Shawn Leifeste, son of Alan and Samantha Leifeste, is in ICU at Dell Children’s hospital in Austin, TX. Through what many of us would describe as a freak train of events, Shawn’s esphogaus and lungs have some challenges to say the least. Doctors and staff at the hospital are working to wean Shawn of breathing assitance devices and get his lung back in working order. This little guy has been a trooper through all and needs our continued prayers! Don’t forget to keep Mason, Landree and the rest of the family / friends in your prayers….. many are helping to keep things going with the kids and cattle at home.
As you can imagine, the medical bills and just everyday expenses will and have already begun to escalate. This Go Fund Me account is our way to support the Leifeste’s as they battle for Shawn’s recovery.
While Shawn has Samantha’s warm heart and Alan’s tenacity, we all know this is going to take time, love, prayers and money to get him back being healthy. Let’s help ease Alan and Samantha’s minds just in a small way by helping them with money for daily and medical expenses. Heck, it will be ok if they use the money for a cattle feed bill!
Click the link below to go to the families GoFundMe page.
The semi-annual U.S. Cattle Inventory Report was released on July 24, 2015 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This report confirmed that U.S. herd expansion is continuing. The report saw significant increases in every category except the category of Bulls, 500-pounds and over which remained unchanged from a year ago, as shown in Table 1.
The Total Cattle Inventory (All Cattle and Calves) in the U.S. as of July 1, 2015 totaled 98.4 million head, increasing by 2.1 million head (2.2%) above the 96.3 million head on July 1, 2014. Cows and heifers that have calved totaled 39.8 million head, increasing by 800,000 head (2.1%). The nation’s beef cow herd (Beef Cows that Calved) totaled 30.5 million head, increasing by 750,000 head (2.5%) above July 1, 2014. This level of growth suggests that more cows are being retained in the cowherd. This trend is expected to continue for the remainder of 2015 and likely well into next year due to continued improvement in pasture and range conditions and strong cow-calf profitability sending signals to cow-calf producers to increase their herd size.
Heifers, 500-pounds and over totaled 15.9 million head, an increase of 300,000 head compared with a year-ago. Beef Replacement Heifers grew by 300,000 head (6.5%) to 4.9 million head from last year’s mid-year report. This is the largest percentage increase since 1986 which confirms that cow-calf producers are growing their herds through heifer retention. Steers, 500-pounds and over totaled 14.1 million head, an increase of 400,000 head (2.9%). Bulls, 500-pounds and over were unchanged from a year-ago at 1.9 million head.
Calves, under 500-pounds totaled 26.7 million head, an increase of 600,000 head (2.3%) compared with July 1, 2014. The Calf Crop totaled 34.3 million head, increasing by 400,000 head (1.2%) from a year ago. Feeder/Calf Supply totaled 35.5 million head, increasing by 700,000 head (2.0%). The U.S. Cattle on Feed, All Sizes was 12.1 million head, increasing by 200,000 (1.7%) head from a year-ago.
The U.S. calf crop has shown a continuous decline from 40.3 to 33.7 million head (-19.4%) between 1995 and 2013, as shown in Figure 1. The U.S. calf crop documented increases in 2014 and 2015 which totaled 570,000 head (1.7%). The last time the calf crop grew in two consecutive years was 20 years ago during 1994-1995 which was the last major herd expansion phase.
The U.S. cattle cycle finally appears to be turning the corner with larger calf crops and cattle inventory numbers. The results of the January 1 and July 1 cattle inventory reports have made it clear that expansion is taking place by retaining more beef cows and replacement heifers. This continued beef herd expansion will be moderately bearish on cattle prices during the next couple of years. Remember, that changes in cattle inventory will be slow due to the size of the beef industry and the reproductive biology of cattle.
The days are getting longer, the nights are shorter, and the heat of the summer is sneaking up on us quickly. As we move into warmer days, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
Water, Water, Water
When was the last time you thought about HOW MUCH water your cattle need on a daily basis? You might be surprised about how much this need increases during the summer months.
Water is one of the five basic classes of nutrients required for all classes of beef cattle, and makes up about 98% of all molecules in the body. It is critical for a range of body functions including growth, reproduction, lactation, digestion, temperature regulation, and waste removal. Daily animal water requirements are dependent on the stage of production, physical activity, type of diet, feed intake and the environment. There is nothing like a cold drink of water on a hot day, and water intake is often greatest during the summer months for beef cattle. Water requirements roughly double as the temperature increases from 50 to 95°F. In general, as the size of the animal increases, water requirements also increase. The following table illustrates the daily water intake needs in gallons at various stages of production:
Mature, lactating cows can consume more than 20 gallons of water per day during hot weather. Check water sources often to make sure an adequate supply of clean water is available to animals. Providing easy access to a quality water source is important in maintaining adequate water intake and animal health.
