574-6944, M(417)-342-4916 Steve Hunter: Jasper, MO H(417)525-4405, M(417)439-1168 Larry Jackson: Carthage, MO H(417)358-7931, M(417)850-3492 Jim Jones: Crane, MO H(417)723-8856, M(417)844-9225 Chris Keeling: Purdy, MO H(417)442-4975, M(417)860-8941 Kelly Kissire: Anderson, MO H(417)845-3777, M(417)437-7622 Larry Mallory: Miller, MO H(417)452-2660, M(417)461-2275 Kenny Ogden: Lockwood, MO H(417)537-4777, M(417)466-8176 Jason Pendleton: Stotts City, MO H(417)285-3666, M(417)437-4552 Charlie Prough: El Dorado Springs, MO H(417)876-4189, M(417)876-7765 Russ Ritchart: Jasper, MO H(417)394-2020, M(417)237-0988 Lonnie Robertson: Galena, MO M(417)844-1138 Justin Ruddick: Anderson, MO M(417)737-2270 Alvie Sartin: Seymour, MO M(417)840-3272 CATTLE RECEIVING STATION Jim Schiltz: Lamar, MO H(417)884-5229, M(417)850-7850 David Stump: Jasper, MO H(417)537-4358, M(417)434-5420 Matt Sukovaty: Bolivar, MO H(417)326-4618, M(417)399-3600 Brandon Tichenor: Fairview, MO M(417)540-4717 Mike Theurer: Lockwood, MO H(417)232-4358, M(417)827-3117 Tim Varner: Washburn, MO H(417)826-5645, M(417)847-7831 OFFICE: (417)548-2333 Sara Engler VIDEO CATTLE PRODUCTION Matt Oschlaeger: Mount Vernon, MO M(417)466-8438 MAY 2016


inside this issue About the Cover

Best of the Best Calf Roping returns May 30 to Risen Ranch Cowboy Church Arena in Carthage, Missouri. Details on page 21. — Cover photo by Victor McCune Photography.

Features 9 12 14 15 16 18 20 22 24 27 28 30 32

Quiet for Too Long Growing Your Business How You Can Be A Good Steward Conservation Practicies Lighten Weather Woes Hand in Hand What’s in Your Soil? Don’t Drink the Water Beef Retailers Speak Out Consumers Still Driving Force in Beef Trends El Nino or La Nina? Putting Forages to the Test Get the Most from Deworming Pennies for Your Pocket

In Every Issue 3 5 6 8 10 36 37

View from the Block Beef in Brief On Target with Justin Sexten Health Watch with K-State’s Dr. David Rethorst Next Generation with Darren Frye Market Watch Event Roundup

Contact Us

Publisher/Advertising: Mark Harmon | Email: Phone: 417-548-2333 | Mobile: 417-316-0101 Fax: 417-548-2370 Editor/Design/Layout: Joann Pipkin | Email: Ad Deadline: 2nd Monday of Each Month for Next Month’s Issue Cattlemen’s News, PO Box 634, Carthage, MO 64836 Subcription questions can be answered by calling 417-548-2333. Although we strive to maintain the highest journalistic ethics, Joplin Regional Stockyards limits its responsibilities for any errors, inaccuracies or misprints in advertisements or editorial copy. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements printed, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising from such advertisement made against the Stockyards and/or its publication.

If you wish to discontinue a subscription to Cattlemen’s News, please send request or address label to: Cattlemen’s News - PO Box 634, Carthage, MO 64836

Cattlemen’s News, published by Joplin Regional Stockyards, is a nuts and bolts news magazine dedicated to helping cattle producers add value to their operations. From “how-to” articles to economics and industry trends, our mission is to put today’s producers in touch with the information and products that will make them profitable for tomorrow. Published monthly. Circulation 10,000.

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MAY 2016

beef in brief Missouri Producers Vote Against Beef Checkoff Director of Agriculture Richard Fordyce announced that the Missouri will not establish a new beef checkoff. The announcement comes after the director approved a petition to conduct a referendum of Missouri cattle producers, at the request of the Missouri Beef Industry Council and pursuant to section 275.352 RSMo as amended, to establish a $1.00 per head state beef checkoff assessment on Dec. 23, 2015. On April 4, 2016, ballots were mailed to the 8,480 Missouri beef producers who registered during the registration period. Of those, 6,568 valid ballots were returned to the Missouri Department of Agriculture postmarked no later than April 15. The vote included 1,663 producers, 25.33 percent, voting for the checkoff and 4,903 producers, 74.67 percent, voting against it. Department staff counted the ballots and Williams Keepers, LLC, a CPA firm, reviewed the tabulation of ballots for third party verification. Cattle producers were required to register in order to vote and were able to do so online or by visiting their county USDA-FSA office. —Source: Missouri Department of Agriculture

Missouri Senate Okays Livestock Escape Legislation The Missouri Senate voted to advance SB 844. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Mike Parson (R-28), would change how Missouri law addresses incidents in which livestock escape their confines. Under current law, the livestock owner is strictly liable for any property damages caused by trespassing livestock. Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) President Keith Stevens, who

is a cattle producer from Bolivar, Missouri, said if the legislation is passed into law, it would require the livestock owner to be found negligent and not automatically assumed guilty. Nearly identical legislation (HB 1827), previously passed through the Missouri House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority vote. The House version is awaiting review by the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee. Sen. Parson’s legislation now moves to the House for consideration.    —Source: Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Prime Cuts 

Mexican Beef Exports Continue to Grow Total beef exports in Mexico began increasing in 2009 and have increased from about 28 thousand metric tons in 2008 to more than 161 thousand metric tons in 2015, a nearly six-fold increase. The U.S. is the largest destination for Mexican beef exports, and the U.S. share of total Mexican beef exports has increased from around 60 percent a few years ago to 90 percent in 2015.  Growing domestic fed beef production and significantly enhanced product differentiation, due to use of boxed beef in Mexico, likely mean that the potential for increased U.S. beef exports to Mexico is limited.  With Mexico the source of an average of about one million head of feeder cattle per year, increased demand for cattle to fill expanded feedlot capacity in that country is likely to push domestic cattle prices closer to a balance with the U.S. cattle market. This will likely reduce both the incentive to export and the supply of cattle for export. In the short run, low cattle inventories and the need for herd rebuilding in Mexico will squeeze feeder cattle supplies and likely reduce U.S. imports of Mexican feeder cattle this year and beyond. —Source: Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University livestock economist.

MAY 2016


On Target

Sustainable Management Consumer demand for sustainable food systems increases Story By Justin Sexten


ustainability is a term we hear on a daily basis as efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the worldwide beef production system continue to evolve. Washington State University’s Robin White and coworkers explored management opportunities to improve beef system sustainability in a 2015 Journal of Animal Science article. They looked at changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) production, in addition to improvements in water and land use as influenced by implementing many of the same management practices recommended to improve profitability. The March-calving systems they evaluated were compared against a least-cost nutritional model in which productivity matched national averages. These alternative models looked at seven dif-


MAY 2016

ferent combinations of management improvements that included the use of sires with superior genetics through artificial insemination (AI) or natural service, environmentally optimized nutrition, selection for twinning, early weaning or narrowing the calving window by 20 days. While all changes offered some sustainability improvement over the least-cost model, some practices were certainly more viable than others. Twinning, selected to model the beef system’s biological maximum, offered the greatest (17.6 percent) reduction in water use and moderate improvements in both GHG emissions (9.2 percent) and reduced land use (9.2 percent). However, anyone who has tried to manage even the occasional set of twins knows this “improvement” presents

some hurdles, especially challenges with dystocia and cows failing to claim both calves. Early weaning calves at 150 days offers an across-theboard 8.5-percent reduction in land and water use while lowering GHG production. This system is best implemented during periods of nutritional stress or in young cows still growing and in need of additional nutrition. Early weaning does allow for enhanced marbling development early in the growth phase, improving carcass quality along with reducing the environmental footprint. Moving the herd from an 80day to a 60-day calving window improved calf uniformity but was one of the least effective practices at enhancing sustainability, only improving GHG emissions and land use by 3.2 percent and reducing water use by 3.6 percent. These numbers make sense due to the short duration of the practice improvement. Sustainability improved the most – more than 11 percent for each parameter – from the use of such individual practic-

es as selecting superior sires with balanced maternal, performance and carcass traits. For ranches where AI is a labor and timing challenge, the natural service model of implementing superior genetics was nearly equal in sustainability improvement, lagging AI by just 0.2 percent. The author’s model focused superior sire selection on calving ease, enhancing reproduction and carcass yield while improving post-weaning gain. Considering genetics as the foundation production is built upon every day, logic suggests sire selection is the key opportunity to make continual improvements in sustainability. When superior sire selection was implemented within a controlled calving season, sustainability was maximized, reducing GHG 13.4 percent and improving land and water use by 13.4 percent and 12.4 percent. If the nutritional program is optimized, land and water use and GHG emission can be reduced by 14.5 percent. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT • FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Consumer demand for sustainable food systems continues to grow. The routine management practices (twinning aside) outlined above offer the opportunity to improve sustainability while satisfying the increasing demand for the Certified Angus Beef® brand. Adding a carcass quality focus when selecting superior sires results in sustainable, highquality beef.

While the opportunity to select superior sires with carcass merit might have passed this year, don’t forget that the calving interval is defined during the breeding season, and consider early weaning calves from young cows or if forage becomes limiting. —Justin Sexten is director of supply development for Certified Angus Beef, LLC.


