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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Gene Henderson with Drover’s reports that last year’s historic drought in the southwest gained a lot of attention for its dramatic impact on people, livestock and wildlife. This year’s drought, however, is worse in many ways and likely to be much more expensive to both agriculture and to consumers.

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Rita Jane Babbett reports that there are plenty of short-term implications for cattle ranchers and corn farmers as dry heat continues to scorch much of the United States, but the impact on beef processors will be longer term, according to analysts contacted by Meatingplace.

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Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts said Tuesday the deaths of 15 cattle in Bastrop County recently were likely an isolated event and that no further problems are anticipated.

“There’s a lot of information and misinformation that continues to circulate about this recent isolated case of cattle dying after consuming a Bermuda grass hybrid known as Tifton 85,” said Dr. Ron Gill, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist. “It should be known that there is not a widespread problem or concern related to this forage or its use for grazing livestock or the production of hay for livestock consumption.”

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Cotton planting is wrapping up in the Rolling Plains although some plants are having a hard time getting established. Recent blowing winds and some heavy rain has left some tender plants weak.  Some producers are fighting sand. Pastures are looking good at this time as the moisture helped grasses out. Although the rain has helped, with little soil moisture and high temperatures, producers aren’t looking for pastures to last long. The forecast is calling for hot, 100+ degree weather, and no rain. Producers are worried that just one week of this type weather will do them in this year where cotton and cattle are concerned. Hay is seeing grasshopper damage. Livestock remain in generally good condition. Peach harvest is ongoing, quality good to excellent, yield fair to good. Wise County reported pecan nut casebearer moth trapped this week.

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Overrall food costs were unchanged between April and May, even though the latest USDA figures show that the food Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 2.8 percent higher than in May 2011.

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The USDA report on Friday showed total on feed supplies were up 1.7% from a year ago, a full percentage point higher than pre-report estimates. Feedlots placed 15.3% more cattle on feed than a year ago, compared to the 14.2% increase that analysts expected.

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Vesicular stomatitis (VS), a viral disease of livestock, was initially found in the outskirts of Tularosa, NM in Otero County in April 2012. No further cases were confirmed in that county, but the disease subsequently was found in Valencia County south of Albuquerque, where a total of nine premises are currently under quarantine for suspected or confirmed cases of VS. In the last week there have been suspected VS cases reported and quarantined in southwestern San Miguel and northern Socorro Counties.

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