Cowchip - April, 2019

Andrew Granger  |  4/25/2019 2:59:07 PM


April 30 Deadline for baler twine orders

30 Deadline for wooden line post orders


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 eighth year for this program and it has resulted in several dollars per roll advantage previously.

We are taking orders for sesil and biodegradable twine.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.

If interested please fill out the form below and return it with a deposit of $5.00 per roll of twine by April 30.Make checks payable to VPCA (Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Association).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.


The Board of Directors has asked me to offer wooden fence posts to our members in an effort to cut your costs.The cheapest 3” X 6½ foot wooden line posts we could find are $3.30/post.To participate, fill out the enclosed form and mail to Andrew Granger with full payment by check made out to VPCA (Vermilion Parish Cattlemen’s Association) by April 30.We will hold all checks until delivery of posts.At least one truckload (2,000 posts) must be ordered for us to proceed.


The ideal cow differs from ranch to ranch and rancher to rancher.The breed, mature size and her genetic makeup can vary based upon a ranchers goals, the environment of the ranch, production management and marketing strategies.In spite of the differences from one ranch to another, we can all agree on some selection criteria for the ideal cow – quiet disposition, easy calving, fertility, easy fleshing.

It is this balance of traits, in conjunction with meeting performance goals that make for the perfect cow.Yet sometimes it can be tempting to chase a single trait in order to make marked improvement in a specific area.And this is where we can get lost and actually go backwards.

Milking ability would be a good example.We all want cows with ample milking ability to provide the environment to reach the maximum growth potential of the suckling calf.However, selection for high milk production can have consequences for other important traits.

In a study conducted at the University of Tennessee that looked at 37 Angus sired cows and the volume of milk each produced, high volume milking cows in the study had a decrease in fertility.Cows were classified by their milk production as low (14 lbs./day), moderate (20 lbs./day) or high (26 lbs./day). Pregnancy rates for the high group after artificial insemination was 11% less than the moderate group and 13% less than the low group.

The decrease in pregnancy rate after artificial insemination continued through the entire breeding season with high milking cows having the lowest pregnancy rates.Even with the nearly double milk production from low to high milking cows, calf weaning weights were not significantly different.

It is estimated that calf weaning weight can have as little as a 5% influence on ranch profitability due to increased cowherd costs.On the other hand, the value of reproductive efficiency is reported to be five times greater than calf growth.With feed costs accounting for 75% of total costs, matching the cow’s size and milking ability to the environment is most important in selection of replacements.

Over emphasis of milk production will most likely result in a spreading out on calving distribution, decreased pregnancy rates, especially with young cows, decreased stocking rate and poorer conditioned cows.

It is easy to think more is better and bigger is better.However, the importance of balance should be stressed in developing a productive cow herd.


From Drovers interview with Frank Mitloehner, Professor, UC-Davis.

When the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations published “Livestock’s Long Shadow” in 2006, a report that was “to assess the full impact of the livestock sector on environmental problems,” Mitloehner challenged one of the key scientific findings. Livestock’s Long Shadow famously claimed livestock production was responsible for “18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport.”

That led to calls for a reduction in meat consumption to reduce climate change. But upon review of the data, Mitloehner noted the emission figures were calculated differently for livestock versus transportation. The livestock figures had been reached by adding all GHG emissions associated with meat production, including fertilizer, land clearance, methane emissions and vehicle use on farms, whereas the transportation figure only included tail pipe emissions. The result, Mitloehner says, was an “apples-and-oranges comparison that truly confused the issue.”

Pierre Gerber, a policy officer with the FAO and co-author of the report, acknowledged Mitloehner’s criticism. “I must say honestly that he has a point—we factored in everything for meat emissions, and we didn’t do the same thing with transport,” he said.

More recently, Mitloehner challenged a report called EAT-Lancet that proposed “healthy diets from sustainable food systems.” Many experts called the EAT-Lancet data on the impact of livestock production on the environment flawed. Mitloehner says the report assumed most land used for agriculture could be converted to cropland. In reality, 70% of agricultural land is marginal, meaning it is unsuitable for crops. Grazing animals can still make use of this land.

“If we were to forego meat by reducing our animal-based foods by 90%, we would lose the use of the vast majority of agricultural land for food production. That is taking things in the wrong direction,” he says.