Henson Seeks Seat on FCS Financial Board Watch for ballots in the mail From Our Staff


a nominee for FCS Financial’s district 5 board seat, which represents member patrons in Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Laclede, Polk, Taney, Webster and Wright counties in Missouri. Voting for directors will be conducted by mail ballot only to member patrons of FCS Financial. For additional information, JW Henson contact your FCS Financial office.

oplin Regional Stockyards Field Representative J.W. Henson, Conway, Missouri, is up for election on FCS Financial’s board of directors. Henson, 65, and his wife Cheryl own 900 acres and rent an additional 350 in Laclede County. Their farming operation consists of raising hay and fescue seed in addition to a 400-head cow-calf and 100head breeding heifer program.

A 40-year veteran beef producer, Henson has also been a dairy farmer. He’s been a JRS field representative for 19 years and has served his local MFA Board for nine years. He’s a member of Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Henson was named 2015 Cattleman of the Year for Southwest Missouri Beef Cattle Improvement Association. He’s been a member of FCS Financial cooperative since 2007. Henson said he brings a wealth of real hands-on ag industry knowledge to the table. He is

FCS Financial is an agricultural cooperative owned by its borrowers who purchase stock, which provides capital to the organization. The capital is used to secure funding for the farm credit bonds, which provide the funding for the loans FCS Financial makes. Member investment in FCS Financial ensures a continuous, dependable, source of credit for agriculture and rural homeowners with availability of money during all economic cycles of agriculture. Member stock also empowers the member with voting rights to elect directors who oversee association operations, hire its management and establish its policies.

Get More for Your Cattle! The commingling program at Joplin Regional Stockyards groups together cattle from producers into larger lots to offer buyers a greater selection.

1,937 producers served and 9,215 head marketed through our commingling program since Sept. 1, 2015. Arrive Sundays by 5 p.m. to commingle.

MAY 2016



Water: The Limiting Nutrient Consumption affected by hot and cold weather Story By David Rethorst for Cattlemen’s News


he discussion of livestock nutrition often focuses on protein, energy and trace minerals while the role of water is taken for granted. In reality, water is considered the most important, or limiting, nutrient. Livestock can survive several days without optimal protein, energy and trace mineral intake if they have adequate water consumption. The converse, however, is not true. Water quality is also important as livestock perfor-

mance suffers if water quality is not optimal. A rule of thumb for the quantity of water required by livestock is one gallon per 100 pounds of body weight per day. This number will increase during hot weather and for cows nursing calves while decreasing during extremely cold weather. An accurate assessment of cow size is necessary when determining water requirement, especially if

water is being hauled to the cows. One must also consider tank or waterer space when determining if livestock are receiving adequate water. Inadequate water space can prevent timid cattle from consuming adequate water. Several years ago I did a presentation on the impact of water quality on cattle performance. One study I used in that presentation was a two-

year look at average daily gain on yearling steers. The steers on well water gained an additional 44 pounds compared to the steers watering out of a dugout. In a short-term cowcalf study, cows drinking well water gained 15.5 pounds more than did the cows drinking dugout water. In addition, the calves nursing the well-water cows outgained the calves nursing the dugoutwater cows by 17 pounds. A second cow-calf study on five ranches showed a 23 to 39 pound improvement in weaning weights by improving water quality. One factor in determining water quality is the sulfate, iron and calcium content of the water. As their levels increase, not only does water intake decrease, but it also can interfere with trace mineral absorption, particularly copper and zinc. This can impact immune system function as well as foot health. Sulfate content of the water is an important consideration when utilizing distiller’s by-products for feed because of the sulfur content of the by-product. Central nervous system disorders have been associated with excessive sulfur intake, so sulfur content of the water must be taken into account when feeding by-products. Water quality is also impacted by contamination with fecal matter or algae, which can reduce water intake. Fecal contamination of water also exposes cattle to bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which have the potential to be food safety issues. Performing a livestock suitability water test on a regular basis is recommended in order to monitor the levels of sulfate, nitrate, iron and salt. Using this information will allow changes to be made in other areas of the nutrition program so production can be optimized. Remember, water is the limiting nutrient in many instances. Cattle can have adequate feed resources, but without water, they are not going to perform as expected. —Dr. David Rethorst is director of outreach for The Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.


MAY 2016


Quiet for Too Long Why Activists are Taking Over Our Industry Story by Brittni Drennan for Cattlemen’s News


aising cattle is full of challenges just from the day-to-day duties of the operation. Throw in a few obstacles from animal rights activists and government agencies and cattlemen sure have a full plate to digest. Membership-based organizations like National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and others are taking a stand and fighting for the livelihood of the cattle industry. But, is that enough to help consumers understand the business of agriculture?

packed with numbers and statistics to be influential. Nothing is more impactful than a producer’s own personal story and experiences. Loos said 20 million kids each year die of starvation in the world. Ten million die of disease. U.S. farmers and ranchers can be proud of supplying our country with plentiful nutrition. “At the end of the day, you don’t need to be as obsessed with the numbers,” Loos said. “Whoever you’re sharing your story with will not likely remember the numbers and statistics either. But they will remember the degree of authority in which you share your own personal story. Farmers and ranchers are the experts in taking care of livestock and taking care of the land. It’s how you tell that story, and it’s all about confidence in sharing what you do every day.” Social media and digital platforms like blogs, Facebook and Instagram have allowed everyone to have a voice that can be CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

“Membership-based organizations depend on volunteers to get involved, push policy and push the marketing of beef — entities that members are supposed to be a part of,” said Trent Loos, sixth-generation rancher, radio personality and well-known advocate for agriculture. “There’s a problem right now with the complacency of the American farmer and rancher not getting in front of consumers and saying ‘here is why beef is a good thing.’” Yes, organizations are established to lobby and advocate for the cattle industry, but Loos reminded producers at the recent Spring Forage Conference in Springfield, Missouri, that nothing is more valuable than a farmer’s or rancher’s own personal story. Loos’ powerful message encouraged producers to voice their concerns and share their experiences as well as spread the truth about the cattle industry. Land grant universities and the extension service provide a wealth of substance and statistics that can be shared with a skeptical consumer. Loos said Iowa State University, for example, has an online section on its website about hormones and comparing hormone levels in foods such as broccoli, leafy greens, chicken and other meat products. A more thorough knowledge about the beef supply chain, regulations and results from studies conducted will allow someone to better explain industry facts. Knowledge about the latest research and sharing substantial facts can address some concerns consumers have about where their food comes from. “Number one, the cow is wonderful for the ecosystem,” Loos said. “The cow does tremendous things for plant and planet health, and at the end of the day it’s the most nutrient-dense supply of food we can possibly find, and I can walk through study after study that has proven the consumption of beef will minimize if not eliminate autism.” Knowledge learned is more absorbed than when hearing it quoted from someone else. However, a speech or conversation does not have to be jam

MAY 2016


a clear path for how the farm’s future leaders will progress toward leadership roles, when the time comes.


Charting the Course

Preparing for leadership

Build leadership pathway for farm’s next generation Story By Darren Frye for Cattlemen’s News


s the older generation on the farm thinks about the legacy they want to leave, they should feel pride in what they’ve built — the operation they’ve labored over and given their blood, sweat and tears to. They’re excited to be able to see the farm transition to the next generation. But, there’s another side to the emotions that the older generation might feel when they think about their legacy and the future of the farm. Those feelings might look much more like worry and anxiety. The older generation might think: The farm is so much bigger than when I started taking

over from my dad. It’s more complex — there are so many moving pieces and aspects for the leader to handle. The business side of farming changed so much during my career — and I know I’ve just had to figure out a lot along the way. They might wonder: I’m worried about the next generation — I don’t know if they’re prepared with the knowledge they need, or the ability to make the types of decisions they’re going to have to make if this farm will be able to continue.

Clear the doubts Leaders on many farms — from both generations —

have these same feelings. The younger generation might wonder and question whether they have what it takes to lead the farm, especially with the bigger decisions they know they will be making. Throw in the current economic climate in agriculture, and it adds up to a firestorm of doubt. Many farm families have these worries, but the bigger question is, what are they deciding to do about it? Some farms, as part of their overall legacy plans, are setting up plans to intentionally train the next generation. The plan provides

On one farm, the members of the older generation had started working on their estate plan. At the same time, they were feeling very concerned about how the farm’s future leaders — two brothers in their mid-30s — would get up to speed on all of the skills they needed to have to lead the operation. The older generation was particularly concerned about the large scale of some of the business decisions that regularly had to be made in the operation. The older generation didn’t want to be in charge of all the decisions forever. They wanted to gradually turn decision-making over to the next CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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MAY 2016



CHARTING THE COURSE FROM PREVIOUS PAGE generation. But, they also felt that they first needed to equip the next generation — so the brothers would be able to make smart business decisions on their own. The farm family, with the help of a legacy advisor, set up a 10-year training structure. The training plan would help the next generation develop a much deeper understanding of the business side of farming and the types of business decisions that were currently being made by the older generation. The intention of the older generation was to fully retire after those 10 years, and let the younger generation take over decision-making entirely. The goal of the plan was for the younger generation to feel much more confident in their abilities to lead and manage the farm into the future. Both generations were excited about the plan, and both felt that some of their worry and anxiety about the farm’s future was lifted — just by having an intentional plan in place to follow.

