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NLPA News Brief
April 27, 2016
Livestock and Ag Credit News

Earth Day's Compost

By Wills Coggin, Farm & Ranch Guide, 04/22/16— Earth Day is an event driven over the years by simple messages. Recycle. Conserve energy. Don't litter. Reduce waste. And it's fair to say it's helped: 42 percent of Americans say they always recycle, according to Reader's Digest.

Yet unfortunately, Earth Day is being hijacked by groups who want to fit the help–the–environment message to their own agendas. In particular, food.

Consider meat consumption, a frequent target of Earth Day activism. From "Meatless Monday" campaigns to vogue vegan–diet fads, there's a host of advocacy groups intent on converting the roughly 93 percent of Americans who identify neither as vegetarians nor vegans. Usually, these activists cite pseudoscientific health claims to make the case against eating hamburgers, chicken nuggets, or steak. On Earth Day, however, vegan mouthpieces promote a meat–free diet under the guise of environmentalism, insisting our omnivorous eating habits aren't "green." But the facts show otherwise.

Tremendous improvements in animal agricultural have substantially lowered the environmental impacts of all kinds of food production. Consider that one farmer today provides enough food to feed roughly 155 people per year; producing the same volume in 1930 required at least 15 farmers.

The EPA finds that all of agriculture is responsible for 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions—and raising livestock even less.

GIPSA NEWS: 04/21/2016

Livestock and Ag Credit News

Cow–Calf Producers: Pay Attention To Livestock Nutrition Needs, Especially After Calving

By Tracy Turner, High Plains Journal, 04/22/16— As livestock producers move from winter feed to spring grazing, they should pay extra attention to spring–calving beef cows to make sure their nutritional needs are met, says a beef cattle expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

That could mean leading the animals away from early green grass this spring, said John Grimes, beef coordinator for Ohio State University Extension and a member of the OSU Extension Beef Team. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.

If spring–calving beef cows' nutritional needs are not adequately met from calving to breeding, it can cause a reduced body condition score, he said. And that can result in a disastrous rebreeding performance.

9 Apps Custom–Built for Livestock Producers

By Ben Potter, AgWeb, 04/25/16— Row–crop farmers don't get to have all the fun when it comes to agriculture and farming apps. Livestock producers have plenty of options, too.

Here are a few livestock–focused mobile apps that have been reviewed on the AgWeb App Finder. For dozens of additional farming app reviews, ratings and links to download, visit

1. Zinpro Step–Up – this is a resource developed by Zinpro Corporation, the Beef Cattle Institute and Kansas State University to help producers identify, diagnose and treat lameness. Educational materials include locomotion scoring videos, a diagnostic guide, a nutrition overview and additional training materials.
2. farmGRAZE – this app prompts users to measure the forage available in their fields.
3. CattleFax – this aggregates a variety of information for cattle industry stakeholders.
4. Calf Book – this app allows farmers to track calving data, calf weaning and yearling performance.
5. MSUES Cattle Calculator –calculates various factors that have an impact on livestock management decisions.
6. All About Beef – with beef production education, the "steaks are high," and this app funded by the Beef Checkoff Program gives students in grades 3 to 5 a chance to learn more about livestock nutrition and environmental facts, and cook up some kid–friendly recipes.
7. Beef News and Markets – powered by Drovers, stay current on beef news and market information, dig into expert commentary, receive custom weather alerts and more.
8. Angus Mobile – created by the American Angus Association, this app lets producers access their AAA herd data and keep updated records.
9. Feed Cost Calculator – from South Dakota State University, this app helps producers compare feedstuffs based on relative cost per pound of protein and energy delivered.

U.S. Animal Ag Has Some Work to Do

Feedstuffs, 04/20/16— America's livestock and poultry farmers have some work to do. More than half the people in a recent nationwide survey by The Center for Food Integrity strongly agree with the statement, "If farm animals are treated decently and humanely, I have no problem consuming meat, milk and eggs." Only one in four people in the same survey strongly agree with the statement, "U.S. meat is derived from humanely treated animals." See the gap?

Consumers have traditionally trusted farmers because they believe farmers share their values. But consumers aren't sure today's agriculture still qualifies as farming. While there's significant concern that animals raised for food are being treated humanely, much is happening that might show consumers that today's farmers are closer to meeting their expectations than they might realize.

