from August 26


     Tomorrow’s (8/27) KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day at Penokee will feature a panel describing their experiences with laying out practical working facilities on ranches utilizing artificial insemination. Terry Hobbs, host of the event, will be joined by Chris Riedel of Morland and K-State livestock specialist Sandy Johnson in addressing the topic. Other program highlights will be how Hobbs Ranch ammoniates wheat straw to enhance its feed value and a presentation by Beef Cattle Institute veterinarian Dave Rethorst about how the new federal Veterinary Feed Directive will impact antibiotic use in the livestock industry.
     Field day activities at Hobbs Ranch, a commercial cow-calf operation in southeastern Graham County, will begin at 4:00 p.m. and conclude with a beef dinner at 6:30 p.m. KLA members are encouraged to bring a neighbor or friend in the livestock business to the event.
     Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field day. Directions to the ranch and more information about the program are available


from August 25



     Julie Borlaug recently joined 11 other female scientists, science communicators and farmers to criticize celebrity mothers, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jillian Michaels, for opposing agricultural biotechnology. The group of science professionals asked the celebrities to use their influence responsibly and ensure their advocacy is supported by facts, not fear.
     “Please don’t co-opt motherhood and wield your fame to oppose beneficial technologies like genetic engineering,” Borlaug and her co-signers, who are also mothers, wrote. “When GMOs are stigmatized, farmers and consumers are able to benefit from much needed advancements like plants with increased nutrients or plants that can adapt to changing environmental stresses.”
     Paltrow went to Capitol Hill earlier this month to lobby for mandatory, federal labeling of genetically modified organisms. She testified as a mom.
     Borlaug is the granddaughter of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution. Norman Borlaug’s work in developing high-yielding, disease resistant crops often is credited for saving more than a billion people worldwide from starvation.


from August 22



     The Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors met last week to discuss the Kansas ag economy. This group provides economic insights to Gov. Sam Brownback by assessing local, national and global business conditions and trends. KLA past presidents Ken Grecian of Palco and Larry Jones from Holcomb are members of the council.
     Kansas Ag Secretary Jackie McClaskey highlighted for the council that agriculture is the largest economic driver in Kansas, valued at more than $63 billion and accounting for 43% of the state’s total economy. She also explained a number of challenges and opportunities identified by her team at the Kansas Department of Agriculture that could affect additional growth in the ag sector.
     In addition, a panel representing a number of agricultural businesses expanded on the potential for growth in their operations. Panelists included KLA members Brian Hemann, managing partner of Ag Oasis Dairies, Liberal; Melissa Hildebrand Reed of Hildebrand Farms Dairy, Junction City; and Tracy Brunner of Cow Camp Feedyard, Ramona.


from August 21


The waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) that could require farmers and ranchers to obtain a permit for everyday management practices is the target of an all-out effort to stop it by NCBA. Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts told more than 200 attending the KLA/K-State Ranch Management Field Day at El Dorado yesterday that NCBA is working on several fronts to have the rule nullified. The strategies include lobbying for congressional action to kill the rule, working with appropriations committees in Congress to defund enforcement by the Environmental Protection Agency and pursuing a legal challenge as part of a broad coalition.
     "We'll continue to be aggressively engaged on WOTUS," said Butts. "Hopefully we can slow it down or have the rule totally withdrawn."
     Also on the program at Gilmore Creek Ranch, which hosted the event, was a panel discussion featuring three ranchers. Frank Harper with Gilmore Creek, Jaret Moyer of Emporia and Rich Porter of Reading agreed using grass traps for starting cattle and calving provides substantial benefits in terms of reduced sickness and death loss. Further coverage of the grass trap panel will appear in the October Kansas Stockman.
     Owned by Randy and Judy Mills, Gilmore Creek Ranch is a commercial cow-calf and stocker operation northwest of the El Dorado Reservoir. The Mills’ son-in-law and daughter, Frank and Mary Harper, manage the ranch.
     Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas sponsored the El Dorado field day.


