Crickets, Aye

Published on: 13:16PM Sep 19, 2014

Our idea of a protein packed meal is "turf and turf," but a bug farm in Canada is hoping that meat heavy diet will shift to more crunchy textured animal protein. Next Millennium Farms is hoping their Protein2050: Excellence In Entomophagy will really take off. The farm's website states: "In our lifetime, humanity will not be able to sustain itself using conventional farming methods. We are leading the protein revolution with a new, environmentally sound method of food production. From Cricket flour to insect protein, the revolution is coming!" The farm hopes to ship 10,000 lb. of cricket flour per month at the end of the year. We'll stick to the "turf and turf."

Producers Go to College

Beef Today's Cowboy College, held in Omaha, Neb., educates producers with their decision making tips this fall and helps with animal management.

Producers and experts talked antibiotics, treatment and animal handling. AgDay's Betsy Jibben stopped by Cowboy College and interviewed Mike Apley, DVM and professor at Kansas State University, about some of the problems producers have been dealing with recently. Apley says he sees producers struggle with the decision of when to use antibiotics and when to hold off. He says the key having a plan and making it early. "The protocol needs to have the definition of how we would treat an animal, and then a success – failure definition of we’ve been successful or if we need to continue therapy or discontinue therapy," Apley says.

Beef a Big ROI

Beef producers have been dealing with a bull market all year long. Record low cow numbers and record high corn production have made beef an investor's dream commodity. For the past 12 months beef prices have been up 23%, that's six straight years of annual price gain. To top things off Bloomberg ranks beef #1 of the 34 raw materials it tracks in the Bloomberg Riskless Return Ranking. The cattle market "truly is, right now, the last bull standing," says Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. "The hamburger price is starting to look like a steak price."

Wanted ... Tools To Identify Uncommon Beef Cattle Traits

A research project from USDA looks at the genetics of 2,000 bulls from 16 different breeds.
To help producers further improve their genetic evaluations, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center geneticist Mark Thallman and his colleagues started the "2,000 Bulls Project" in 2007. They collaborated with the largest U.S. cattle breed associations to collect genetic profiles of 2,000 bulls from 16 different breeds. Each of the 2,000 bulls was tested for approximately 50,000 genetic markers by use of the Illumina BovineSNP50 Beadchip. The markers genotyped by that chip were discovered from a number of sources, including the germplasm evaluation project and ARS research efforts conducted at USMARC and Beltsville, Maryland.