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.
The Case for an Antibiotic Tax
Jan 16, 2014
The discussion—or rather, debate/argument—over the use of antibiotics in livestock continues to be a heated topic. However, you must admit that it is a topic that deserves some serious attention. Brad Plumer with the Washington Post dives into some of the arguments and proposed "fixes" in the on-going war on antimicrobials. Plumer highlights the proposed "case for an antibiotic tax," where a "user fee" would be attached to antibiotics. The logic is that if farmers have to pay additional fees, and these fees impact their bottom-line, then farmers and ranchers would use less antibiotics. Naturally, our first reaction—especially given the little pie chart showing antibiotic use in livestock compared to other sectors—is that size matters. When you compare the number of animals, including their size and weight, with that of people it becomes obvious why more antibiotics are going to the livestock sector. However—and this is where Plumer gets some brownie points—he closes his article with a section entitled: "But why limit it to farms?" This caught our attention, especially when he mentions, "There's plenty of evidence that humans overuse these drugs for medical purposes, too." This is what we like to see, looking at the field from both sides of the fence. While there probably isn't a one-size-fits-all fix to this issue, at least people are talking.
Crazy Mixed Up Weather
The United States is made up of nine distinct regional climates. While this is frustrating for those of us who rely on the weather, it also makes for some interesting meteorological developments. From Arctic Blasts to spreading droughts, it is hard to predict what will happen next. However, what we do know is that below average temps are heading into the U.S. next week and the most recent USDA drought monitor is showing that 52.57% of the U.S. is in a drought zone. It's hard to believe that with all the snow that there is still a drought in the Midwest and troubling to see that the drought in the West and Southwest is only getting worse. Well, adversity will either make or break you but you can take the hard lessons learned and adapt. Take it from Trey Patterson of the Padlock Ranch Company in Wyoming who found a way to keep grazing despite the drought.
It's never a good day when you get your wieners revoked and that is what's happening in North Dakota. Cloverdale Foods Co. recalled 2,664 pounds of beef tube-steaks because of misbranding. Apparently, the dogs contained milk but the label did not clearly state this and milk is a well-known allergen. Thusly, the company withdrew their wieners from store shelves posthaste.
India the New Beef Powerhouse?
Yes, we said India. You know, the place where they worship cows. Apparently, India has the largest cow population in the world, which isn't that surprising since killing and eating cows is illegal in much of India, but they do have a flourishing illegal cow beef market. However, it isn't their cow beef that's making them a major player in the industry—it's their buffalo meat. India's buffalo meat production has nearly doubled in the past three years and in 2012 they became the world's largest exported of beef—Indian buffalo meat, that is. We must admit that this article wasn't what we expected. For some reason, when we initially saw the phrase "Indian buffalo meat" Kevin Costner popped into our heads......
Oddities on Video
Because it's football season. Because sports abound in this country and nearly every other country in the world. And, because everything is better with gravy. Enjoy some English gravy wrestling. Yes, it is a real sport but you'll have to wait until this summer to participate in the World Gravy Wrestling Championship. By the way, the gravy tastes like sausages, according to one participant.
Also, because it is fun to prank and scare people, the terrifying debut of the Devil Baby.