from August 20



      Events on the schedule for Flint Hills Beef Fest at Emporia are highlighted by Friday morning’s beef producer information seminar, Friday evening’s ranch rodeo, a ranch horse competition Saturday morning and the banquet and awards ceremony that evening. The 29th annual celebration of the Kansas grass cattle industry will take place August 21-23, with many of the individual events held on the Lyon County Fairgrounds.
     Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., prior to the beef producer seminar. Speakers on the program, sponsored by Beef Fest and WIBW radio, are Kendal Lothman, special agent for the livestock theft investigation unit with the Kansas attorney general’s office; NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts; and Tom Leffler with Leffler Commodities of Augusta. Breakfast and the program are free, but registration is required by emailing
     Tickets for the ranch rodeo, ranch feed and businessman mugging, all at or near the fairgrounds arena, are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under at the gate. The ranch feed starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by the rodeo at 7:00 p.m.
     Spectators are welcome for the ranch horse competition at 8:00 a.m. in the arena. This year’s competition will be part of the Mid-West Ranch Horse Association Series.
     Awards for the grass cattle futurity and stocker show will be presented at 5:30 p.m. in the Bowyer Building, with a steak dinner to follow. Comedian and magician Devin Henderson will perform after dinner. The dance at 9:00 p.m. will feature Mike & The Moonpies. Tickets for the banquet are limited. Call (620) 528-3444 for ticket information.


from August 19


     One of NCBA’s lead lobbyists will be in Kansas Thursday (8/20) to update ranchers on the industry’s fight to position beef in the new dietary guidelines and international retaliation against U.S. red meat due to the discriminatory nature of mandatory country-of-origin labeling. Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts will be one of the featured speakers at Thursday’s KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near El Dorado.
      Butts will be joined on the program at Gilmore Creek Ranch by a panel of Frank Harper, Jaret Moyer, Rich Porter and Natural Resources Conservation Service Ranchland Management Specialist David Kraft. They will discuss using grass traps in a cow-calf, heifer growing or stocker cattle system.
     Owned by Randy and Judy Mills, Gilmore Creek Ranch is a commercial cow-calf and stocker operation northwest of the El Dorado Reservoir. The Mills’ son-in-law and daughter, Frank and Mary Harper, manage the ranch.
     The Gilmore Creek field day will begin at 4:00 p.m. and conclude with a free beef dinner at 6:30 p.m. Directions to the ranch and more program information can be found here.
     Two more KLA/K-State field days will take place next week. Hobbs Ranch at Penokee will host an event August 27, while LS Cattle in western Douglas County will be the site for the last field day August 29. All the field days are sponsored by Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.


from August 18



     Officials with Tyson Fresh Meats announced last week the cattle processing plant at Denison, IA, has been permanently closed to better align the company’s overall production capacity with current cattle supplies. Tyson Fresh Meats President Steve Stouffer said tight cattle supplies have created excess beef production capacity in the region.
     “We believe the move to cease beef operations at Denison will put the rest of our beef business in a better position for future success,” said Stouffer.  
     While cattle harvest has ended at the plant, idling 400 workers, the by-product rendering system at the Denison plant will continue operations. The 20 employees in this division will process by-products from other Tyson locations. Tyson’s other beef plants are located in Finney County, KS; Amarillo, TX; Dakota City, NE; Joslin, IL; Lexington, NE; and Pasco, WA.   
     The Denison beef plant opened in 1961 as the first facility operated by Iowa Beef Packers. The start-up company became one of the world’s leading beef processors and eventually was acquired by Tyson in 2001.


from August 17



     Livestock owners who experience livestock death losses due to adverse weather, including extreme heat conditions, may be eligible for payments through the USDA Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). Death losses eligible for compensation must be in excess of normal mortality rates. For 2015, eligible losses must occur on or after January 1, 2015, and before December 31, 2015.
     Owners applying for 2015 LIP payments for livestock losses due to extreme heat are reminded the notice of loss must be filed with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) within 30 days of when the loss is apparent. Proof of death documentation, copies of grower contracts, if applicable, and proof of normal mortality documentation must be provided to local FSA offices within the 30-day period. Additional information about LIP is available at county FSA offices.


