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.
Jul 03, 2014
Denying science has consequences. Despite wagon loads of evidence that organic foods are not safer or more nutritious than conventional foods, and similar evidence that GMO-produced crops have increased production without a hint of danger to humans, the anti-food technology protests continue. A new wrinkle in this conflict may have been conceived by an Australian judge who created a legal environment that will spur new lawsuits between organic farmers and their neighbors using biotech seeds.
Science deniers, however, are doing more than just opposing methods to increase food production. They're also endangering current and future generations to diseases that were thought to have been thrown out with the VHS player.
Measles, for instance, was declared eliminated in the Americas in 2002. But as of May 23, more than 288 cases have been reported this year. That's because a growing movement of anti-vaxxers have been vaccinated with the nonsense that it's wrong to protect children against dangerous diseases.
Cattle Markets Continue Skyward
The fireworks started early in the cattle markets. Cash fed cattle prices are $4 higher this week. That is not a misprint.
Cattle traded in the Panhandle at $158 per cwt. In July! In Nebraska cattle sold on a dressed basis mostly $5 higher at $250. Some feedyards are holding out for $160 per cwt. Boxed beef cutout prices remain solid, with Wednesday’s Choice closing at $247 per cwt, and Select at $240. There is growing evidence the economy is stronger than previously thought, which may explain the robust consumer demand for increasingly expensive beef. But, did we mention this is July?
Texans Approve Beef Checkoff
Texas cattlemen voted overwhelmingly to establish a state-level Beef Checkoff program.
The Texas Department of Agriculture announced that nearly 67% of producers approved the measure, and Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association president Pete Bonds said the program "will provide a tremendous step forward for beef producers and consumers."
The funds will be managed in accordance with Texas law by a council of 20 cattle producers appointed by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.
The department conducted the referendum at the request of cattle industry groups and under the authority of the Legislature.
Hurricane Proof Milking Parlor
Tropical storms and hurricanes are facts of life in Florida, which is why Larson Dairy Inc., near Okeechobee, went to great lengths to add protection for employees and animals when they remodeled their facilities. In the center of the office area, for instance, Larson constructed a safe room that will double as a break room for employees. The room is completely surrounded by concrete walls, including the ceiling. Impact resistance windows were installed in the surrounding rooms that will break if enough force is applied, but they won’t shatter.