Some of the nation is still in a drought. Other areas are recovering but may not be ready to carry a lot of cow/calf pairs. But, according to the USDA, if weaning early is part of your grass saving plan, it could be a good deal for your cows and calves, too.
Miles and Miles of Highway
If you and a few friends are looking for a business investment, ranchers in the Dakotas sure hope you’d consider reopening the Aberdeen, South Dakota, beef processing plant. Feedlot operators are telling their story of 450-mile treks to transport cattle to a Nebraska packing plant since Northern Beef Packers shut their doors. The Miami Herald reports that there is a huge need for a beef packing plant in the Dakotas.
Farming the Farm Bill
Congress hasn’t come back to "work" yet, but the heat in the farm bill kitchen is already warming up. Ag Secretary Vilsack says ag exports in 2013 are projected to reach $140 billion, and if that happens, it will set a new record. However, he underscores the export news with emphasis on the importance of a new farm bill and passage of immigration reform.
The 30-day ticker is about to kickstart on existing farm programs, and the Washington Post reports a plan to move forward has not developed during the congressional recess. Although the farm bill is likely not well understood by those who are not involved in agriculture, the Denver Post highlights a few issues that impact everyone if a bill is not passed--higher food and milk prices.
Although fast food workers are striking for a $15/hour wage, the writers at The Atlantic don’t think their work ban will earn much salt. Their rationale is interesting, and is highlighted by the fact that food service jobs have increased, while retail and manufacturing are declining.
A recent report from the restaurant association shows a dim outlook, with only 23 percent of restaurant operators expect business to improve in the next six months. Agri-Pulse has the details.
And our work grazing would be amiss if we didn’t offer up a good grin each day. After Burger King’s announcement of a "fry burger," Ag Age has a few other marketing suggestions for the food chain.
The Guardian is planning a live Q&A next week to discuss water in agriculture. According to the U.N., 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture and irrigation. The United States is not the only country struggling with water depletion. Many countries are turning to sustainable water initiatives.
Love the Beetles
Grist is showing a little beetle love today--dung beetle love, that is. Their story highlights something many of us with more than dirt on the bottom of our boots already know: Dung beetles are good for the environment and help break down manure. And, who knew the little black beetles have the right of way in South Africa?
That’s a Lot of Candles
Research is one of the cornerstones to agriculture, and a Texas research center is celebrating 75 years of cutting-edge advancements. Amarillo.com has the story.