Missouri Producers Reject Creating State Beef Checkoff

Springfield News–Leader, 04/25/16— A proposal to establish a $1 state fee per head of cattle was soundly rejected by Missouri beef producers, the Missouri Department of Agriculture announced Monday.

The proposal lost with nearly 75 percent of the beef producers who voted opposed and just over 25 percent in favor, according to the department, which also said ballots were mailed to 8,480 Missouri beef producers who registered to vote and 6,568 valid ballots were returned.

The Missouri Beef Industry Council proposed the $1 fee — on top of the existing $1 per head federal beef checkoff fee — to go toward to the council, which spent more than a half million dollars on advertising and outreach in 2015. Money from the federal checkoff is used by state beef councils to promote beef industry research, consumer education, industry information and foreign marketing. Laws prevent the use of checkoff dollars to lobby or otherwise influence government action.

Managing Costs Is Key to Riding Out Cattle Cycle

By Wes Ishmael, BEEF Magazine, 04/25/16— Focus on being as competitive as possible, which means lowering and managing costs; then you have the chance to profit no matter where the market is at any point in time."

That's the common recommendation shared by lenders I visited with earlier this year when quizzing them about how they were advising clients to manage price risk.

Part of the advice has to do with taking hold of the financial reins within producer control. Part of it has to do with the fact that cyclical expansion will continue to erode revenue — never mind the head–scratching market volatility.

Cash Rents Dip 7% to Average $211 Per Acre

By Ben Potter, Drovers, 04/22/16— Creighton University released its Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) for April 2016, and the monthly survey of bank CEOs in a 10–state Midwest region showed a downward trend of several things, including cash rents, equipment sales and farmland prices. The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, settled in at 38.2 for April 2016, down from March's 40.2.

"This is the eight straight months the overall index has moved below growth neutral," says Ernie Goss, who chairs Creighton's Heider College of Business. "Compared to 12 months earlier, prices for farm products are down by 16%, and energy products are 8% lower." Bankers participating in the survey reported an average cash rent per acre of $211 in 2016. That's down 7% from the same time a year ago.

Global Livestock News

Exotic Caterpillars Pose Risk to Livestock, Farmers Warned

Farmers Weekly, 04/25/16— Livestock in the south–east of England are at an increased risk of exposure to an exotic moth caterpillar that can cause health problems if licked, sniffed, picked up or eaten.

The Forestry Commission (FC) is warning farmers in and around London and West Berkshire of the health risk posed to animals by caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (OPM), a species native to southern Europe that was accidently introduced to the UK 11 years ago.

Animals that have licked, sniffed, picked up or tried to eat the OPM caterpillars or nests have suffered from hypersalivation, swelling of the tongue, conjunctivitis, gagging, vomiting, respiratory distress and inflammation of the mouth.

32 Indonesian Companies Fined, Found Guilty of Forming Beef Cartel

Indonesia Investments, 04/24/16— Indonesia's Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) penalized 32 Indonesian cattle importer and beef feedlot companies with a combined IDR 107 billion (approx. USD $8.1 million) in fines on grounds of the practice of unfair competition.

These 32 companies have been found guilty of forming a cartel with the aim of controlling local beef prices, curtailing beef imports, and curtailing the distribution of beef at the expense of the Indonesian consumer, particularly in the Greater Jakarta area.

Global Livestock News

USDA Won't Compensate Idaho Farms Over Pesticide Poisoning

Lawyer Herald, 04/25/16— The U.S. Department of Agriculture declined to pay the damages it had inflicted on Idaho farms regarding the pesticide treatments that contaminated different crops and herds of cattle. Two families are reported to be affected by the poisoning.

USDA won't pay the damages on the two families' farms. Instead they are advised to file lawsuit against the said government agency. This is an expensive effort that calls for possible bankruptcy for the farms and jeopardize the $70 million Idaho potato pest eradication program.

Pork Producers Participate in Washington Fly–In

PORK Network, 04/21/16— More than 130 pork producers from around the country Thursday wrapped up two days of lobbying lawmakers on important pork industry issues as part of the National Pork Producers Council biannual legislative fly–in.

Producers from 20 states visited their senators’ and representatives’ Capitol Hill offices, urging them to back federal funding for addressing antibiotic resistance and for establishing a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank, to oppose legislation that would allow for the intrastate commercial sale of uninspected meat and to support the Trans–Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

NPPC supports full allocation of the fiscal 2016 $10 million budget request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to implement the agency’s Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan and $25 million of additional funding for research on antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic alternatives through USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and/or its Agricultural Research Service.

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