Additionally, Mitloehner added “While EAT-Lancet claims its reference diet would decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the Commission’s fundamentally flawed data fail to account for methane reduction (i.e., oxidation) that occurs naturally, as methane remains in the atmosphere for only 10 years….”

As an advocate of science, Mitloehner believes efforts to reduce meat and milk production globally will only result in “more hunger in poor countries” and that efforts should be focused on “smarter farming, not less farming.”


By David P. Anderson, Professor, Texas A&M

No April Fools Here - Cull Cow Prices are Up

Cull cow prices are sharing in the Spring cattle price rally. Normally, cull cow prices increase from the Fall into late Spring, and that increase is well underway. Cow prices are climbing along with fed cattle prices.

Cow prices in the Southern Plains have increased about $13 per cwt, or 32 percent, from about $40 per cwt in January to $53 at the end of March. The meat market indicates higher values for the meat from cull cows. Ninety percent lean beef prices have climbed 10 percent to $218 per cwt since January. Over the same period the cow-beef cutout value is up 7.7 percent.

Cow Slaughter Historically Large

The rally in cow prices has come in the face of historically large slaughter. Dairy cow slaughter has exceeded 70,000 per week for that last five weeks. The 72,700 head sent to market the first week of March was the largest weekly dairy cow slaughter since 1986. Some readers might remember the Dairy Herd Buyout program that contributed to large dairy cow slaughter in 1986. Beef cow slaughter dropped below last year's levels by mid-March, 53,000 head compared to 56,000 head this time last year. Total beef and dairy cow slaughter is the most since drought forced movement in 2012-2013.

Some significantly higher cow prices than those in the Southern Plains have been reported in Northern markets. One of the results of the 2010-2012 Southern Plains drought has been a loss in regional cow packing capacity. New capacity in the Northwest has added value to cull cows further North.

Presumably, dairy cow marketing will decline later in the year as increased culling has an effect on milk production and prices. Some milk market recovery should lead to higher milk prices and slower culling rates. The slowing rate of growth of the beef cow herd should slow beef cow marketings. The combination of slowing culling, limiting the growth in supplies, should provide some price support.


The process for receiving the state sales and use tax exemption for purchasing of agricultural inputs will be changing.Historically, a producer would complete an exemption certificate form and provide to the input supplier.For example, a cattle rancher or row-crop producer would complete the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s (LDR) Form R-1007 and provide it to the input supplier to be able to purchase inputs without paying state sales and use tax (or pay them at a lower rate).However, on January 15, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Revenue implemented a new certification process in which persons or entities must be certified as a commercial farmer by LDR in order to claim certain sales and use tax exemptions.This new process will become effective on July 1, 2019.Until that time, the old process of simply filling out the exemption certificate form will still be accepted.

To become certified as a commercial farmer, the farmer must fill out Form R-1085, Application for Certification as a Commercial Farmer, and attach certain federal income tax documentation such as Schedule F.It appears that this is a one-time application.In other words, you do not have to re-apply each year.Also, there is no indication of any cost to apply.The application may be submitted in one of three methods:

1)Fax the application to LDR at 225-237-6765

2)Mail the application to:

Louisiana Department of Revenue
Revenue Processing Center
P. O. Box 4998
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4998

3)Apply online via LDR’s LaTAP system by accessing:

If the application is approved, the person or entity will receive Form R-1091, Commercial Farmer Certification. Each certification will contain two pocket-size versions of the certification.Beginning July 1, 2019, a copy of this Form R-1091 will need to be attached to the exemption certificates listed below for the producer to receive an exemption from state sales and use tax:

•R-1007 – Farm –Related Products (Commercial Farmers Only)

•R-1060 – Farm Equipment Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

•R-1065 – Non-Road Utility Vehicles Used Exclusively on Commercial Farms.

So, after July 1, 2019, in order for a producer to purchase fertilizer, for example, without paying the state sales and use tax, that producer would need to complete exemption certificate (Form R-1007), attach a copy of his Commercial Farmer Certification (Form R-1091) and provide it the input supplier.

I have all of these forms and they are available at your request. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.


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 = __________

_____ rolls of net wrap x $25.00 = _________Size __________Brand ________________________




NAME _____________________________________

ADDRESS __________________________________ CITY ___________________ ZIP _________________

PHONE ______________________________ CELL _____________________________

I would like to order:

_____ 3” x 6½ foot line posts x $3.30 = __________


Find printable order forms here.

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