Livestock Producers Seek Alternatives to High-Priced Corn
Omaha World-Herald, Neb., June 03, 2007
by Bill Hord
June 3, 2007 – LINCOLN, NE - Nebraska dairyman Dan Rice has his cows on a steady, healthy diet.
That means daily helpings of corn, soymeal, breakfast cereal, potato chips, cheese puffs, popcorn and tortilla chips.
Rice's 1,500 milk cows at Firth, NE, also consume a truckload of Sweet Bran, a byproduct of Cargill's corn sweetener production in Blair, every two days.
The snack foods are remnants from Lincoln potato chip and cereal factories. Rice grinds up the leftovers and mixes them with the cows' feed rations to replace corn and provide just the right nutrition to keep the animals at peak milk-giving performance.
"With dairy cows, consistency is everything with our feed rations," Rice said. Read more on MyCattle.com.
Meat Prices Heat up for Summer Season
The Times, Munster, Ind., June 01, 2007
by Andrea Holecek
June 1, 2007 - Consumers are paying more to put burgers and steaks on the grill but retailers say that isn't putting more money into their pockets.
Climbing petroleum prices have increased the cost of transportation and farmers are paying more to operate their tractors and equipment, for pesticides and fertilizers and to ship their livestock to market. Retailers are paying surcharges on delivery charges from their suppliers and plastic packaging materials – foam trays and plastic wrap – have increased.
Carl Lindsay, meat director for the 29-store Strack & Van Til chain, said higher-than-average meat prices are going to continue for the unforeseeable future.
"Packing plants where we buy our meats are going dark one day a week," he said. "They're closing the doors because of their losses and to get a higher price. They've been doing it for both beef and pork. It makes supply tighter and when you need a truck load, you're more willing to pay more." Read more on MyCattle.com.
USDA Offers Farmers, Ranchers Relief from Drought, Freeze
The Palm Beach Post, Fla., June 02, 2007
by Susan Salisbury
June 2, 2007 - Two weather-related disasters have made agricultural producers in 25 Florida counties eligible for low-interest loans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency said Friday.
Palm Beach County agricultural producers whose crops were damaged in the freezes that occurred February 17-19 and farmers in the contiguous counties of Broward, Hendry and Martin are eligible for the freeze-related loans as long as all eligibility requirements are met, USDA spokeswoman Latawnya Dia said Friday.
The USDA also declared disaster areas from the drought – listed as beginning March 1, 2006 – in Okeechobee, Highlands, Jefferson, Lafayette, Madison and Taylor counties.
Producers in 15 counties contiguous to those, including Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River, also are eligible for the drought-based disaster loans. Read more on MyCattle.com.