Cowchip - April 21, 2017




5 Deadline for baler twine orders

19 Ryegrass and Clover seed deposits due


17 Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Barbecue, 6:00 p.m., Woodman of the World Building, Abbeville


When calves are weaned and sent to market they will lose weight, this weight loss is commonly referred to as shrink. The amount of weight loss varies considerably and is affected by numerous factors. Weather conditions, distance traveled to market, time off of feed and water and handling methods all play a part in the amount of shrink.

Picking cooler times to pen and truck cattle will reduce weight loss. So an early morning or late afternoon would be better than midday. Longer transit time results in higher weight loss and shipping cattle results in higher shrink than feed and water deprivation alone. When feed and water are unavailable cattle shrink about one percent per hour for the first three to four hours then roughly .25% per hour for the next eight to 10 hours. The way calves are managed and handled prior to and during shipment affect the amount of shrink and the time it takes to recover the lost weight. Weaning calves before marketing reduces stress at marketing and allows calves to recover more quickly. Freshly weaned calves will, more often than not, spend most of their time, for the first few days, balling and pacing. So if calves are weaned and shipped on the same day the stress, weight loss, as well as recovery time will all be greater.

While most of the weight lost during marketing is gut fill some is due to dehydration and tissue metabolism. The longer cattle are without feed and water and the longer they are in transit the greater this tissue shrink will be. If calves are accustomed to eating dry feed and hay and drinking from a trough losses from gut fill can be regained quickly; however, tissue losses may take weeks to be recovered.

A demonstration to mimic the effects of marketing stress was conducted at the Iberia Research Station and was highlighted at their recent field day. Yearling stocker cattle were used. All the cattle were coming off ryegrass pasture. There were four groups of three calves. The first group was put on grass hay and water for 24

hours. The second group was held dry lot for 24 hours without hay and water. Group three was on dry lot without hay and water for 24 hours then was offered hay and water for 24 hours and a fourth group was hauled in a trailer for 30 minutes then held for 24 hours with no hay or water.

The first group lost 15 pounds, perhaps illustrating the period of adjustment needed when changing the diet from lush pasture to dry feed stuffs. The group that was held without feed or water for 24 hours lost 54 pounds. Group three lost 40 pounds during their 24 hour fast but gained 37 pounds back in the 24 hours after when reintroduced to hay and water. Group four lost 13 pounds during the 30 minute trailer ride and 53 pounds total after the hauling and 24 hour fast.

The demonstration illustrates the severity of shrink losses. It also showed that cattle can recover the lost weight quickly, if the cattle are of age and have the experience of consuming hay and water.

Another demonstration with freshly weaned calves is planned for the fall and will be featured at a field day in Cade in October. Details of the field day is forthcoming.

Shrink of calves at marketing is unavoidable but the way we manage our calves can have a big impact on the amount of shrink, the lasting impact on calf health and the economic losses associated with it.


Your association continues to make every effort to reduce your cost of doing business. We are once again going to offer a bulk twine program. This is the sixth year for this program and it has resulted in several dollars per roll advantage previously.

We are taking orders for sesil and biodegradable twine. If interested, please fill out the form below and return it with a $5.00 per roll deposit by Friday, May 5th. Due to the poly twine being sold on a per roll basis and sesil being sold as a bundle of two rolls, we will do business on a per roll basis for the sake of consistency. Remember this when making your deposit. Make checks payable to VPCA. Once the amount needed is determined we will take bids from local vendors and price will be established.

Call 898-4335 if you have any questions.


It is time to take orders for ryegrass seed. This is the 37th year we have booked bulk ryegrass seed. The program continues to allow for price advantages to participants. Last year those who booked seed with us paid .49/lb. for Gulf and .55/lb. for Nelson Tetraploid and $133.25/25 lbs. for Durana White Clover

In addition, due to high nitrogen fertilizer costs and the benefits of clover, the Cattlemen’s board voted to offer Durana White Clover Seed to producers. Durana is more productive than LAS-1 and more persistent than ladino type clovers like Osceola. White Clover comes in 25 lb. bags so you must order in 25 lb. increments. Seeding rates are 3 lbs./acre in a mixture with ryegrass or 5 lbs./acre if planted alone. For a deposit of $10.00 per 25 lbs. of clover seed you will be guaranteed that amount and for a deposit of $5 per 100 pounds of ryegrass seed, you will be guaranteed that amount. All seed not booked will be available on a first come, first served basis; however, this will be a very limited amount. If you want seed through the program, then you should put a deposit on the amount you desire.

Please indicate which variety you prefer on the order blank. Be aware that Prine or Nelson Tetraploid is generally 10¢/lb. more than Gulf. Prices are not final at this time. We will accept bids on Prine and Nelson Tetraploid and accept the lowest bid on either of them. Performance on these two are similar.

If you wish to be guaranteed ryegrass seed and/or clover in this year’s program, then fill out the form enclosed and send it to Andrew Granger, 1105 W. Port St., Abbeville, LA 70510 along with a check made payable to the Vermilion Cattlemen's Association and in the amount needed to guaran­tee your seed. Deposits are due by May 19th. Deposits will be non-refundable after July 15th.


Many media outlets, BEEF included, excitedly reported on the meeting last week between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in which beef trade was one of the topics discussed. And make no mistake—the prospect of having direct access to the Chinese market is indeed exciting.