QUIET FOR TOO LONG FROM PAGE 9 expressed to the entire world. Where food comes from is a popular topic whether from a concerned parent, school cafeteria worker or a vegan animal rights extremist. “You are an expert in your own experiences, and how you share what it is that you have done to be a part of that bigger system is what will resonate with people and make a difference,” Loos said. “You are an expert. Just share your experiences.” Social media is not for everyone, and that is okay. Loos said the best conversations take place one-on-one with neighbors or people in the community.

“Social media is a tool,” Loos said. “I don’t think it is THE tool. There is no better tool than one-on-one conversations, and you can have those one-on-one conversations in any venue in your community. You don’t need to travel to 40 states annually like I do to get your message across. You simply pay attention at your community functions, your church functions.” Loos said the best advocates are the best listeners. A producer does not have to be an expert speaker or get on stage in front of a podium to share the truth. “You hear somebody say something that isn’t right, and then you learn how to plant the seed that ultimately

we can make grow and they learn from themselves based on the seed that you planted in them,” Loos said. “It’s the basic premise of farming in general.” Planting the seed only takes one person. One person sharing his or her story of everyday life on the farm or ranch can make a difference. Whether it is at the high school basketball game, local church function, citywide fundraiser, producers are encouraged to seek out opportunities and ways to share their everyday experiences. “We have been quiet for far too long,” Loos said.

What’s your plan? Does your farm have a plan in place to prepare the next generation for the types of leadership skills and abilities they will need? How confident are you that the plan will truly prepare the farm’s next leaders for what they will face? Consider talking with a legacy advisor who can help by first understanding your farm’s unique needs, and then help you put a plan together based on your farm’s unique needs More information on farm business planning and ideas for today’s farm leader is in our quarterly publication, Smart Series. The new spring issue features items to think about before you plan your retirement. Your free issue is available at: www.waterstreet. org/smartseries.

—Darren Frye is President and

CEO of Water Street Solutions, a farm consulting firm that helps farmers with the challenges they face in growing and improving their farms – including the challenge of transitioning the farming operation to the next generation. Contact them at waterstreet@ or call (866) 2492528.

MAY 2016



Growing Your Business Sustainability: What does it really mean? Story By Lisa Henderson for Cattlemen’s News


eople, planet and profits. That’s the simple definition of sustainability that can have a significant impact on your business.

“Sustainability is part of growing our business and your business,” Langert said. “It’s the biggest trend (for food companies) over the last seven years.”

Robert Langert, former McDonald’s vice president of sustainability, told attendees at last year’s Cattlemen’s Day at Kansas State University that McDonald’s views sustainability as having three components – social, environmental and economic. “And,” he stressed, “we can’t shortchange the economic aspect of it.”

McDonald’s is in the midst of a sustainable beef initiative that began sourcing verified sustainable beef earlier this year. That initiative is an effort to make beef more attractive and relevant to modern consumers. “People want to eat food they feel good about,” Langert said.

Sustainable has become a buzzword that food companies and consumers like to use to describe how they want their food raised. According to research by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, “sustainability of U.S. farming and ranching” is an issue that 83 percent of American consumers say they are very concerned about. Just over 1 in 4 respondents to that survey (26 percent) said that whether food is grown, raised or produced sustainably is the most important thought or consideration in their food purchases. Sustainable is also a buzzword that can rankle some beef producers, especially those who are part of a multi-generational farming or ranching operation. It’s a solid argument: If raising cattle weren’t sustainable, you wouldn’t still be in business. Yet, food marketers like McDonald’s have invested heavily in sustainability programs because it’s what their customers want.


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Such language might raise questions among cattlemen, especially those who wonder how sustainability will be defined in the boardrooms of food companies like McDonald’s. But Langert says McDonald’s definition dovetails with the beef industry’s definition: “balancing environmental responsibility, economic opportunity and social diligence.” In other words, people, planet and profit. Kansas cattle rancher, blogger and advocate for agriculture, Debbie Lyons-Blythe often speaks to groups of non-ag people, and sustainability is a popular topic. “What better proof of sustainability is there than when we can say we are a multi-generation ranch,?” Lyons-Blythe says. “But, we’ve done a poor job of communicating measures of our sustainability, and we need to be at the table to help shape the discussion.” Lyons-Blythe helps shape that discussion through her blog, “Kids, cows and grass: Life on a

Kansas Cattle Ranch.” She was also the recipient of Monsanto Company’s 2012 America’s Farm Mom of the Year, and says she works to communicate the philosophy of sustainable agriculture “in pictures and images and language that non-ag people will understand.” As the original environmentalists, farmers and ranchers take steps every day to ensure their animals and their land are cared for properly and the environment is protected. Some of the language non-ag people can understand is found in a Washington State University study that found each pound of beef raised in 2007 used 20 percent less feed, 30 percent less land, 14 percent less water and 9 percent less fossil fuel energy than in 1977, while also generating 18 percent fewer carbon emissions. In addition, in 2007, 13 percent more beef was produced with 13 percent fewer animals. According to USDA, the U.S. has about 587 million acres of land unsuitable for other forms of production such as crops that are used for grazing cattle, turning that land in a viable source of protein. Further documentation of beef’s sustainability is found in the checkoff-funded Beef Industry Life Cycle Assessment, released three years ago. That assessment documented a 5 percent overall improvement in beef’s sustainability during the six years from 2005 to 2011.

of production, according to the report, from the growth of feed to the disposal of packaging by the final consumer. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson, executive director of global sustainability for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says the life cycle assessment helps producers recognize “how management changes over time have improved the sustainability of beef and utilize that knowledge to produce more sustainable beef in the future.” The research included an evaluation of thousands of data points to quantify the industry’s progress since 2005. Such documentation provides science-based answers to questions about beef’s sustainability. Stackhouse-Lawson also sees the industry’s sustainability initiative as an opportunity for cattlemen. “Producers want to do what’s best for the environment, best for the cattle and economically sustainable,” she says. “Ultimately, improvements in efficiency are the main driver of change in sustainability. Adoption of more sustainable production practices also makes good business sense.” Through research America’s cattlemen have shown their business is sustainable. Industry leaders say telling that success story to consumers is now just as important as continuing to manage the ranch with future generations in mind.

The detailed life cycle assessment examined every aspect

MAY 2016


management matters

How You Can Be a Good Steward 20 Ways Cattle Ranchers Can Help the Environment Story By Lisa Henderson for Cattlemen’s News


merica’s farmers and ranchers have been called the original environmentalists. That’s because their livelihood depends on healthy land and animals. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the entire U.S. agricultural sector accounts for only 6.4 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock production is only a portion of that total. Several categories exist in which producers can help the environment: water quality, range or land management, conserving natural resources, air quality protection, protecting wildlife and biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Here are 20 ways cattlemen can do their part to help the environment.

1. Allow livestock to graze

and consume natural and organic forages that convert to healthy, nutritious beef.

2. Partner with state, local and national environmental agencies to monitor land, water and wildlife and make improvements to the environment. 3. Use rotational grazing in

merous endangered species.

6. Hold up water on ranchlands for extended periods of time in order to replenish underground aquifers and filter out nutrients and particulate matter.


Use biological controls on invasive pests.


Plant trees for windbreaks, which provide protection for livestock, wildlife and soil.


Implement conservation tillage so that soil can be conserved and available moisture used more efficiently.

10. Plant grasses on highly

which livestock are moved to different pastures every few days to prevent overgrazing.

erodible land, thereby conserving soil.


11. Use solar-powered electric fence chargers.

5. Maintain and introduce

12. Incorporate distillers grains (a natural by-product of ethanol and alcohol production) into cattle feed to recycle this resource.

Recycle materials such as feedbags and plastic containers (mineral tubs), batteries, used motor oil, tires and scrap metal. habitats as homes for nu-

13. Install irrigation systems that efficiently utilize limited water resources. 14. Grazing cattle can minimize the invasion of non-native plant species and minimize the risk of wildfires by decreasing the amount of flammable material on the land. 15.

Use beef production technologies to raise more beef with fewer natural resources.  


Fertilize fields with manure from cattle feeding operations to reduce fuel needed to manufacture synthetic fertilizer.

17. Volunteer for the Partners Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW), which can help improve grasslands, restore water quality and reduce invasive species that compete with range production and health. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Use recycled products to build fences and recycled tires to build water tanks.  

