Last year was no treat when it came to storms in the Atlantic. And the forecast for this year is not much more encouraging, as hurricane forecasters are calling for an above-average year of tropical storm activity.
For as long as there have been cattle, rustling has been a problem. Rural crime is taking a new and increasingly more dangerous twist today, however, as meth labs and urban gangs move out to the country.
In a drought, it seems that things cascade upon themselves to make matters worse. Take water, for instance. While quantity is one of the most immediate concerns, quality may be a limiting factor that can sneak up.
This time last year, farmers were already in the field, running planters full out to get the corn crop in the ground. Many of those early-planted fields were whacked with a double whammy of freezes and drought.
The 2011 National Beef Quality Audit was the latest in a long line of audits designed to look long and hard at how well the beef industry is satisfying all customers along the beef marketing chain. When buying bulls and marketing calves, keep these six points in mind.
The Federal Reserve’s cheap money policy continues to fuel the rural economic fire, bolstering farmland values, commodity prices and farm income. And given that the Fed shows no inclination to change its policy, recent rural economic trends will likely continue throughout 2013.
Looking back at long-term weather patterns isn’t for the faint of heart. Indeed, wet and dry cycles have been happening regularly for thousands of years. That, however, is little consolation for cattlemen scratching their collective heads as they try to manage their way through this current drought.
As has been the case for far too long, any kind of industry outlook begins with this: “It depends on the weather.” So, while cattle price forecasts say to look for higher and higher prices for all classes of cattle, just how high they get and how long they stay there hinges on Mother Nature.
Some bulls excel in siring calves that perform in the feedyard and on the rail, and some bulls sire calves that perform on the scales. Knowing which is which can help you sort your calf crop and optimize revenue.
Not all bulls get the job done during breeding season. With DNA technology and a lot of number crunching, research in California found some answers to help ranchers sort the workers from the welfare recipients in their bull battery.
If there are two words to describe the current environment that cattlemen find themselves in, they are volatility and uncertainty. Much of that is driven by historically low interest rates and high input prices. Navigating such an environment will mean you will need to work more closely with your ag lender than ever before.
Keeping the right females is something every rancher struggles with, even when it does rain, says Ty Watkins. “However, in a drought year where you’re forced to make decisions within your cowherd that you wouldn’t otherwise make, you really want to be sure you’re keeping the most efficient, most productive cows possible.”