from July 19

ROBUST SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM CATCHES ATYPICAL BSE CASE

     USDA confirmed yesterday a case of atypical BSE in an 11-year-old cow in Alabama. Researchers believe atypical BSE arises rarely and spontaneously in all cattle populations. The disease generally occurs in animals eight years of age or older. It is different than classical BSE, which has been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans.
     The animal was detected at a livestock market and at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health. USDA indicated the cow was showing clinical signs of BSE and was found through routine surveillance, confirming that interlocking safeguards required by the government and carried out by the industry are working. The USDA surveillance program is designed to detect one BSE case in one million adult cattle with 95% confidence.
     Atypical cases of BSE do not impact a country’s official BSE risk status with the World Organization for Animal Health. According to USDA, this case will not change the negligible risk status currently assigned to the U.S. and should not lead to any trade disruption.

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from July 18

SPEARVILLE RANCH TO HOST FIRST 2017 KLA/KSU FIELD DAY

     Black Diamond Angus Ranch near Spearville will host the first 2017 KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day August 17. The field day at the historic ranch will begin at 3:30 p.m., include education and information sessions and conclude with a beef dinner.
     Two additional field day dates and sites will be announced this week. Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health Division and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas are sponsors of the field days.

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from July 17

STRATEGIES EXIST TO PREVENT LIVESTOCK HEAT STRESS

     Producers with livestock in confinement can take steps to prevent heat stress during periods of high temperatures, elevated humidity, low wind speeds and high solar radiation. Veterinarians and animal scientists say effective strategies include feeding schedules that avoid the internal heat build-up animals experience with normal digestion during the hottest part of the day. Increasing airflow around confined areas by taking down winter windbreaks, including hay barriers, will provide relief, as will providing shade where possible. The use of light-colored bedding, such as chopped hay or straw, will help reduce the heat load on animals. Consider the use of additional water tanks as summer intake is greater than normal.  
     Wetting pen surfaces and animals can be effective if done in a manner that doesn’t increase humidity. When wetting animals, experts suggest using large droplets, not a fine mist. They recommend saturating hair for maximum cooling.  
     To help livestock producers better prepare for periods of extreme heat, the KLA website has a link to daily heat stress maps from the National Weather Service. These maps will help producers be aware of and understand weather conditions that could adversely affect livestock health.

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from July 14

BROOKOVER INDUCTED INTO FEEDERS HALL OF FAME

     Cattle feeding pioneer Earl Brookover of Garden City was inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame this week during ceremonies in Denver. More than 500 people were on hand for the induction of the late Brookover and others who were honored for outstanding contributions to the cattle feeding sector.
     Brookover built the state’s first commercial feedyard in October 1951. For more than 65 years, Brookover Feed Yards have continued in the cattle feeding business at Garden City. After Brookover’s passing in 1985, management of the feedyard was passed on to his son, E.C., and grandson, Ty Brookover.
     The senior Brookover had a vision to develop what some considered wasteland in southwest Kansas into prime irrigated cropland. The additional grain produced as a result of his foresight inspired Brookover to get into the commercial cattle feeding business.
     In addition to Brookover, Jeff Biegert, founder of Midwest PMS/Biegert Feeds of Shickley, NE, was inducted into the hall. Others recognized were Texas A&M veterinarian Dee Griffin, who received the Industry Leadership Award, and Eulogio “Lohill” Dimas of Southwest Feeders at Hayes Center, NE, who was presented the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award.

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from July 13

NEW PROVISION REQUIRES TRAINING ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO RENEW CDL

     During the 2017 session, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill dealing with human trafficking. Tied to the bill is a component that requires commercial truck drivers to view a short training video and take a certification quiz to learn how to identify and report possible human trafficking activity. The training is tied to the commercial driver’s license (CDL) application and renewal.
     Starting July 1, 2018, commercial truck drivers will have to complete the training prior to renewing their CDL. The training video and certification quiz can be found here.

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from July 12

ROBINSON CATTLEMAN NAMED RECRUITER OF THE MONTH

     Larry Oltjen of Robinson earned KLA Recruiter of the Month honors for June. He and his wife, Marty, organize and host the Old District 10 KLA Meeting in Hiawatha each June. The event gives producers in the nine northeastern Kansas counties an opportunity to enjoy a great steak and hear a brief update on the legislative session. Two individuals joined as a result of this year’s event.  
     For his efforts, Oltjen will receive a $50 Cabela’s gift card and be entered in a grand prize drawing to be held at the KLA Convention in Wichita. He also will receive prizes through the KLA Top Hand Contest, sponsored by John Deere.  
     As of June 30, 42 individuals and county committees had signed up a total of 59 new members in the competition. The leader is Vernon Bohn of Dwight, with four recruits. Those with three recruits each are Jim Ashmore, Logan; Clint Bryant, Winfield; and Mark Schultz, Lucas.  
     Any KLA member can earn recruiter of the year honors and a Greeley Hat Works custom hat, as well as several nice prizes along the way, by reaching the 25-member mark. For a list of prospects in your area, contact letty@kla.org.

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from July 11

FOUR YOUTH IN AG SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED BY KLF

     The Kansas Livestock Foundation (KLF) has awarded four $1,000 Youth in Agriculture scholarships for the 2017-18 school year. Winners include Zachary Callaghan, son of John and Sheila Callaghan of Tonganoxie; Chisum Grund, son of Jerry and Chrysanne Grund from Wallace; Sarah Loomis, daughter of Jason and Sheryl Loomis of Council Grove; and Sarah Moyer, daughter of Jaret and Shawna Moyer from Emporia.
     Callaghan will be a sophomore at K-State, majoring in ag education with a secondary major in global food systems leadership. Moyer will be a junior at K-State in ag communications and journalism. Loomis and Grund will be freshmen at Hutchinson Community College. Loomis will study ag communications and animal science, while Grund plans to pursue a degree in ag technology management.
     Funding for these scholarships is generated through the KLF Club Calf Sale held during the Kansas Junior Livestock Show. This year’s sale will be September 30 in Hutchinson.

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from July 10

AVERAGE LEASE RATES REPORTED IN BLUESTEM PASTURE REPORT

     Adequate to surplus stockwater and good to excellent pasture conditions marked the beginning of the Flint Hills grazing season, according to the 2017 Kansas Bluestem Pasture Survey. The survey included responses from ranchers and landowners in the 14-county bluestem pasture area and was jointly conducted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University Department of Ag Economics. Respondents answered questions about grazing conditions, pasture lease rates and fencing costs.  
     The average lease rate for full summer season contracts was reported to be $42.59 per acre when care is provided and $23.01 per acre without care. For steers and heifers less than 700 lbs., the average price per head is $90.24 for the full season. Partial season contracts averaged $35.43 per acre with care provided and $24.37 without. The price per head, with care, for steers and heifers less than 700 lbs. on a partial season contract is $85.44. Without care, the partial season average price is $61.74 per head.  
     Pasture operators reported charging $177.99 for cow-calf pairs on a full summer season contract. The average full-year lease rate per cow with a fall calf is $198.33. For cows with spring calves, the average full-year lease rate is $198.49 per pair. Full-year lease rates averaged $22.34 per acre for cows.  
     The rate charged for building a five-wire, all steel post fence, including materials, averaged $27.68 per rod. Average per hour fence construction rates are $66.67 with equipment and $45 without equipment. The additional charge for building in rough or rocky terrain was $62.50 per hour.

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from July 7

WABAUNSEE COUNTY RANCHER TESTIFIES BEFORE U.S. SENATE AG COMMITTEE

     KLA member Barb Downey from Wamego was in Washington, D.C., June 29 to testify on conservation programs and the Farm Bill. She presented testimony on behalf of NCBA before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
     Downey told committee members the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) has helped enhance the health of grazing lands, improve water and soil quality and reduce erosion. The dual benefit, she testified, is improved habitat for grassland nesting birds. She said a specific example of conservation programs applied on her ranch involves EQIP cost-share funding used to help install controlled access points for cattle to drink from farm ponds.
     The Wabaunsee County rancher said voluntary conservation initiatives offer enough flexibility to make the programs effectively work for ranchers in various situations. Downey said the key is keeping the programs voluntary.
     “A one-size-fits-all approach that accompanies top-down regulation does not work in my industry,” Downey testified.

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from July 6

AG SECRETARY ANNOUNCES EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR EMERGENCY CRP GRAZING

     USDA has extended the deadline for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program acres for those affected earlier this year by wildfire. The Farm Service Agency will extend authority through September 30, 2017, for livestock producers who lost pasture or fence due to wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The original deadline was July 3.
     U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall sent a letter to U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue in April requesting the extension. Perdue responded with a June 15 letter granting the request. Ranchers with questions should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.

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