19. Plant cover crops to in-

crease soil fertility.

allowing land to remain natural, free of trash, debris and invasive weeds and trees.   —Editor’s Note: Sources for this list can be found on the NCBA website and


Maintain open space as cattle grazing pastures,


Conservation Practices Lighten Weather Woes Restoration projects soften blow of late 2015 flooding Story By Rebecca Mettler for Cattlemen’s News


ate December 2015 rains produced record flooding events for many rivers and creeks in southwest Missouri and surrounding areas. During a five-day period the Missouri Ozarks received anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. As one can imagine, the destruction and debris left landowners and livestock producers cleaning up long after the water receded. However, stream bank exclusion projects implemented by landowners through the direction of area Soil and Water Conservation districts lessened the damages of the torrential rains in some locations. The practice resulted in fewer fence repairs for some landowners, according to Andrew Molder, district technician with the Newton County Missouri Soil and Water Conservation District. “We had some success stories with stream bank exclusion projects on the Shoal Creek in Newton County and the Indian Creek in McDonald County,” Molder said. Stream bank exclusion requires livestock producers to fence off access by cattle and other livestock from creek beds, rivers and other riparian areas to establish a buffer zone. This buffer zone promotes additional growth in the waterway area and stabilizes the bank, resulting in

decreased stream bank erosion. The additional growth also slows down the velocity of floodwaters, which saved perimeter fencing from destruction during the flooding event. Landowners with pre-established Soil and Water Conservation projects were able to submit for the rebuild of conservation practices in some affected counties due to the severity and abnormality of the flooding, according to Molder. The one bright spot in the whole situation revolves around the timing of such a historic rain. For instance, in Jasper County, Missouri, a lot of the flooded area was cropland, which meant that fields lie fallow, said Heath Cobine, district program coordinator with Jasper County Missouri Soil and Water District. “In December we didn’t see the big economic damage if it would have happened in the spring, summer or early fall,” Cobine said. “Granted, landowners had a lot of cleanup to do and fence repair, but I don’t think it was as critical as it could have been.” The signup period for fence restoration and debris cleanup has ended with the Newton, Jasper and McDonald counties Farm Services Agency (FSA) offices, according to Kim Webber, county executive director with FSA serving Newton, Jasper and McDonald counties in Missouri. MAY 2016


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Hand in Hand Use your toolbox to plan, manage stewardship resources Story By Elizabeth Walker for Cattlemen’s News


have a saying in my classes at Missouri State University, “If it isn’t in the soil, it isn’t in your plants, and it isn’t in your animals.” The “it” could be a variety of things, but I usually refer to “it” as nutrients. Dr. Google tells me that stewardship “is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and manage-

ment of resources.” While you and I might see stewardship in regard to our environment (farms), when I do a search in Google images, stewardship comes up graphically in regard to money, religion, and not surprisingly, the environment. Another noteworthy thing I noticed during a Google search of the phrase “stewardship in farming” was that most hits came from the United Kingdom. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, as well as others, have policies on stewardship ,but I also get the feeling that much of what the everyday farmer and rancher does as it relates to stewardship is more of an innate expression of our desire to leave the land better than how we found it. Or, do we? I think we can always improve ourselves and, subsequently, our communities and our society. Here are my top 10 ways farmers can practice stewardship:

1. Follow the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I try to live by this rule and readily admit I do fail. In respect of Mother Nature, I feel we should think before we do and ask ourselves if what we are doing is truly showing respect. If we wouldn’t do it to our own land, should we do it to leased land?

2. Pay it forward.

What can we do to make our land more valuable and more productive for future generations? In some cases, it might mean taking out old stands of timber while still providing habitat for wildlife or removing endophyte-infected fescue and reseeding with more valuable forages.



MAY 2016


3. Do not abuse the land. 9. Sound mind.

Overgrazing without adequate rest is abuse of the land. We must properly graze our fields and in most cases, taking half while leaving half is a good place to begin.

4. Keep livestock out of riparian areas. Many areas along

streams and wet weather creeks need to be taken care of so we do not send topsoil into area rivers and lakes. Water quality and land health are intricately related.

5. Use your tools judiciously.

Agricultural chemicals are but one tool in our toolbox. If we overuse a tool, it breaks. We are seeing the results of the overuse of some of our chemical tools in regard to their diminishing effects. A particularly nasty weed, Palmer amaranth, is causing problems because of its resistance to several of the more popular herbicides. We need herbicides, but we must, as stewards, use them properly and have alternative management practices to help us control weeds and pests.

Sometimes we cannot handle this whole, important task in front of us alone. We have a massive responsibility to take care of our natural resources, resources that were given to us by a blessed hand. We are blessed to be part of the agricultural community, and we must take that responsibility serious. Give a little thanks and ask for guidance.

10. Remember your family. Where would agriculture be without our families — blood kin and close friends? Our agricultural families, our togetherness, are part of stewardship of the industry. While we might not always agree with each other’s farming techniques, we must stand together and help one another when things get tough.

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—Source: Elizabeth Walker is associate professor of animal science at Missouri State University.

6. Build organic matter. Since

the dustbowls, we have lost much of our soil organic matter. I cannot stress enough the need for increasing soil organic matter and keeping what we have. Every time we burn a field, we lose organic matter and kill soil microbes. Fire is a valuable tool, but let us remember we have other tools in our toolbox.

7. Don’t forget to plan. What

is your plan for your farm? Do you have one? Do you follow it? Stewardship is about following a wisely chosen plan. Our toolbox needs information and from that information, plans for our farms must be logically laid out and followed.

8. Management of resources. I am a resource. You are a resource. People are the most valuable of all resources and taking care of ourselves is crucial to our overall plan for our farms. You must be healthy, sound body and mind, if you are to hope to manage the other resources — land, air, water, livestock, forages, microbes and bugs.

MAY 2016



What’s in Your Soil? Fertilization needs differ from year to year Story By Austin Black for Cattlemen’s News


mproving and managing soil isn’t complicated. But it does require knowledge of the soil present. “One of the most important things is to have a reasonable expectation of what the soil is capable of,” said Dr. David Mengel, Kansas State University soil fertility professor. If the soil can’t hold water or nutrients, grass won’t grow as well during drought. In wet years, poor soil can lead to erosion. Knowing what kind of soil is present is key to successful management.

or silt. “If the soil has a significant amount of clay, you will be able to make a ribbon one to two inches long,” he said. Producers desiring a more technical analysis can collect samples and send them to a lab. “It’s a very valuable tool for a forage producer to meet the nutritional needs of a forage crop,” said Mengel. The test

less than 5.8 is the most limiting factor that prevents producers from growing a good crop. It doesn’t matter how much fertilizer they apply, the yields will be low if the soil pH isn’t corrected,” Espinoza said. Soil accesses these nutrients through different sources. The ideal source is through manure and organic matter. “As organic matter decomposes it releases phosphorus, sulfur and nitrogen,” Mengel said. Decomposing is an ongoing cycle, so having a ready supply of organic matter is important. If organic matter isn’t present, producers can spread chemical and dry fertilizer instead. “The most important nutrient in forage crops

lime, their pH would be higher and legumes such as clover would do much better,” he said. Timing of fertilizer is important. Espinoza said producers should apply urea ahead of rain to reduce volatilization losses. “Applying urea on wet soil increases the risk of losing a significant amount of nitrogen as ammonia gas,” he said. Soil in good condition should be tested every two to four years to maintain nutrient levels. If the soil needs improvement, producers should test more often. This helps track nutrient levels and avoids applying too much. “That will be an economical return,” Mengel said.

Producers can find a variety of soil types in the four-state area. Loam, silty clay loam and silt loam are the most common. The ideal soil in pastures contains a balanced mix of clay, sand and silt. This combination in the right proportion holds nutrients and water while allowing proper drainage. Too much sand can cause water to wash away rapidly, carrying nutrients out of the root zone.  If the terrain is sloping and lacks good soil cover, erosion is possible. Too much clay can result in standing water during heavy rains. At the same time, clay is important to hold nutri- Key nutrients needed in soil are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sulphur. It’s also important ents. to identify pH levels. —Photo by Joann Pipkin. “The clay acts as a magnet for nutrients. It has a negative charge that attracts nutrients which are mostly positively charged,” said Dr. Leo Espinoza, University of Arkansas Extension soil scientist. As a result, soil with a lot of clay is usually more fertile. “In Arkansas, soils with lots of clay will tend to have high amounts of calcium and pH if it’s irrigated. Pastureland not irrigated with high amounts of clay might need a high amount of lime,” he said. Two ways exist to determine the type and quality of soil in a pasture. “(Producers) can do a soil test and do a simple hand test,” Espinoza said. A hand test involves grabbing a handful of soil and pouring water on it. “As you try to mold the soil, you’ll be able to find if it has a lot of sand or clay. It’s a practical way to do it,” he said. Water will run through sand faster than clay


MAY 2016

determines soil type, structure, texture and nutrient levels. “We analyze more than 200,000 samples each year,” Espinoza said. The service is free to producers in Arkansas, due to a tax paid on every ton of fertilizer sold in the state. The tax allows labs to operate without the need to charge for their services. Of the 200,000 samples tested, only a small number are from cattle producers. “I wish they would send more,” Espinoza said. A soil test can give the exact amount and kind of nutrients needed. Key nutrients needed in the soil are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sulphur. Identifying pH levels are important, too. “In some of the sandy soils in western Arkansas, low soil pH

is nitrogen. It’s what makes the volume of the plant,” Espinoza said. New research shows producers might have problems with low levels of phosphorus and sulphur. Mengel said in coolseason grass pastures, low phosphorus levels might limit production. Data shows the low levels might be a result of water runoff. Brome grasses are experiencing problems with sulfur, too. “Over the years, we have relied on air pollution as a source of sulphur,” Mengel said. Pollution has decreased in recent years. As a result, producers are seeing sulphur deficiency in brome pastures in eastern Kansas. Not all ground needs to be fertilized the same way every year. “Ranchers might have plenty of P and K and just need lime. In some cases, if they would just

Applying too much or too little fertilizer is a common mistake that can be costly or hurt soil production. Other mistakes that impact soil health are erosion and improper grazing. Mengel said erosion is a big problem for producers. “Even in a pasture situation, if you don’t manage it well, you can get cattle trailing through different areas. Setting up fences, shades or water systems in the right or wrong way and you can get trails developed in certain areas that lead to erosion,” he said. Grazing too fast or too hard can deplete the soil’s nutrients and damage the surface. “You end up with weak stands that are more prone to weed and invasive species and soil erosion. How you manage it is very critical,” he said.

