Cowchip - December 2016

Andrew Granger  |  12/20/2016 4:59:33 PM

Ryegrass.jpg thumbnail




6-8 LCA Convention, Covington

14 Cattlemen’s Banquet, 6:30 p.m., Woodman of the World in Abbeville

27-28 Parish Livestock Show, Cecil McCrory Building, Abbeville


2-4 District Livestock Show, Blackham Coliseum, Lafayette

11-18 State Livestock Show, Lamar Dixon Expo Center, Gonzales


Our 2017 Annual banquet will be held at the Woodman of the World in Abbeville on Saturday, January 14. Happy Hour will begin at 6:30 p.m. with program, meal and dance to follow.

Supper will include brisket and dressing with all the trimmings. Price will be $15.00/person or $30.00/couple and will be collected at the door. A cash bar will be open.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below and return it to Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Association, 1105 West Port St., Abbeville, LA 70510, by January 6 or call 898-4335.

We hope to see you there and feel free to invite some potential members.


On January 1st any antibiotic deemed important by FDA for human medicine will no longer be able to be added to feeds or water for growth promotion and will require a prescription from a veterinarian for use for treatment, prevention or control of disease. Some of the drugs that are considered important in human medicine that ranchers commonly use in feed additives are Aureomycin, Neomycin, Terramycin, Tylan and V-Max. Drugs that we use as feed additives that will not require a VFD are Bovatec, Cattlyst and Rumensin. A complete list of drugs changing from over the counter to VFD status is available at the following link:

Some examples of how these changes will affect many of us are:

- Chlortetracycline in minerals – often used for prevention of anaplasmosis

- Oxytetracycline in milk replacers – often used with orphan calves or twins

- Aureomycin in Receiving/Preconditioning Rations (Precon) – used for freshly weaned calves or purchased calves.

This does not mean you can’t use these practices. It means you have to have a prescription from a veterinarian to do so. That prescription will be specific to your operation and for a specific purpose and will be for a limited time.

It is still debatable as to how feed companies will handle this law. Some say feed companies will ship medicated feeds to the feed stores and feed stores will only sell these feeds to ranchers with a prescription. Others say you’d have to order medicated feeds in advance and a minimum order will be required.

By law a veterinarian must have an ongoing professional relationship with you to write a VFD (prescription for medicated feed use) for you. This means he’s visited your place and knows your management practices.

Research has shown that feeding probiotics has mimicked the gain results obtained from antibiotic in feeds. They would have limited effect on disease control and prevention but results are similar. Many feed companies will include probiotics in their feeds to sell to ranchers who don’t have a prescription for antibiotics in their feed.

The VFD only affects antibiotic use in feed and water. It does not affect the use of injectable antibiotics for treatment of sick animals. It is designed to minimize the impact of livestock production on the development of microbial resistance to antibiotics in humans. And while regulations may be burdensome, it will likely lead to the development of new technology that enhance your profitability.

If you have any questions give me a call at 337-898-4335.


By Stephen R Koontz, Colorado State University

Fed cattle prices are now five-to-six weeks into a rally off the lows set in early October. The rally is feeder cattle is less steadily strong but is still decidedly off seasonal lows. Is there fundamental news to support this strength? So far the main bullish fundamentals news appears to be that that low prices do what they are supposed to do. We don't like them on the receiving end they are an indicator of a functioning market. In that light, we continue to see strong volumes of fed cattle marketed and strong Saturday kills at beef packing plants. Retail prices continue to soften but there is as of yet little weakening of the retail margin. Further, packer margins have weakened but remain rather healthy. So the news appears to be that fundamentals are not changing such that market conditions will continue to get bearish.

I receive questions regularly from producers and reporters about imports. There is no news here. Either last week or really the last 5-6 months. Changes in exports and imports of cattle and beef during 2016 are clearly being driven by cattle and beef prices and not the reverse. To be clear, imports and exports are not driving cattle and beef prices. Beef imports are following the typical seasonal pattern and are weaker this fall - about 18% -- than the past summer. Further, beef imports are substantially weaker - 25-30% - than summer or fall of 2015. And are forecast to be weaker yet in 2017. October beef exports were slightly higher than an average of the prior five years during that month and are substantially above exports the third and fourth quarter months of 2015 -- about 12-25% depending on the month. Further, the export volume above the average of the prior five years for that month is a notable event. With years of shrinking numbers and supplies it has not been possible to see strong export volume. And now the strength of the U.S. dollar is working against exports. It is the lower prices that are making exports happen. Finally, fed cattle imports from Canada are almost exactly the same through the last half of 2016 as for 2015 with the exception of a sharp drop in imports in July. Prices drive imports/exports and not the reverse.

So what do the technicals say? Down trends in the daily charts that have persisted all of 2016 and that were set up in 2015 appear to be broken or, for certain, have been pressured. This is seen for nearby and deferred 2017 daily charts on live cattle and feeder cattle contracts. These technicals have turned from overwhelmingly bearish to neutral. And markets have rallied off the substantial lows of late October and early November. Further, there appears to be head and shoulders bottoming patterns that have been completed in live and feeder cattle markets. Both markets broke the left shoulder support in September through October and moved lower forming the head in mid-October. Then in early-November support held, forming the right shoulder and the market has rallied strong for the following 5-going-into-6 weeks. I have doubts the market has completely turned and will strengthen. Forecasts for 2017 are for expanded production - and without increased exports - prices will be lower. And along those lines the weekly charts remain clearly bearish. On the weekly charts, the long-term downtrend that was established in early 2015 is still in place. But the daily charts are shaping up to communicate the route is over. So - in the daily charts - the down trend pressured or broken, support has held, and bottoming patter in place. That's the most bullish news we've had in a while and the next several weeks will be informative.


We attempted to demonstrate the results of different planting methods for ryegrass at our most recent Acadiana Cattle producers field day. Due to the extended dry conditions in late September and all of October the differences in the timing and density of stand establishment were not evident. However the following pictures do demonstrate the results obtainable from various methods used to seed ryegrass. I think the pictures are self explanatory they were taken the first week of December. The plots were seeded on September 15th. A couple of observations that may be of importance are that ryegrass seed can wait on rain, and even though ryegrass germination was severly delayed it would still have been possible to graze a couple of these plots by mid December with the addition of fertilizer. The real threat to ryegrass stand establishment in dry conditions is if we get enough rain to germinate the seed but it remains to dry and the seedlings begin to die. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


__________ I will attend the January 14 Banquet

__________ Number in party

Name: _____________________________________


Andrew Granger

County Agent

Vermilion Parish

It is the policy of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, or disability.

Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture