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NLPA News Brief
September 17, 2014
Livestock and Ag Credit News

Ag Credit Conditions Remain Strong Despite Lower Farm Income

By Mary Soukup, Drovers CattleNetwork, 09/12/14—Nearly 220 ag bankers from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico and Missouri responded to the Federal Reserve's Second Quarter Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions. According to the survey, bankers reported very few past due farm loans in the second quarter, and they do not anticipate significant loan repayment problems this year.

The decline in loan repayment rates were in states heavily dependent on crop production, particularly Nebraska, according to the survey. In contest, improved profitability in the beef cattle industry led to strengthened loan repayment rates in Oklahoma in the second quarter, according to the survey. Cropland values were generally steady; Ranchland value, conversely, continued rising supported by demand for high–quality pastures to graze livestock. According to the survey, ranchland values increased more than 2 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2014 and were more than 9 percent higher than levels at this time last year. To read more from the survey, click HERE.

GIPSA NEWS: No new posts this week.

Livestock and Ag Credit News

Are You A Candidate For Cowherd Expansion?

By Wes Ishmael, BEEF Magazine, 09/10/14—"Replacement heifer costs need to be paid from annual net income [not gross income], and it will take 3.9 more calf crops after 2016 to break even," says Harlan Hughes. "If I net $400 annually from the sale of each calf, I need four additional calves to break even [until 2020], and to start making money from this expansion…The big increase in profit from this expansion is projected to occur when I sell my remaining replacement heifers as cull cows at 7–10 years down the road."

Heifer Management Helps Rebuild Cow Herds to Produce Quality Beef

By Duane Dailey, Drovers CattleNetwork, 09/15/14—Rebuilding the U.S. cow herd numbers takes more than keeping female offspring to breed. Managing beef heifers is as important as using improved genetics in developing replacements, says David Patterson, University of Missouri. As farmers save heifers to breed for increasing their cow herds, careful attention must be paid to pre–breeding care.

'2,000 Bull Project' Targets Cattle Traits

By Sandra Avant, Drovers CattleNetwork, 09/15/14—Breakthroughs in genetic research have made it possible to evaluate and routinely predict growth, calving ease, and other important, easily observable traits within beef cattle breeds. However, producers also want to be able to do the same for traits such as feed efficiency, disease resistance, meat tenderness, and reproduction, which are not easy to see or measure. To help producers further improve their genetic evaluations, USMARC geneticist Mark Thallman and his colleagues started the "2,000 Bulls Project" in 2007. They collaborated with the largest U.S. cattle breed associations to collect genetic profiles of 2,000 bulls from 16 different breeds. Each of the 2,000 bulls was tested for approximately 50,000 genetic markers.

Building a Better Animal

By James C. Greenwood. Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 09/12/14—In South Dakota, there are four times as many cows as there are people, so it should come as no surprise that the state is a hub for animal biotechnology. This new and promising sector of the biotechnology industry stands ready to help solve many of the challenges facing the animal agriculture community today. But some fear these benefits never will be realized because of political interference, misinformation spread by anti–science activists or delays in a very rigorous approval process.

Animal biotechnology allows scientists to develop livestock that possess valuable genetic properties that can help improve human and animal health while also increasing livestock productivity. These scientific advancements will be the focus of a unique Livestock Biotech Summit Sept. 16 through 18 in Sioux Falls.

AGree Releases Five Papers on Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes in Agriculture

By Deb Atwood, AGree, 09/12/14—Meeting the food, feed, fuel, and fiber needs of a growing and increasingly prosperous world, and doing so in a manner that also maintains and improves environmental quality, is one of the grand challenges facing humankind in the 21st century. Drawing on diverse expertise among landowners and producers, supply chain leaders, and nonprofit organizations, AGree's Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes Workgroup is developing a set of consensus strategies and recommendations for policy and action that will drive transformative change in U.S. agriculture to meet this challenge. The development of "Point of View" papers on various approaches to simultaneously advancing productivity, profitability, and environmental outcomes has been a significant component of developing consensus recommendations and strategies. The papers offer diverse and insightful perspectives from leading producers and other practitioners and experts at the intersection of agriculture and conservation in the United States.