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Don’t Drink the Water An inside look at how water quality impacts intake, gain Story by Brittni Drennan for Cattlemen’s News


o many variables exist that can impact cattle performance. Is water quality one of them? Research conducted at the University of Missouri’s Southwest Center sought to determine the effects water quality might have on performance. The idea for the study came about by attempts to alleviate heat stress caused by fescue toxicity. The less time cattle spend in the pond, the more time they allocate to grazing and gaining weight. When cattle spend time standing in ponds, they are also more likely to incur foot rot and leptospirosis, which can be transmitted through water and streams. “Water is the most important nutrient that cattle consume, so you would think you should have clean water,” said Eldon Cole, University of Missouri Extension regional livestock specialist. Cole, along with Richard Crawford, Jr., former Southwest Center superintendent, conducted a four-year research trial from 1996 to 1999 comparing how cattle performed on tall fescue after drinking dirty water versus clean water. Cole said research trials were conducted for 13 weeks from mid-April to mid-October. Cattle grazed eight pastures of endophyte-infected tall fescue and eight pastures of endophyte-free fescue, 2.5 acres each. Two mineral sources — plain white salt or commercial mineral mix — were given to the cattle as well, providing a balanced, replicated research design. One pasture contained water in a tank from a well with the tanks disinfected and cleaned each week. The research center did not have a pond in the pastures used in the research study, so the “dirty” water had to be transported daily in a tanker from a pre-designated pond. Four different ponds throughout the length of the four-year study supplied dirty water; however, during the 13-week trial period, water

20 MAY 2016

was supplied from the same location. Water was offered in a 3-foot diameter metal stock tank, the same kind of stock tank that was in the pasture with the well water. Observation as well as bacteria samples were collected to ensure measurable distinction of the clean versus the dirty water. Fecal coliform were high in pond water, particularly in October. Still, no health problems were observed as a result of the water conditions. The first two years involved steers followed by two years of studying cow/calf pairs. The methods used to measure results included visually recording rate of gain and measuring amount of water intake. “The results were pretty controversial,” Cole said. “The first year’s results were a little bit surprising when we couldn’t tell a bit of difference in the way the cattle performed.”

Research conducted at the University of Missouri Southwest Center showed cattle performance is not affected by water quality. — Photo provided by University of Missouri Extension.

Results did record the steers grazing on high-endophyte tall fescue had a 12 percent higher water intake, which based on knowledge about fescue is to be expected. “Average daily gains were higher for (endophyte-free fescue) compared to (highendophyte fescue) steers. This is typical of the grazing work comparing (endophyte-free fescue) versus (high-endophyte fescue) conducted earlier at this and other locations,” according to the report. “The gains, in general, were rela-

Similar results were found when comparing groups of cow-calf pairs. The study reported cows and calves grazing high-endophyte fescue consumed 3.5 gallons more water per day, suggesting cattle grazing high-endophyte fescue have a higher water requirement due to the heat stress caused by fescue toxicosis. Although data indicated slightly more pond water was consumed than well water, the combined results from two years of study on cows and calves showed the difference was not significant as noted in Table 3 at left. In addition, no difference was recorded in body condition score. “We did not see any improvement by using clean water versus water that came from a pond with cattle traffic,” Cole said. “To this day, I’ve never seen anything in research literature to prove that clean water makes any difference.”

After the first year of finding no significant difference in rate of gain consuming dirty water versus clear water, another aspect was added to the study. Cattle were provided a choice of two water tanks, one with clean water and one with dirty water, to see which they preferred. “We got the same results. No difference in animal performance,” Cole said. “And, it really didn’t make any difference as to which they preferred — the dirty water or the clean water.”

tively low, presumably due to drought conditions and low forage availability during late summer and fall. Gains were not affected by water source or mineral source.” Hair scores also demonstrated no significant difference based on water quality. Cattle grazing high-endophyte fescue tended to have slightly higher hair scores compared to the cattle grazing endophyte-free fescue, which is to be expected because one of the typical symptoms of fescue toxicosis is rough hair coat.

Cole said water is the most important nutrient cattle consume. Producers should provide their cattle the best resources available, but if clean water is not accessible the impacts should not be detrimental. “You don’t want to really expose them to something that has the consistency of a milkshake,” Cole said. “You want to give them the best water you can, but if it’s impossible to give them that crystal clear water you probably aren’t going to impact the animal’s performance all that greatly unless there is some kind of pretty serious pathogen in the water.”

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Beef Retailers Speak Out Veteran beef marketers help educate consumers Story By Jillian Campbell for Cattlemen’s News


eef is juicy Beef is tender

Beef is protein Beef is splendor Beef is good between two buns Beef is best without A1 Beef for dinner It just seems right Beef, for some, is a way of life. For Steve Banasik and Andy Cloud, beef truly is a way of life. Banasik has been an employee of Springfield Hy-Vee for 33 years. His job as meat department manager requires him to be knowledgeable in beef quality and market fluctuation so that he can keep sales steady and customers informed. Banasik takes pride in Hy-Vee’s beef branding, including how

something that we have in the ad, like strip steaks, and we’ll sample that,” he explains. “The chefs will make up a sauce for it and they’ll tell people how to cook it. A lot of people don’t know the difference between medium rare, medium and well done. We teach them proper temperatures, when a steak’s done and how to pick a steak out.” In addition, Banasik says HyVee chefs talk to consumers as they’re grilling. The chefs will pass out product samples and point out specific beef items they are promoting. Banasik says marketing quality products to the consumer is one of the most important aspects in the beef retail industry. “The rule of thumb with me has always been to be priced right,” he says. “Be fresh. Be consis-

Andy Cloud, Clouds Meats, says their business differentiates itself by providing high quality, value-added products. — Photo by Jillian Campbell.

souri, has a similar stance when it comes to customer satisfaction. Cloud is part of a threegeneration meat operation. His grandfather purchased the business in 1959, and his father then inherited the business. Cloud’s Meats differentiates themselves from competition by bringing quality and custom cuts to the table. “We will pay attention to our competition, but we don’t match prices or try to be the lowest price,” Cloud explains. “We try to differentiate ourselves from the other markets as the highest quality you can get, or we try to do some sort of value added.” Cloud says they age their beef steaks for at least two weeks before marketing them. “That’s something we can do that is not going to be done in other stores,” he says, adding their ability to custom cut steaks to customer satisfaction is a service they provide.

Steve Banasik, a HyVee meat department manager, says the store’s chefs interact with consumers and pass out beef samples to help promote featured products. — Photo by Jillian Campbell.

the retail chain plans annual beef promotion tactics with the Missouri Beef Industry Council. “We try to get a lot of information from MBIC,” he says. “A lot of times we have demos to go with that. We promote beef every day, just because beef is like the main plate.” According to Banasik, Hy-Vee likes to demo beef products to attract consumers. “We’ll pick

22 MAY 2016

tent every day. Make sure that when people come in, (beef is) going to look the same as the other day they were in, or the other week, or year. That’s been my philosophy since I’ve been a meat manager, for 33 years. Just make sure you are consistent every day and that people know what you’re going to have. That gets people coming back.” Andy Cloud, plant manager, Cloud’s Meats in Carthage, Mis-

“If you were to walk into Walmart and ask for an inch and a quarter rib eye steak, three to a package, because that’s what’s best for your family, you aren’t going to get that,” Cloud says. “You’ll get what’s on the shelf. You can come to us and we’ll cut it exactly the way you want it. It’s that value to the customer. It’s what we strive for.” While ensuring beef quality, Banasik and Cloud must also provide customers new options. Hy-Vee, for example, offers several brands of grass-fed beef. “Grass-fed is a growing market,” Bansick says. “The younger generation seems to want

the grass-fed (beef).” Cloud’s Meats also sells grassfed beef seasonally. Communication is essential with today’s consumer, Cloud says. “One thing that I’ve learned really well is to not try to disagree with the customer on what (his or her) beliefs are,” he says. “You know, there’s a reason that someone comes in the front door saying, ‘I’m scared of hormones in my meat.’ Rather than try and tell that person they are completely wrong and say why, I’ve come to do more of, ‘Ok I understand what you’re saying.’ There are people that have concerns about this. What can I do to make you not have as many concerns as you do?” Much like Banasik, Cloud believes that education is the key to bridging the gap between producers and beef industry opponents. “There is a lot of misinformation out there, and there are a lot of people in that urban setting that don’t have an understanding of what the beef industry is like, especially when it comes to using implants or hormones,” says Cloud. He says social media networking is a great way to inform consumers while promoting the beef industry. Both Hy-Vee and Cloud’s Meats have Facebook pages, as well as websites, that serve as information sources. For producers, the manner in which beef is raised is important as is consumer preferences when it comes to buying beef.

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MAY 2016



Consumers Still Driving Force in Beef Trends Misconceptions continue to plague industry Story By Katy Tunstill for Cattlemen’s News


onsumer opinions and current trends continue to have an impact on the beef industry. Deborah VanOverbeke, a meat science professor at Oklahoma State University, teaches a course focused on interpreting animal science and food science research and has experience with changing consumer trends. Regardless of economic status, consumers still buy beef, VanOverbeke said, although trends vary within groups of individuals. “When economic situations were affecting people a little bit more, we expected to find (in our research) that beef was declining,” VanOverbeke said. “We didn’t really see that.”