from August 14



     All Kansas commercial cow-calf producers are eligible to exhibit cattle in a special show September 16 at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. The Super Cow-Calf Show will feature pairs in pasture condition, with no fitting allowed.
     An entry consists of one cow and her natural calf. No bull calves are allowed. The age of the cow and birth date of the calf must be known and provided by the exhibitor.
     Cows will be judged on type, structure, muscling, natural fleshing and soundness of udder, eyes, feet and legs. The calf at side will be evaluated on the same criteria. Cow weight and the calf's projected 205-day adjusted weight will be given to the judges.
     The grand champion pair will win $600 plus five straws of ABS semen, while the reserve grand champion will earn $400 plus 5 straws of ABS semen, third place $250, fourth place $150 and fifth place $100. Prizes are offered by the following sponsors: ABS, Sandra Utter, Pratt; Reno County Farm Bureau, South Hutchinson; Valley Vet LLC, Arnold Nagley, Marysville; and Central City Scale, Central City, NE.
     All cows and calves must be unloaded and processed by 11:00 a.m. September 16. The show begins at 2 p.m. All entries must arrive and leave that day. All livestock entering the grounds must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection issued within 30 days before the show.
     The entry fee is $25 per pair. Pre entries are due to the Kansas State Fair by August 15 and can be entered online. For more entry or show information, including health requirements, click here or call the Super Cow-Calf Show superintendent Kent McKinnis at (620) 899-0025.


from August 13



     The entry deadline for the Kansas Junior Livestock Show (KJLS), proudly sponsored by Cargill, is fast approaching. Participants must have electronic entries submitted by 11:59 p.m. August 15. Late entries will be accepted at double the entry fee until 11:59 p.m. August 31. After completing the required fields on the electronic version, forms must be printed and signed by the exhibitor’s county extension agent or ag instructor and mailed to the show office in Wichita.
     KJLS will be held October 2-4 at its new location, the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. All show information, including entry forms and scholarship applications can be found here. Scholarship applications are due August 15.           
     Cargill is the official sponsor for the show. Merck Animal Health is sponsoring the beef show. Other corporate sponsors include Ag Choice/MFA, Kansas Farm Bureau and Farm Bureau Financial Services, Syngenta, Elanco Animal Health and Frontier Farm Credit. KLA, Kansas State University and the Agri-Business Council of Wichita continue to serve as the major sponsors of the event. 


from August 12



 Designing working facilities for artificial insemination (AI) will be highlighted at the August 27 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day near Penokee. Terry Hobbs, the host of this event, will join Chris Riedel of Morland and K-State’s Sandy Johnson to visit about their experiences in laying out practical, effective portable working facilities on ranches that utilize AI in their breeding programs. Field day attendees also will see how the Hobbs Ranch ammoniates wheat straw to enhance its feed value and hear how the new federal Veterinary Feed Directive will impact livestock producers starting October 1.
 The first KLA/K-State field day will be held August 20 at Gilmore Creek Ranch near El Dorado. Topics on the program will highlight the use of grass traps, designing and managing living wind breaks and an update from one of NCBA’s top lobbyists.
 LS Cattle near Lecompton, owned in part by Bryce and Gina Schumann, will host the third field day August 29. The August 20 and August 27 field days begin at 4:00 p.m., while the August 29 event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m.
 Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days. Additional information about the field days can be found by clicking here


from August 11



     U.S. meat exports faced some challenging circumstances during the first half of 2015, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). The West Coast port slowdown, strong U.S. dollar and intense competition from other countries around the world made it difficult to keep pace with the record export performance from last year.
     January through June U.S. beef exports accounted for 13% of total production, down from 14% for the same period last year. The beef export value of $291.70 per head of fed cattle slaughtered was up 7% year-over-year. Exports to Korea and Taiwan were up during the first half, while beef shipments to Japan, the largest importer of U.S. beef, were down 2% by both value and volume.
     First half pork exports accounted for 25% of total production, compared to 28% a year earlier. Export value averaged $50.85 per head of hogs slaughtered, down 22%, compared to the first six months of 2014.  


from August 10



     A new report from the Rabobank Food & Agribusiness Research Group suggests the beef cowherd will experience a geographic shift as herd rebuilding occurs over the next four to six years. Senior analysts Sterling Liddell and Don Close, authors of “Beef Cow Repopulation: The Case for Diversification,” point toward the U.S. cow-calf herd shifting to a more concentrated geographical population.
     Their projections are for the U.S. beef cow population to grow by more than 3 million head in the next three to five years. Close said this will happen in two phases, with herds initially rebuilding to near 2011 levels in the Southwest and High Plains. Once this area has repopulated, he and Liddell believe growth will occur mainly in the Dakotas and Corn Belt. The combination of more normal cow numbers in the Southwest and High Plains, plus the addition of confined and semi-confined cow-calf units in the row crop producing regions of the central U.S., will lead to a unified, central states cowherd, according to Close.
     Of the 3.5 to 4 million head growth in cow numbers anticipated in the Rabobank report, Liddell said 1.7 million of those will be added in areas typically focused on row crop production.