Food Supplement to Improve Cattle Digestive System

By Jane Moorman, New Mexico State University, 08/05/14
—During drought, having cattle that can tolerate poor nutritional forage is the difference between a cow and calf operation going under, or staying in business. New Mexico State University beef cattle nutritionist Eric Scholljegerdes is conducting research on an amino acid feed supplement for pregnant cows to see if it improves the digestive system of their offspring. Pregnant cows have a harder time during drought because they are eating for two. If they are not able to consume and digest the required nutrients during pregnancy, calf development can be negatively influenced, which in turn has an impact on the dollars in the cattle producer's bank account.

PEDv Comes to Utah

By Angela Bowman, Pork Network, 09/05/14—According to officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has now come to Utah. Earlier this week officials announced tests conducted by the USDA's National Veterinary Service Laboratory confirmed the presence of the fast–spreading virus at the Circle Four Farms in Beaver County, Utah.

Circle Four Farms is one of the biggest hog farm in Utah and one of the largest in the country. Its production facilities house 74,000 sows, 156,000 nursery, and 454,000 finishing spaces. This announcement marks the first confirmed case of PEDv in Utah. Experts estimate around 8 million pigs have been killed across the country since the disease was first identified in U.S. hog herds last April. Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Warren Hess has advised Utah pork producers to "remain vigilant regarding their animal biosecurity practices on their farms."

Global Livestock News

Kansas Department of Agriculture Joins with Costa Rican Cattlemen to Increase Exports and Build Industry

High Plains Journal, 09/15/14—Improving and expanding the Costa Rica beef industry while increasing the opportunity for the sales of U.S., and specifically Kansas beef genetics, is the goal for the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) along with the American International Charolais Association, the Montana Department of Agriculture and the Costa Rica Institute of Innovation and Ag Technology Transfer who have partnered on a project to showcase U.S. beef cattle genetics. The joint project began three years ago with the focus on improving beef quality in Costa Rica while at the same time increasing market opportunities for U.S. ranchers to sell genetics in the Central American country. "The project has great potential to connect Kansas ranchers with Costa Rican cattlemen to improve the genetics of Costa Rican cattle while increasing export opportunities for Kansas seedstock producers," said Billy Brown, Kansas Department of Agriculture.

RUMA Publishes Paper on Antibiotic Resistance Issues in Livestock

Farmers Guardian UK, 09/12/14—A paper clarifying RUMA's (Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture–UK) position on antibiotic resistance and how antibiotics can be responsibly used in UK livestock has been published. RUMA secretary general, John Fitzgerald, says the publication of the paper comes at a time when there is 'understandably' much debate on antibiotic resistance in human medicine and antibiotic use in human and veterinary medicine. Key points in the paper include an assertion scientific evidence increasingly recognises the problem of antibiotic resistance in humans comes largely from the over–use and mis–use of antibiotics in human rather than animal medicine. Read key points HERE.

Global Livestock News

FDA Seeks Comments on Two Issues Related to Drug Approvals

By John Maday, Bovine Veterinarian, 09/08/14—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is inviting public comment on a pair of potential changes in policy regarding approval of drugs used in food–animal production. Each public comment period opened September 9. The first proposed change would modify the procedures and requirements for the approval of combination drug medicated feeds. Currently, according to background information from the FDA, the use of multiple new animal drugs in the same medicated feed requires animal drug sponsors to seek approval for each new animal drug in the combination and seek a separate approval for the combination drug itself.

Also beginning on September 9, FDA is seeking comments on potential changes to conditional approvals for new animal drugs. Currently, conditional approvals are only available for new animal drugs that are intended for use in minor species or for minor uses, such as rare diseases, in major species such as cattle. A conditional approval, according to FDA, allows a drug manufacturer to market its new animal drug before submitting the effectiveness data necessary for a full approval, but after proving the drug is safe in accordance with the full FDA approval standard and showing that there is a reasonable expectation of effectiveness.

Appreciation for Creation of FFAR

American Sheep Industry Association Weekly Newsletter, 09/12/14
—Appreciation for its role in creating the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and for appointing the founding board of directors was forwarded to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week by a diverse group of national and state organizations, including the American Sheep Industry Association.

"With an ever expanding global population and increasing demands for nutritious food and other agricultural products, increased investments in food and agricultural research, extension and education are essential to maintaining our nation's food, economic and national security," the letter stated. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy.

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