“Price plays a big role,” she added. “I don’t like to spend a lot on beef because we’re not a big beef-eating family.” Smith said about 20 percent of her total meat purchases include beef and her focus is on saving money. Watkins, however, said she wants her family to have good quality beef for supper. Watkins said she thinks people overreact about the talk of antibiotics and she knows producers have medicated animals for years. “When you’re sick, you have to take antibiotics to get better,” Watkins said. “It’s the same in animals.”

Watkins said when she buys Richard McGinnis, owner of beef she looks for high quality, Richard’s Meat Market in Fay- including good marbling and etteville, Arkansas, said cus- good, lean ground beef. tomers come into his shop look“If it’s not homegrown, I usuing for quality. ally try to see where it is from,” “We work real hard at build- Watkins said. “I look for labels ing our reputation,” McGinnis that say ‘Grown in the United said. “Our service and quality States.’” are what people come into our Watkins said she looks for low shop for.” prices by shopping at stores like Customers do not come look- ALDI and IGA, but she will pay ing for low prices because the price for a good steak. Richard’s carries a high-quality product, McGinnis said. They “We also eat a lot of chicken, compete with grocery stores fish and ground deer, all purfrom a quality standpoint, not chased from friends or family,” Watkins said. “I probably buy price. steak twice a month, but I want Prices do not affect the quan- a good one when I do buy it.” tity and quality of beef consumers’ purchases as much as one VanOverbeke said one trend in would think, but they do affect meats is the increased desire for convenience. sales, McGinnis said. Corrie Smith, a dental assistant and mom from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Stacey Watkins, medical insurance and mom from Cave Springs, Arkansas, are two middle-class consumers with differing opinions when it comes to buying beef for their families.

VanOverbeke said. “For example, people don’t really cook roasts anymore because they don’t really know what to do with them.” VanOverbeke said she does not think the new dietary guidelines for the years 2015-2020 will affect consumer trends. The United States government requires stores to put nutritional values on packaged beef, pork and chicken, McGinnis said. For some people, it will change what they buy, but it will not affect the majority of our customers. “If anything, the dietary guidelines really push for moderation,” VanOverbeke said. “There was a time when we thought that, one day, the dietary guidelines would say don’t eat meat.” And, she’s glad the guidelines came out in a negative way. “(The guidelines) just emphasize moderation and control,” VanOverbeke said. “It will be what consumer preference is and what consumer economics stability is more than anything else.” Hal Brame Jr. is a second-generation feeder cattle producer from southeast Oklahoma. He said consumers only focus on the bad things they hear about meat in the media and fight themselves to refrain from learning the truth. “Right now, consumers are rejecting science of any kind, which includes dietary guidelines many consumers perceive to have been influenced by the scientific community,” Brame said. “In turn, they perceive the guidelines to also have been influenced by the commercial agricultural industry.”

Brame said consumers shy away from products produced on large-scale commercial operations. “This ranges anywhere from antibiotics and growth hormones in animal production to genetic modification technology and commercial fertilizer and pesticide use in crop production,” Brame said. Trends do not change rapidly, and these long-term trends will not change much in the next year, Brame said. VanOverbeke said some people do not understand what the words “natural” and “organic” actually mean. “Technically, all beef product is natural,” VanOverbeke said. By definition, natural means it is minimally processed, she pointed out. “Even ground beef qualifies as minimally processed,” VanOverbeke said. “That is one of the things out there that I don’t think people understand. “There’s the perception out there in a group of consumers that organic means it’s more nutritious for you, which is not the case,” VanOverbeke said. The organic market is a side of the industry that does have a purpose, she said. “If people want to go down the path to produce that product to get more money for it, great,” VanOverbeke said. “Do I see the whole industry going there? Probably not.” Another common misperception in the beef industry is antibiotic and hormone use. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

The beef industry is not as advanced in terms of convenience items when compared to chicken and pork, but new products have been developed in recent years, VanOverbeke said.

“(Consumers) want quick and easy,” VanOverbeke said. “They may get confused when it says “I’m concerned about what is something like ‘flank steak’ and put in the beef, if it is expired, think that steaks have to go on and I look to see if it’s discolored the grill. or looks funky,” Smith said. “They don’t necessarily know

24 MAY 2016

how to prepare everything,”

MAY 2016


CONSUMERS • FROM PAGE 24 A lot of people say they want antibiotic-free beef, which is why producers use withdrawal times, VanOverbeke said. “Your beef doesn’t have antibiotics because we are required to follow law on withdrawal times before animals are sent to harvest,” she said. As far as hormone use, VanOverbeke said people do not realize a steak from an implanted steer has fewer hormones in it than some other food products they eat. Although she does not know how to solve these common misperceptions, VanOverbeke said producers and advocates must focus on consumer education. Consumer trends often are based on perception, rather than reality, which appears to be the case now in food consumption.

“There is a huge failure by a large number of the consuming public to understand how much more costly food production would be without some of the technologies that seem to be unpopular,” Brame said. Robin Harlow, director of business development and national accounts for Tyson Foods, said consumers automatically believe things they hear from friends or read on a social media. “It is our job, as part of American agriculture, to tell our story and assist with eliminating the myths,” Harlow said. “One such example is showcasing how we care for our animals and address the misconception. “One might do this by sharing an example of practices that he or she has in place on their farm or operation and offer to share other resources that support one’s position to provide further knowledge to support their story,” she said. One of the biggest trends today is social responsibility. “This continues to come up in conversations with our customers and is supported by research completed by firms, such as Technomic,” Harlow said. “Animal welfare and environmental concerns remain top of mind, and consumers are making purchasing decisions based on these concerns. “As this trend continues to evolve, we believe that consumers will want to know more about how the animals were treated and the environment was not negatively impacted throughout the process,” she said. According to VanOverbeke, antibiotics are the last line of defense used in livestock production today. She serves on the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Beef Quality Assurance Advisory Board. “We have to make sure we keep our ability to use antibiotics that are only used in livestock,” VanOverbeke said. McGinnis said he believes fewer antibiotics are used than people believe because producers do not use them unless absolutely necessary. “If you’ve got a sick animal, what are you going to do with it?” McGinnis said. “You need to take care of it with antibiotics from time to time.” He said consumers do not have an alternate solution for curing sick animals without giving them antibiotics. “The problem is a lot of people fail to do their research,” McGinnis said. “If they would just do their research, they would understand.” VanOverbeke said the NCBA is in the beginning stages of doing the national beef quality audit for 2016. “There could be some interesting things come out of (the BQA audit) relative to food service and retail, (as well as) what their thoughts truly are in terms of concern for the industry,” she said.

26 MAY 2016


El Nino or La Nina? Timing of La Nina could have major impact on ag industry Story By Rebecca Mettler for Cattlemen’s News


he weather is not linear; weather is ever-changing. Each year brings new predictions and reactions to weather patterns. For the remainder of 2016, the overarching point of interest has to do with the weakening El Nino and the question of when or if a La Nina is to follow. El Nino means “the boy” or “Christ child” in Spanish and is a warm water event in the Pacific Ocean. El Ninos shape the climate across much of the globe and are historically known for providing moisture in the form of extreme storms and heavy precipitation east of the Rockies and warmer than average temperatures in the western U.S. On the other hand, a La Nina means “the girl” and represents periods of below-average sea surface temperatures and often creates dryer conditions throughout many portions of the US.

The current El Nino sitting in the central Pacific Ocean is one of the strongest on record but is beginning to cool, according to Browning-Garriss. “During the spring and summer, expect the battle of the oceans between the cooling Pacific and the hot Atlantic with the U.S. as a punching bag in the middle,” Browning-Garriss said. Again, in all likelihood the El Nino will last until at least the summer before a La Nina takes over. In the meantime, enjoy the warm spring and mostly normal to wet conditions east of the Rockies. If the moderate La Nina arrives as predicted, expect slightly warmer and dryer conditions in southern Missouri and the surrounding areas.

Stay up-to-date on everything JRS

The timing of a La Nina appearance could have major impacts on several agricultural industries across the United States and abroad, as explained by Evelyn Browning-Garriss, climatologist and author of the Browning Newsletter, Browning World Climate Bulletin along with James Garriss, writer, editor and researcher for Browning Media, LLC. The team presented their predictions at a recent meeting held by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., in Springfield, Missouri. From a statistical standpoint, there is an 85 percent chance the El Nino will last through the spring, but it will be steadily weakening. The sooner the moisture-heavy El Nino is over and the La Nina hits, the sooner the drying conditions begin — and with it comes harder times for crop and forage growth. “When you have an El Nino, all the heat creates a whiplash effect, and we normally follow relatively quickly, within two to four months, with a moderate La Nina,” said Garriss. “We have seen a strong El Nino and expect a La Nina to follow, likely in July, August or September.” If the La Nina hits in July the biggest effect will be with the U.S. corn crop. Drier conditions in July will hinder the corn silk development. If the La Nina waits until August, it would affect the soybeans pod-filling process. “If the La Nina waits until September or later it would offer better conditions with the last late summer rainfall to help crops flourish and especially if it’s late August or September, farmers won’t have to harvest in wet conditions,” Garriss said.

