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.
Wandering into GMO Quicksand
Mar 04, 2014
Mark Twain must have outlined Green America's GMO Inside campaign strategy when he wrote: "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." Today, GMO Inside called on Starbucks to serve only organic milk sourced from cows not fed GMOs at its 20,000 stores in 62 countries.
Why? Because, well ... GMO Inside is kinda short on reasons Starbucks should comply, except that GMO Inside thinks that's the right thing to do. And, they remind us, (caution: sarcasm ahead) they had such overwhelming success with their campaign in January to get General Mills to drop GMOs from basic Cheerios. Except that, umm ... well ... General Mills said Cheerios are made from whole grain oats, and since there aren't any GMO oats, Cheerios never contained GMOs.
So what do you do when caught in such amazingly stupid PR quicksand? Claim, as GMO Inside did, that you "made worldwide headlines" with the Cheerios blooper!
Cattle Feeding Margins Exceed $280
Last week's sharply higher cattle prices helped increase feedyard margins, according to John Nalivka, Sterling Marketing, Inc., Vale, Ore. Five-area direct steer prices averaged $151.07 per cwt. last week, producing profits of $284.85 on every animal shipped, an increase of $30. Hog feeding margins were estimated at $49.81 per head, an increase of nearly $15 per head. Beef packer lost an average of $80 per head last week while margins for hog packing were at breakeven.
Fishing for Drought Solutions
There's just no way we can over-hype California's historic drought. NPR reveals shocking satellite images comparing snowpack from January 2013 and January 2014.
Mountain snowpack is unlikely to change this season, meaning water shortages will be a fact of life for Californian's 40 million residents this year. One proposed solution to California's water issues that has been called "drought-proof" is desalination, and the state has 17 such plants on the drawing board. Near Carlsbad, construction is underway on a $1 billion seawater desalination plant that is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. When complete in 2016, it will provide 50 million gallons of drinkable water each day. Not nearly enough, however, since the community uses roughly 750 million gallons a day. Further, desalination is expensive, uses lots of energy and requires about 2 gallons of seawater to produce 1 gallon of useable water.
Wyoming Cow Camp
Every year come calving season, the Proffit Ranch sets up "Cow Camp"—a temporary new home for the family’s 350 head of mother cows to birth a new crop of calves. Follow along as they journey to Granger, Wyoming, to set up their latest camp, courtesy of Country magazine.