Per-capita beef consumption in China is forecast to be 12.7 pounds in 2017, according to Josh Maples, Ag Economist at Mississippi State University, writing for the weekly In The Cattle Markets, published by the Livestock Marketing Information Center. Even if beef consumption in China were to increase just one ounce per person, the figure would be staggering. Indeed, 1.3 billion times anything is a huge number.

Two major hurdles will likely have to be surmounted in the negotiations, and if past experience is any indication, those negotiations will be painfully drawn out. Those hurdles are that China will insist that beef be produced without the use of growth promotants and that strict traceability requirements are in place. It is highly likely that those two requirements will be deal killers in any negotiations that may take place between the U.S. and China.

Let’s look at animal traceability. For the beef it imports, China requires that each animal has a unique identity, the farm of origin (place of birth) can be traced and the cattle should be slaughtered less than 30 months of age, Maples says.

According to the Daily Livestock Report Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand and Argentina all have mandatory traceability systems for their cattle. Not surprisingly, Maples says that 87% of China’s 2016 beef imports were from Brazil, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Canada began shipping boneless frozen beef from cattle under 30 months of age to China in 2011 and bone-in frozen beef in 2016.

The current animal ID system in the U.S. is designed to deal with an outbreak of a foreign animal disease. It doesn’t require identification of feeder cattle or of breeding cattle that don’t leave their state of origin. It’s not designed to meet the trade requirements imposed by China or any other country.

The U.S. does not have a nationwide, mandatory birth-to-harvest animal ID system. And until we do, we can consider the Chinese beef market inaccessible for direct trade.

Many of the alliances and programs, like Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Program, already have birth-to-harvest animal ID systems in place. Will China be willing to accept those in lieu of a nationwide, mandatory birth-to-harvest animal ID system? That will certainly be a key point in the negotiations, if they ever happen.

So why is your access to the Chinese beef market up to you? Because there is a very vocal minority of cattle producers in the U.S. who reject the idea of any form of mandatory animal ID.


R.A. Speir, C.S. Talton, R.C. Waladorf and D.W. Hancok, University of Georgia

Foliar fertilizers are used by producers to provide micro and macronutrients to various crops when needed. Recently, Grasshopper Fertilizer Company (Mount Vernon, TX) has marketed a liquid N product to forage producers as an alternative to conventional granular or liquid fertilizers. Three on-farm trials were established in bermudagrass hayfields in Madison, Banks and Elbert counties in Georgia. Grasshopper’s 42-0-0 foliar fertilizer product applied at the labeled rate and their product at an N rate equivalent to UGA recommendations were compared with conventional ammonium nitrate, urea-ammonium nitrate and urea. Fertilizers were applied and forage harvested at 4-week intervals. In each location, yields were significantly lower from the Grasshopper’s 42-0-0 foliar fertilizer product applied at the label rate and no different than the untreated control. We conclude that the use of Grasshopper 42-0-0 at the labeled rate will not provide yields that are comparable to conventional N fertilizer at recommended rates, and that using this foliar fertilizer at recommended rates of N is not cost-effective or practical.


The spring rally in fed cattle price, Choice, and Select beef cutout values has extended into the calf and feeder market. Number 1, 5-600 pound steers in the Southern Plains have crept up from about $148 in early January to over $165 by the end of March. Calves of these weights typically rise in the spring. Much of this seasonal increase is a supply driven phenomenon in that there are fewer calves of those weights around at this time of the year.

Heavier feeder cattle (7-800 pound) prices in the Southern Plains have increased about $8 per cwt. this spring. But all that increase occurred in March. Both supply and demand for calves play a role in spring time prices. Over the next couple of months, supplies will be increasing as these feeders come off wheat and other pastures. On the demand side, feedlot's demand for feeders will be affected by fed cattle and feed prices. Deferred futures for fed cattle that will finish later in the summer remain around $107. Feeder cattle and lighter calf prices will be pressured by fed cattle prices (and their rally duration) and increasing supplies on the market.

Speaking of feed prices, USDA released its prospective plantings report. Low feed prices, record large production, and large stocks are fueling record large meat production this year. Corn acres were estimated to be 89.99 million acres, down about 4 million acres on corn prices that are likely below many farmer's production costs. An estimated 89.5 million acres are estimated to be planted to soybeans (up 6 million acres), on better soybean prices relative to corn. The report came very close to indicated more acres planted to soybeans than corn for the first time ever. (I think the trend of acres planted to soybeans and corn is one of the more interesting changes in long term U.S. agriculture.)

After the crop is planted crop development and weather will begin to affect prices. Fewer planted acres of corn will likely begin to result in higher corn prices. Developments in feed prices this summer will affect calf and feeder prices later in the year.


Andrew Granger

County Agent

Vermilion Parish




NAME _____________________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________ CITY ___________________ ZIP _________________

PHONE ______________________________ CELL _____________________________

I would like to order

_____ rolls of sesil twine x $5.00 = __________

_____ rolls of biodegradable baling twine x $5.00 = __________





NAME _____________________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________ CITY ___________________ ZIP _________________

PHONE ______________________________ CELL _____________________________

Amount of Ryegrass Seed _______________ x $5/cwt.

Amount of Clover Seed ____________________ x $10/25 lbs. (order only in 25 lb. increments)

Amount of Deposit = _______________

Type of ryegrass you prefer:

 Prine or Nelson Tetraploid

 Gulf


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.

5/2/2017 7:17:43 PM
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