MAY 2016



Putting Forages to the Test Forage analysis determines hay quality Story By Brittni Drennan for Cattlemen’s News


ll hay is not created equal. Variations occur due to forage maturity, forage species, weather conditions, hay processing losses and storage and feeding losses. Tim Schnakenberg, University of Missouri Extension regional agronomy specialist, said conditions at time of harvest vary particularly when a producer has several hundred acres to harvest at once. When evaluating hay, visual inspection can be advantageous for determining quality. Schnakenberg said seed heads in particular are an indicator of the amount of fiber and the amount of endophyte in the hay and should be given close attention. Color can be misleading and is not always an accurate indicator of quality. However, a good test for mold

Physical traits are valuable in determining hay quality but can be deceptive. Sampling hay is the best way for ensuring cattle are receiving adequate nutrieints. —Photo by Rebecca Mettler.

and mildew does not exist, so visual evaluation is crucial. “Physical traits are valuable, but can be deceptive and certainly not conclusive,” Schnakenberg said. Beyond visual evaluation, sampling hay is necessary for ensuring cattle are receiving adequate nutrients. Test results also help ensure quality hay is being offered and reinforce visual inspection.

Schnakenberg said. “Cattle will refuse low-quality hay.”

“You cannot accurately visually determine nutrient content any more than you can visually analyze a soil test,”

It takes more than grabbing a handful of hay off the round bale to be considered an adequate sample. A sharp, well-

designed coring device should be inserted at an upward angle into the bale to provide a substantial sample across layCONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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PUTTING FORAGES TO THE TEST FROM PREVIOUS PAGE ers. Avoid long hay strands and large flakes. Schnakenberg said it is a good idea to keep in mind sample variance, collecting samples at random. “Sample as close to feeding or as close to the point of sale as possible, allowing seven to 10 days for test results,” Schnakenberg said. Visit for a list of NFTA-certified labs to send samples, and talk with a nutritionist or extension agent to determine which tests to request. Once test results have been received, analyzing and interpreting results can be confusing at first. However, having results to compare will assist in knowing what to feed to certain groups of cattle and how to supplement. Schnakenberg said looking at the Dry Matter column, versus the As-Is or As Sampled column, will provide a better indication of actual content. Using the As-Is column is beneficial only to check moisture content.

Schnakenberg said. “For comparison, an RFV of 100 equals full bloom mature alfalfa. Good grasses typically will be lower than 100. RFV of below 80 won’t meet the energy requirements of most cattle.” Finally, nitrates could indicate toxic levels. Schnakenberg said labs only measure four primary components — moisture, ADF, NDF and nitrogen — from which other measurements are calculated such as RFV, TDN and net energy. Whether buying hay, selling hay or growing for your own use, using forage samples to determine hay quality is a valuable tool. Follow up with an agronomy specialist or nutritionist for help analyzing test results. The best hay will have high protein and low fiber, Schnakenberg said.

Protein, fiber, energy content, minerals, moisture, total digestible nutrients (TDN) nitrates and relative feed value (RFV) are commonly the most critical components. So, what do all the numbers mean? Schnakenberg said crude protein (nitrogen x 6.25) combined with fiber, TDN and RFV are useful tools that give a more accurate account of hay quality. Four percent is very mature, whereas 26 percent is very immature. By measuring crude protein (CP), carbohydrates and fat, TDN accounts for the amount of energy in a cow’s diet. “Leafy legumes have the highest TDN values,” Schnakenberg said. “Lactating beef cows need a TDN in the upper 50s. 12 percent CP + 58 TDN is good hay for beef.” Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) is an estimate of woody fiber in forages. A lower ADF number indicates higher digestibility and energy levels and is often used for beef ration determination, Schnakenberg said. Good legumes will be 20s to mid-30s while good grasses will be low 30s to mid-40s. Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) is used as an indicator of intake by estimating total cell wall content. This number helps measure the intake of high-producing animals such as dairy cattle when determining rations. Schnakenberg said quality legumes typically measure in the high 30s to high 40s and grasses in the high 50s to 60s while not going more than 70 percent. RFV is an index based on digestible dry matter and dry matter intake based on ADF and NDF without CP factored in and is an overall indicator of forage quality, Schnakenberg said. Mark “RFV Requested” on the analysis form to get this information, which can be useful in hay sales. “Several (producers) buy hay based on a percentage of RFV on a per ton basis,”

MAY 2016


Management matters

Get the Most from Deworming Cattle are what the worms don’t eat Story By Rebecca Mettler for Cattlemen’s News


attle producers can’t manage what they don’t measure, and that’s just how internal parasites like it. When present, the effects of internal parasites stay subclinical, of without symptoms. Cattle can look good and appear to be in top shape while carrying a worm load that is most likely holding back their performance. “They don’t show you your bank draft if they weren’t there versus if they were there,” said Tom Yazwinski, parasitologist with the University of Arkansas. “They are subclinical. They are below the radar and you don’t see what they are taking. Internal parasites rob producers of animal performance through anorexia, lack of appetite, intestinal inflammation and blood and tissue loss — not to mention parasites cause reduced immune competence.

Available dewormers “I bet you dollars to donuts we have another decade at minimum before you see a new (class of) dewormer in cattle,” Yazwinski said. With that said, it’s important for producers to be diligent with the use of the products that are available. “With a poorly administered treatment, I don’t care what product you use. It could be the best product there is, but

is dependent on the age of the animal. The greatest decrease in efficacy occurs around one year of age because that’s when the animal has the biggest population of small intestine worms that are resistant. Moxidectin products perform better than other macrocyclic lactones because the worms can’t recognize it as easily as other drugs, which allows it to stay in the worm’s environment longer. However, moxidectin still has depressed efficacy in stocker animals. Yazwinski recommends treating stocker animals with a combination of a macrocyclic lactone and a white dewormer because the calves’ health history is often unknown. Only treating with the white dewormer would miss the receptive worms and the macrocyclic lactone would miss the resistant worms, but together the two will take care of the problem.

“Once an animal gets to 2.5 to 3 years of age you don’t have that problem,” he said. “The efficacy of the product goes up. You can give just about anything to the momma cow if it’s not a Tom Yazwinski, parasitologist with the University of Arkansas, says adult cows need dewormer white wormer.” protection right before calving when her immune system is at its lowest point. He says deworming then will produce a better calf and get the cow in better reproductive shape. —Photo by Joann Yazwinski cautions Pipkin. producers against

“The more worms you have, the more immune incompetent your animal is,” Yazwinski stated at a producer meeting hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedia, Inc. held in Springfield, Missouri, this spring. A reduction in immune competence results in indirect expenses due to worms. It opens up the door for animals to require medication for other diseases. In one study stocker calves were categorized four different ways when placed in the feedyard. The calves that were clean of worms on the pasture and at reception to the feed yard were only medicated for unrelated maladies (viral/bacterial) at the overall incidence of 2.5 percent. If calves were clean at pasture and not dewormed at entry to

30 MAY 2016

feedyard, 4 percent had to be medicated. If the calves were wormy on pasture but got medicated at the feedyard, 8 percent had to be medicated. And if they weren’t dewormed at either location, 14 percent of those calves had to be medicated because of worms.

winski said. “It’s the only way to see if you are getting your money’s worth.”

In the same study, a reported 12 percent improvement in weight gain was reported when nonclinical worms were treated. But how did the researchers know what type of worm load those calves in the study carried? They performed fecal egg counts, and that’s exactly what producers should do to determine the effectiveness of their dewormer of choice. He urges producers to use a deworming product, collect fecal egg counts from 10 head the day of treatment and two weeks after treatment and send the samples into a lab for fecal egg counts. “If you don’t get a 90 percent egg count reduction, you are wasting your money,” Yaz-

if you don’t give it right, you aren’t going to get good efficacy,” Yazwinski said. “ If you don’t get 90 percent of the dose into that animal and the drug to the worm, you aren’t going to get efficacy.” For southern Missouri and points south, good efficacy for brown stomach worm treatment is to steer clear of benzimidazole or white dewormer during the summer when the worms are inhibited or dormant in the stomach. “You will kill the active worms, but you could have 300,000 to 400,000 worms inhibited in the stomach.” Yazwinski explained that the effectiveness of ivermectin, doramectin and eprinomectin (all are macrocyclic lactones)

deworming their adult cows with an extendedrelease dewormer. He explains that cows don’t need 150 days of protection. She needs the protection right before she calves when her immune system is at its lowest point. “Any other time in her life you are not going to get your money back so I recommend deworming the momma cow only when she freshens,” Yazinski said. “You will get a better calf, and she will cycle better and rebreed better.” Yazwinski was quick to drive home the point of responsible product use. The dewormers that are available today— even if they don’t work as well as they did 20 years ago due to worm resistance—are the only options for cattle producers in the near future.

