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.
Drones Target Animal Farms
Jun 24, 2014
Technology is wonderful ... except when it's not. Unmanned drones seem like a perfect example. In the right hands drones can do some amazing things, yet they seem to present more problems than they solve. PETA announced a couple of years ago they planned to use drones to spy on hunters, until some Southern boys promptly shot one out of the sky.
Now, animal rights activists are turning their drones on unarmed targets – farms and ranches. Self-proclaimed journalist and animal activist Will Potter tells Salon.com about his ambitious new investigation – an "aerial exposé" he claims will show "firsthand the animal cruelty that takes place on factory farms and in slaughterhouses." Don't expect Potter's project to go without incident.
Organic Is Not Sustainable
The folks at Grist.org would like us to believe we should all convert to organic farming. Park the tractors and hitch the mules, but be prepared, says Nathanael Johnson, because "organic farming is so much harder than just getting stoned and picking tomatoes."
The trendy organic industry, however, has come under fire of late as even some folks who have never picked a tomato realize total organic would be a total fail. Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist at Stanford University, wrote for the Wall Street Journal that organic farming is not sustainable. "More labor with lower yields is a luxury only rich populations can afford."
That sentiment was seconded by James Greiff in the Dallas Morning News who wrote, "organic food isn't cleaner and it isn't toxic-free."
Oregon Wolf Money To Prevent Attacks
Three years into a state program to help Oregon counties contending with wolves, the focus has been on preventing attacks on livestock. Money from Oregon's wolf grant program helps pay for efforts such as removing cattle bones that could attract wolves, installing flagging along fence lines to spook wolves and patrolling rangeland by horseback or on ATVs. Since the late 2000s, wolves have been making a comeback in Oregon, having moved in from Idaho where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves nearly 20 years ago. The latest wolf count found at least 64 wolves in the state, and they are expanding their territories. Through 2013, wolves had killed 75 livestock or domestic animals.
COF Report: No Surprises
USDA's monthly Cattle on Feed report fell within analysts' expectations, producing little near-term impact on the market. USDA counted 10.594 million cattle on feed, about 1.6% fewer than a year ago. Marketings were pegged at 1.865 million head, and placements were called 1.92 million head, 7% lower than a year ago.