Prevent Pesky Pests
Fly populations begin to increase during the summer months, and control and prevention programs are necessary. One of the most common fly problems in the Southeast is associated with the horn fly. It is estimated that the horn fly causes close to $800 million in economic losses nationwide to cattlemen every year. Horn flies can cause significant blood loss and change animal behavior. Cattle begin to alter grazing patterns, gather in groups, and may have significant energy losses associated with battling horn flies. Reduced energy can often mean decreased milk production and calf weaning weights. There are several prevention options available for fly control in beef cattle. Whether it is ear tags, sprays, dust bags, etc., the most effective fly control programs rotate between products containing different chemical classes to prevent resistance. Resistance occurs when a product is highly effective at controlling flies for a given period, but then quickly becomes ineffective. Using products with the same active ingredient for an extended period of time decreases fly control effectiveness. In order to decrease resistance, rotating between pyrethroid and organophosphate-containing products is recommended. If insecticide-containing ear tags are used as a control method, a 4-year tag rotation system is suggested. For example, a tag containing organophosphates is used for the first two years, followed by a pyrethroid tag in the third year, and then an organophosphate tag in the fourth year. The use of a pyrethroid tag for more than two years in such a rotation is not recommended. Remove tags at the end of the season to prevent flies from being exposed to low levels of insecticide that can lead to resistance. In the case of horn flies, do not begin to treat cattle until flies exceed the threshold of 200 flies per animal. At this point, it becomes economically advantageous to treat animals and the chance for insecticide resistance is decreased. As always, it is important to follow the label directions for animal health products for them to be used safely and effectively. For more information on fly control, refer to publication ANR-2083 Fly Control for Alabama Cattle Operations.
Plan Your Work, and Work Your Plan
Planning your stored feed needs for this winter can never start too early. We are in the midst of the hay-making season, and many of you may have already put up an ample supply for the winter if. Certainly Mother Nature can be our friend or foe during this time of year when it comes to the hay business, but forage maturity at harvest is extremely important for producing high-quality hay. Conduct a forage analysis to know if supplementation will be needed this winter to meet animal nutrient requirements. Supplemental feed prices are generally quite high in the winter months, and it is advantageous to plan now for expected feed needs when a lower price point may be observed. The lowest prices of commonly used sources such as corn gluten feed and soyhulls are usually seen from early May to early July. After this, prices begin to increase through the winter months. The best way to save on feed costs is to watch prices and have an adequate storage facility to capitalize on low prices and store feed until your time of need.
In summary, the most effective managers balance their day-to-day tasks while planning for the future. By using these practices into our management systems, we can beat the heat and push through the dog days of summer
The Northwestern Illinois Agricultural Research & Demonstration Center (NWIARDC) has had 4.73 inches of rain so far in June, 4.4 inches of which fell over a 10 day period. Relatively speaking, the Monmouth area lucked out, as a little bit further to the East Peoria has accumulated 9.06 inches of rain since June 7 and 4 days of more than 1 inch (1 had 2.83 inches total).
Frequent and significant rain events and saturated soils can remind a crop producer about a lot of things: 1) which fields could stand to be tiled, 2) where grassed waterways need repairing, 3) where grassed waterways might need to be established, 4) that it might be time to get in touch the crop insurance agent.
According to conversation yesterday (June 18) with a representative of one of the companies that offers crop insurance throughout the state, 2015 is so far a typical year – granted, this was before any rain from tropical storm “Bill” mad its way into the state. Through this one company, there have been approximately 1000 re-plant claims, 67 prevent-plant claims (primarily in the South), and about 600 hail damage claims (McClean County and points North). What has been atypical in 2015 is the fact that fields are so wet that claims adjusters have been unable to perform their inspections. Regardless, producers are urged to contact their crop insurance representative within 72 hours of noticing a potential crop claim.
Although most producers in the Monmouth area were able to get their crops planted in a timely manner, there are a now lot of corn and soybeans sitting under water. In many fields it might just be one or two small ponded areas, while fields in the river-bottoms near the Spoon or Illinois Rivers or some creeks may be completely submerged.
What flooded soils do to developing plants. The dangers to roots from flooded soils are many. Flooded soils quickly become devoid of oxygen which is essential for proper root function. We know that plant leaves are able to use the sun’s energy to convert CO2 and water to oxygen and glucose through a process known as photosynthesis. Respiration is sort of the opposite of photosynthesis, where oxygen and glucose are converted back into energy (and CO2 and water) that is used to run the machinery of cells. On a typical day there is a balance between respiration and photosynthesis. On sunny days more photosynthesis than respiration occurs, allowing plants to make the building blocks essential for growth and development, eventually contributing to yield.
All of the organisms that live in soil need to respire to live and function. This includes many bacteria, and soil-living fungi, nematodes, insects and plant roots. Flooded soils quickly become oxygen-free (anaerobic) environments that do not support aerobic respiration. In the absence of oxygen, respiration still continues to occur in the soil and in roots, but this anaerobic respiration leads to the build-up of substances toxic to cells (ex. ethanol, organic acids). Additionally, while an anaerobic soil environment certainly does not favor normal cellular functions, root growth or development, prolonged oxygen deprivation can lead to cell death and death of roots or the whole plant.
Corn. According to the Illinois Agronomy Handbook, corn is very vulnerable to damage from flooding when it is younger than the six-leaf (V6) growth stage and the growing point is still below-ground. Only 3 to 4 days of being submerged in floodwater can be fatal to these young plants. Luckily, most of the corn in the region is further along in its development, and plants with above-ground growing points are better able to tolerate a week or more of standing water. If plants survive the flooding, root growth and function can continue to be reduced even after the flood waters recede. If root development is retarded, they may be unable to access the subsoil moisture needed to meet water and nutrient demands of plants in the reproductive growth stages………………………
MIX 30 customer and Regional Sales Representative Michael Prescott, along with wife Sara and children, was named the 2015 Illinois Beef Association Farm Family of the Year. They have been utilizing MIX 30 in their operation for 15 years with great success. Michael took a job with the company in 2002 and has been an integral part of the companies continued success. To learn more about the Prescott’s check out the video below.