MAY 2016



Pennies for Your Pocket Energy-efficient water systems save on the bottom line Story By Austin Black for Cattlemen’s News


attle producers can’t control how much money they make—only how much they spend. Reducing input costs helps improve the bottom line. One way to improve your bottom line is by using energy-efficient watering systems.   Two options exist for creating energy-efficient systems. The first is to buy an automatic waterer or build a gravity flow system. New automatic waterers are designed to operate using minimal energy. Gravity flow systems are energy free. These systems are often built either into the side of or next to a pond. Waterers built into the pond dam have concrete sides and are frost-free. “Those are energy-free waterers,” said Bob Schultheis, University of Missouri Extension natural resource engineering specialist. Soil around the tanks provides natural insulation to keep water from freezing. In severe cold weather, many tanks have a valve that can be turned on. The valve creates a trickle overflow that keeps water circulating through the tank. Waterers built adjacent to a pond use gravity and an overflow valve to keep water available. Old construction equipment tires work well as a tank due to their durability. The tire is partially buried in the ground on its side. A concrete and rock base underneath seals the waterer. The tire provides insulation and is an economical option for a freeze-proof system. “Providing a proper diameter well in the ground so tanks have protections from the cold is really important,” Schultheis said. Small tires allow cattle to drink from the middle. Bigger tires often need holes cut in the sidewall for cattle to access the water. Drinking space is limited with these waterers. Installing a system with enough capacity to water the animals present is

32 MAY 2016

important. Schultheis said the grazing system dictates how much water is needed at one time. “With managed intensive grazing, it may be more costeffective to use these waterers because animals tend to travel to them individually instead of in groups,” he said. The second option for producers is updating current watering systems to operate more efficiently.

providing a wind barrier helps reduce operating cost. Waterers run most efficiently when the thermostat is set between 32 and 34 degrees. This keeps the water from freezing without generating excess heat through the tank. Schultheis said turning thermostats off in warmer weather reduces energy cost. Most automatic waterers operate on electricity to keep water from freezing. Some models use ground-source heat wells underneath the tank. These wells are open space that allows heat from the soil to keep the water from freezing. “At a

needed and the travel distance in feet of pipe for that rate of flow to keep the pressure drop through the pipe equal to or less than the pressure available,” Schultheis said.

Making the transition Energy-efficient water systems save money and improve the bottom line. The amount of money saved varies greatly and depends on each farm’s energy and electric cost. Schultheis said improving a pump house can save more than $250 per year. This might include installing new insulation, sealing up cracks or insulating the water heater. A new automatic waterer will pay for itself in six years on average, although it varies widely between farms. For producers interested in creating more efficient water systems, University of Missouri Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a program to assist with cost.

Old construction equipment tires make durable livestock waterers. The tire provides insulation and is an economical option for a freeze-proof watering system. —Photo by Joann Pipkin.

“Some of the things we recommend are to seal and insulate waterers if possible,” Schultheis said. Older waterers might not be well insulated. They have to work harder to keep water from freezing, resulting in inefficient operation. “Anything that has a lot more foam insulation in the waterer housing will help,” he said. Insulation is important in pump houses, too. “Insulate it like you would your home,” Schultheis said. He suggested using R20 insulation in the walls and R30 in the ceiling. Keeping waterers protected from outside elements helps reduce energy use. “If possible, locate them inside buildings,” Schultheis said. This allows more control of the environment and helps the system operate more efficiently. If producers don’t have this option,

minimum, the heat well needs to be 12 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 feet deep to prevent freeze-up,” Schultheis said. Other systems run on a solar pump. “These are more practical in remote locations where electric lines would be expensive to run,” he said. Producers using a solar system will need batteries to operate the pump on extended cloudy days. Pipelines also contribute to energy. “Make sure the pipe that comes to the waterer is large enough to handle and refill the tank rapidly,” Schultheis said.  Pumping water through a larger pipe reduces the amount of time and energy needed to keep the tank full. “The size of the pipe needs to be matched to the gpm flow rate

The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers financial aid to producers and small businesses to reduce their energy use. Farms and businesses that qualify can submit applications. Money is available for help with the purchase, installation and construction of renewable energy systems or energy-efficient improvements. Loans can cover up to 75 percent of a project. Grants can cover up to 25 percent of a project, but loans and grants combined can only provide 75 percent of all project funding. Loans for up to $25 million are available for renewable energy systems. Grants for these systems have a limit of $500,000. Improvement projects have a limit of $250,000. Applications are available at USDA Rural Development offices. “The cost of the required energy audits can be reduced by working through the University of Missouri Extension,” Schultheis said. For more information about the REAP program, contact program director Amanda Marney at (417) 466-2148 or marneya@

MAY 2016



Vitamins for Your Soil

a deep-rooted brassica. And, when a system is starved for nitrogen, Roozeboom says a legume is preferred.

Cover crops add to pasture diversity Story and Photo By Joann Pipkin, Editor


ooking for a way to “beef” up your soil? Planting a cover crop might be that magic vitamin your soil needs to help sustain your farm for the future. “The cover they provide should reduce soil erosion by both wind and water,” explains Kraig Roozeboom, Kansas State University agronomist. “The increases in cropping intensity and diversity that cover crops provide result in living roots being present for more of the annual cycle, a benefit to microbial populations, nutrient cycling, efficient water use and soil structure.” Cover crops can also be grazed, and Roozeboom says in that instance, they provide a valuable economic return that should improve economic viability of the operation.

34 MAY 2016

University of Missouri Extension Agronomist Tim Schnakenberg agrees. “One of my favorite cover crops is one of the brassicas such as turnips,” he says. “You can get a good stand of turnips behind grazing. You get the benefit out of the forage and then the leftover turnips will rot down and are a great environment for microbes to improve the soil health.” While all cover crops can provide some soil benefits, the advantages vary depending on the situation. In some situations the soil might need more carbon so a high biomass-producing small grain or summer annual is preferred, Roozeboom says. In other instances, for example, a soil profile might be full of residual nitrate, calling for

“There is no one-size-fits-all cover crop,” he says. While cover crops do provide sustainability for farming operations, they are not a fit for every farm operation. “In systems that are already very intense, there may not be much room between grain crops for a cover crop,” explains Roozeboom. “In other situations, cover crops may deplete soil moisture to the point where it can negatively impact the next grain crop. Residue management often becomes an important factor to consider.”

In situations where cover crops are not feasible for sustainability and improving soil health, double crops can diversify and intensify an operation. “Annual and perennial forages may provide many of the same benefits as a cover crop,” Roozeboom notes. “Any time a cover crop is grazed, it becomes a forage crop. How either one is managed becomes more important for sustainability than whether or not it is technically a cover crop or a forage.” Crop diversity is the key to soil health. “Diversity means that you have different levels of root zones,” Schnakenberg says. “The most famous root depth that we have is with switchgrass.” Native prairie grasses with their deep root zones help create channels for water and nutrients, which is especially helpful during dry weather. Before planting a cover crop, Schnakenberg says to test your soil to determine the amount of organic matter in your pastures. Then, you’ll know where and how to begin beefing up your soil health.

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Joplin Regional Stockyards Market Recap | Feeder Cattle & Calf Auction April 2016 • Receipts 24,603 | Last Month 18,574 | Last Year 20,951

JRS Sale Day Market Phone: (417) 548-2012 Mondays (Rick Huffman) | Wednesdays (Don Kleiboeker) Market Information Provided By Tony Hancock Mo. Department of Agriculture Market News Service Market News Hotline (573) 522-9244 Sale Day Market Reporter (417) 548-2012

Video Markets from 4/1/16 and 4/25/16 • Total Video Receipts 5,824 head

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EVENT ROUNDUP Entry Deadline Missouri Steer Feedout FMI: 417-466-3102 Wean Date for June 23 Value-Added Feeder Calf Sale FMI: 417-548-2333 Regional Grazing School Southwest Center, Mount Vernon, Missouri FMI: 417-581-2719, ext. 3 Replacement Cow and Bull Sale Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Missouri FMI: 417-548-2333 CJ Auctions/Rasor Ranch Auction FMI: 918-629-9382 or 918-533-5587 Regional Grazing School Ozark, Missouri FMI: 417-581-2719, ext. 3 Aschermann Charolais Female Sale at the ranch, Carthage, Missouri FMI: 417-793-2855 Best of the Best Calf Roping Risen Ranch Cowboy Church Arena, Carthage, Missouri FMI: 417-548-2333 Special Video Sale Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Missouri FMI: 417-548-2333 Regional Grazing School Crowder Collge, Neosho, Missouri FMI: 417-451-1007, ext. 3 Value-Added Feeder Calf Sale Joplin Regional Stockyards, Carthage, Missouri FMI: 417-548-2333

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Better performance and higher value for every calf is even more satisfying. From birth to sale day, a PrimeVAC™ preconditioning program can turn healthier calves and higher weaning weights into real value for you and your customers.

To find the PrimeVAC preconditioning program that’s right for your operation, talk to your veterinarian and visit Always consult your veterinarian concerning: best health management decisions specific to your operation, selection of qualified USDA/ FDA approved products, optimum use of combination products, and the efficacy of vaccination in the face of maternal antibodies. Always read, understand, and follow product label and use as directed. Data on file. • 800-521-5767 Copyright © 2016 Intervet Inc., doing business as Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 54670 1/15 BV-PV-51322

MAY 2016


Ricochet FESQ Max Mineral

Helps Prevent Calf Scours

Mineral supplement for cattle • Vitamin fortified for improved animal health, covers animal’s dietary vitamin requirements • Supplies essential minerals of high bio-availability: calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, selenium, iodine, zinc, manganese, copper, cobalt; covers animal’s mineral requirements • Medicated for control of anaplasmosis: improved animal health • Options available, nonmedicated; with CTC; with Methoprene IGR/CTC: an effective pesticide to reduce the pressure of hornfly predation

• When Ricochet is used as a yearlong mineral program, it has high enough magnesium levels to prevent grass tetany

• Flavored for good acceptance, consistent intakes • Uses Rain-Off® technology to reduce weather damage to exposed product • Uses Shield™ Technology to improve colostrum quality and production, stimulates the animal’s immune response • Uses essential oils which have been shown to improve animal performance grazing fescue pastures

40 MAY 2016

For information on MFA mineral supplements call 573-876-5473 or visit

May 2016 Cattlemen's News  

May 2016 issue of Cattlemen's News, published by Joplin Regional Stockyards

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