Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Good News for Grazing
Feb 07, 2014
This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Grazing Improvement Act, a bill that aims to improve the process of renewing grazing permits for BLM and Forest Service land. A key provision of the bill is that it would expand the permit term limit from 10 to 20 years. NCBA and the Public Lands Council are applauding the bill, saying it adds stability to the operations of federal lands ranchers. We're inclined to agree.
In other grazing news, a group of nearly 30 western U.S. scientists have agreed that eliminating grazing on public lands would do nothing to reduce the impact of climate change on rangeland. In fact, they argue that grazing can help by managing grasslands that are at risk of catastrophic wildfires due to climate change. Additionally, the researchers say that much of the criticism against grazing is based on decades-old studies, before grazing regulations were in place. "Since then, we've learned more about the ecology and management of rangelands," says co-author Dave Bohnert of Oregon State University. "Ranchers are constantly looking at ways to be more sustainable in their grazing practices." Now that's good science.
Water on the Horizon?
The drought in the western U.S. continues to expand, and its hitting ranchers and farmers in California especially hard, driving up input costs and leaving many without water. However, hope is on the horizon. According to climatologists, a weak El Nino could return this summer, which would bring some much-needed preciptation to the western states. And CattleFax market analysts predict that the extra moisture will create a good growing season, lowering feed costs and driving calf values to record-highs. CattleFax says this combination will eventually allow the U.S. beef herd to expand, and long-term the industry should remain profitable. We love to hear a little good news now and then.
Don't Read on an Empty Stomach
While we are normally skeptical of anything that Huffington Post produces, they did get one thing right: These recipes really are a meat lover's dream come true. Just seeing the photos of this array of tempting beef and pork dishes got our mouths watering. And while a few of them seemed a little too "Top Chef" for us, the bacon-wrapped meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes and gravy definitely reminded us it was time for lunch.
Focus on Your Offense
We announced earlier this week that we would be at the 2014 Cattle Industry Convention, and while there, one of our editors got caught on camera. Adam Callaway from the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation cornered livestock and production editor Sara Brown, and got her thoughts on beef advocacy. So what did she have to say? Here's a hint: Ms. Brown believes offense wins games, not defense.