Ever since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease nearly decimated England’s animal agricultural industry, feedyard biosecurity has been an issue. But for the most part, efforts by state livestock associations and regional emergency management officials have been conducted under the radar. That’s all changed, thanks to a Department of Homeland Security project that elevated the issue of feedyard biosecurity to a new level.
It’s long been said that U.S. cattlemen produce for a global market. And indeed they do. While the forecast is for the U.S. beef and cattle markets to remain volatile as they respond to ever tightening supplies, on the international front however, it’s Chinese beef demand that will drive market dynamics.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decides to list the lesser prairie chicken as endangered, though a special rule establishes unprecedented conservation partnership with states to provide regulatory certainty for landowners and businesses. It also enables states to maintain the lead management for conservation efforts.
Who’s your competition? Is it the rancher down the road who sells his calves at the same time you do? One seedstock breeder suggests, since our ultimate goal is to sell beef, our competition is everything else a consumer can eat instead of beef, principally pork and poultry. Thus, being competitive means working together.
The rhetoric surrounding estimates that the world’s population will hit 9 billion people by 2050, and the very real questions that estimate generates about how we will feed all those people, continues to escalate. But does that conversation overlook the very real issues of food insecurity that exist right now? Several international meat organizations are stepping up.
One of the fundamental rules of thumb in pasture management is “take half and leave half.” “The problem is,” says Tim Steffens, Texas AgriLife Extension Service rangeland specialist in Canyon, TX, “the cows did not read the book.”
Cows, being cows, take the best half and leave the rest alone. And that means, Steffens says, you can be conservatively stocked and still overgraze a pasture.
Things are moving inexorably toward March 31, which is when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is expected to announce whether or not the lesser prairie-chicken will be listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Consumers send mixed signals as beef struggles with supply. It will take all segments of the production and marketing chain, working as a team, to successfully navigate the next few years as cattlemen restock and rebuild.