5 trending headlines in the world of beef
There are weather obstacles popping up across the country that directly impact cattle producers. We’ve put together 5 stories that could impact markets or the beef industry. Find out what everyone is talking about in the world of beef this week.
1. Minnesota cattle ranchers gathered in the capital city of St. Paul to call for severe weather drought relief in 2021.
The Minnesota State Cattle Association set up grills in front of the capitol and served beef tenderloin medallions to lawmakers, staff, lobbyists and others. They wanted to make sure lawmakers didn’t overlook an industry that employs tens of thousands of Minnesotans and has an economic impact of $4.9 billion.
Seven months have passed since Governor Walz called on lawmakers to pass a $10 million drought relief package for livestock and specialty vegetable growers.
As of mid-August 2021, a record 90% of the state was in severe drought. Pastures quickly dried up, winter feed crops were lost, and cattle ranchers suffered heavy losses buying hay. Some have sold herds or left the business altogether
But there is still no agreement between the DFL-controlled House and the GOP-controlled Senate on how to provide that aid.
“Last year’s drought was an absolute nightmare for cattle ranchers across the state, especially the northern two-thirds of the state,” said Grant Breitkreutz, who raises cattle with his wife Dawn near of Redwood Falls and leads the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association. KARE.
“Cattle farms in Minnesota and across the country, we don’t have insurance for forage production or loss of production. There’s a little government assistance that comes in to buy hay, but there’s no there’s no hay to buy in the upper Midwest or Canada.”
Breitkreutz said thousands of cows were moved out of state last summer due to a lack of food, and the food set aside for the winter didn’t stretch as far as expected. due to extreme cold.
The House bill would spend $5.1 million in aid, with a maximum of $10,000 available per farmer. It also includes $13 million for the Department of Natural Resources to replace trees lost during the drought.
The Senate bill provides $10 million in assistance, with up to $5,000 available for each farmer, but limited to areas the USDA has declared as major natural disaster areas. The Senate bill does not include money for the DNR.
2. And while we’re on the subject of bad weather, consider North Dakota ranchers.
Blizzards and blizzard conditions have hit cattle ranchers in North Dakota hard. They endured up to 18 inches of snow along with blowing winds and cold temperatures. For a while when it was calving season.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) extension specialists encourage ranchers to learn about the livestock compensation program provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Services Agency (FSA). agriculture (USDA).
“The Livestock Compensation Program provides benefits to agricultural producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather, disease, or attacks from animals reintroduced into the wild by the federal government,” says Karl Hoppe, NDSU Extension livestock systems specialist at the Carrington Research Extension Center. “Eligible weather events include earthquakes, hail, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, wildfires, extreme heat, extreme cold, straight-line winds, and storms. qualifying winter months.”
The Livestock Compensation Program applies to the loss of eligible cattle, poultry, hogs, sheep, horses, goats, bison and other livestock.
A Livestock Compensation Scheme factsheet is available on the FSA website. Search for “FSA Livestock Compensation Scheme”.
The fact sheet outlines what livestock is eligible, eligible loss conditions, payment rates, how to file a Livestock Compensation Program claim, and documentation of losses.
“Breeders must file a notice of loss with the FSA within 30 days of when the loss is apparent,” says Hoppe. “They must also file a request for payment no later than 60 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the qualifying loss occurred.”
The livestock compensation program requires a deduction for normal mortality and these must be documented, he adds. These normal mortalities do not have to be related to weather conditions.
3. And in Africa, a genetic breakthrough could control East Coast Fever on the continent.
A chance discovery led researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya and the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute in Scotland to identify a genetic marker that accurately predicts whether a cow is likely to survive infection with East Coast Fever. enable breeding programs that can improve the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.
East Coast Fever, a serious livestock disease, is caused by the parasite Theileria parva and transmitted by ticks, causing a type of leukemia. It kills one million animals a year in the 13 African countries where it is endemic, or one cow every 30 seconds. These losses cost an estimated $300 million a year and can devastate the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
If the cattle are susceptible, without treatment a farmer can lose 100% of your herd in two or three weeks. Because it does not affect rich countries, funding for research into the disease has always been limited.
A vaccine for East Coast fever exists and usually gives cattle lifelong immunity. However, it is time-consuming and ten to twenty times more expensive to manufacture than other common livestock vaccines (it involves making a kind of “tick smoothie” by crushing hundreds of thousands of infected ticks in a blender industrial).
The other option is to dip animals regularly in acaricides – pesticides that kill ticks – but this is also labor intensive, pollutes and in some places farmers have to dip their cows more than once a week.
4. In politics, Grassley’s Livestock Market Equity Bills go to the Farm Committee for hearing.
The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on two of Sen. Chuck Grassley’s bills that he says seek to improve fairness and competition in the beef industry.
“Legislators have begun to realize that they have a sustainable and affordable supply of meat in our country,” Grassley said. “We need to restore transparency to the market and we need to prevent the market from collapsing in the event of supply chain disruptions.”
The Livestock Price Discovery and Transparency Act is designed to help independent livestock producers get a fair price for their livestock. This would be done through a contracted public library and setting a minimum level of livestock sales.
There is also the Meat and Poultry Special Investigators Act which would create a dedicated USDA office to investigate anti-competitive behavior in the agriculture industry.
Grassley says, “During my county meetings, I hear from cattle ranchers at almost every stage who fear that if changes aren’t made, they’ll have to go out of business. Grassley says he has a long, bipartisan list of co-sponsors for the pair of Bills.
“It’s up to Congress to listen to the needs of our nation’s ranchers,” Grassley says, “and not the scare tactics of the Big Four Packers and their army of lobbyists.”
Grassley says the country’s four major meat packers – Cargill, Tyson Foods, JBS and National Beef Packing – control up to 85% of the pork, cattle and chicken markets.
5. And in Iowa, residents in the eastern part of the state are concerned about a cattle feedlot trying to renew its water use permit.
Residents who spoke at the meeting for the Monona Cattle Feedlot say they are concerned the feedlot is using more water than is stated in the application.
Supreme Beef wants to draw up to 21.9 million gallons of water per year from two wells in the Jordan Aquifer near the 11,600 head facility in Clayton County. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources authorized the use in 2017 and staff recommended renewal, but opponents want the agency to reconsider.
The permit would allow six gallons of water per cow per day.
The license renewal application also does not reflect changes to the Supreme Beef operation, which was called Walz Energy in 2017 and planned to use an anaerobic digester. transform manure into digestate. The previous permit called for 10,000 cattle, not 11,600.
The feedlot has encountered continued opposition from environmental groups and some neighbors for reasons including its proximity to Bloody Run, a treasured trout stream and exceptional Iowa water.
Iowa law requires that water drawn from underground resources have a “beneficial use” for the people of Iowa.