Tag Archives: cattle

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A South Texas beef processor has been sold to a North Carolina real estate developer at a court-approved bankruptcy auction.

Corpus Christi-based Sam Kane Beef Processors had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month . In a statement, JDH Capital Co. of Charlotte, North Carolina, said it intends to make “meaningful investments in the processing plant and will continue to operate the business as a going concern.

The slaughterhouse had agreed in a July federal court settlement to pay nearly $38 million over 18 months that it owed to livestock sellers. Federal law requires next-business-day payment for livestock purchases. That was after the company was accused of violating a January 2017 order by the U.S. Department of Agriculture requiring the slaughterhouse to make payments when due.

Kevin Ruyle is, by his own description, the “grinder” on the Kansas farm he runs with his brother-in-law, Thane Buss. “I have to stay busy. If you need someone to work 18 hours, that’s me. Is that ADD?”

Maybe, but he is an admitted competitor, too. “I love to win. I love to compete,” he explains. “I was one of those little turkeys, growing up who never wanted to lose.”

Buss Farms is not a place of inaction. The no-till Kansas farm, near Oxford, 45 minutes south of Wichita, demands constant attention in the service of six crops: soybeans, wheat, corn, grain sorghum, alfalfa and cotton. Seven crops, if you include a newer venture with cover crops.

DIVERSIFIED MIX

Wheat is good behind cotton, and cotton is good behind milo. “So, we stay with the rotation,” Ruyle says. “We’re busy nine months of the year.” Twelve months of the year for Ruyle. He runs 60 Red Angus cow/calf pairs. Registered heifers and bulls generate income, of course, but tending the calm, smaller-framed animals is an enjoyable release of stress.

Cotton was cool on Buss Farms before cotton was cool in Kansas. Chuck Buss, Kevin’s father-in-law, was growing it in the 1990s, and it has been the money-leading crop on the farm for four years running. It competes well with soybeans and uses about one-third of the water corn consumes, an important attribute given the blinding heat of a Kansas summer and the dwindling water supplies.

The farm grew 600 acres of cotton in 2018 and is headed toward 1,000 acres in 2019. In the days just before Christmas, Ruyle felt comfortable saying that some of the farm’s cotton fields yielded three bales to the acre. “For dryland Kansas, that’s tremendous,” he says.

Cotton was the crop that brought Ruyle into Buss Farms. That, and the fact he married the farmer’s daughter, Dawn.

“My father-in-law found an avenue for me to get back onto the farm in 2003, and it was stripping cotton,” Ruyle says. “It had a significant impact on our farm. We needed additional income to support [his and Thane’s] families. So, we picked cotton and did custom-stripping for other farmers.” They custom-stripped 300 acres this past year.

SEEKING OPPORTUNITIES

Buss Farms seems comfortable playing long ball, focusing on the long view — looking not just one step down the road, but two steps and more. It’s an outlook that considers not just the next farming opportunity but how that opportunity might create the next business venture beyond that. It’s really a generational outlook. Ruyle and Thane Buss talk about it. They have four boys, two each, between them and would love to give them all a farming opportunity if they want it. However, that just doesn’t happen without putting all the pieces together to understand what the pieces might be, Ruyle says.

He asks, “How does a kid get into farming, start making money? There are no guarantees out here in south-central Kansas. We’ve seen crops burn up. It’s kind of hard to go to the banker and tell him you’re a good farmer when everything has fallen apart.”

Cover crops may be the fuel of Buss Farms’ next generational opportunity. Ruyle and Thane Buss have been working with cover crops for only a short time.

“We’re still learning,” Ruyle says. “But, there is a yield increase [when a cover crop is planted] before soybeans.” The crop builds organic matter, holds the moisture in the ground and keeps the soil cool.

A cover crop before soybeans controls weeds so well that Ruyle and Thane Buss are left wondering why they continue to plant test strips. “We don’t do a lot of test strips, because we leave weeds behind [in the tests],” Ruyle says. That cover crops might benefit corn, too, in south-central Kansas is an open question. Will corn have enough water after the cover crop consumes some of it?

Then, Ruyle throws out a longer-term prospect about cover crops. Could cover crops create a grazing opportunity for an expansion into cattle?

“When I was a kid, I got to plow fields all day long. Which was boring,” he says, but he was learning, too. “Now, we run expensive tractors. It’s hard to turn a kid loose.” Might cattle become the way Buss Farms provides opportunity for another generation much as cotton provided opportunity for Ruyle?

“When the kids get older, I’ll be looking for more revenue streams, whether that’s cows or more land,” Ruyle says. “Maybe there’s an opportunity for cattle or something else we don’t even know about yet. I’m not sure, but I think the future will be exciting for them.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will speak at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show February  1, 2019. Perdue will give his remarks at the Closing General Session of the event, being held this week at the New Orleans Convention Center.

He will address the farm bill, trade and other issues affecting U.S. agriculture. The convention is the largest gathering of cattle industry professionals in the country, and the NCBA Trade Show will feature more than 350 exhibitors. NCBA President and California cattleman Kevin Kester says the industry is honored to host Secretary Perdue at the convention.

Noting the many issues facing agriculture today, Kester says “It’s great that Secretary Perdue will share his thoughts and his agency’s plans with us.” The annual meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and National Cattlemen’s Foundation will also be held during the event this week.

Questions:

I bought a set of cows a few weeks ago. I noticed one of the cows has a red, wartlike growth on the inside of one of her eyes. She may be the best cow in the bunch and has a very nice heifer calf. The producer has offered to replace her, give me my money back or help pay to fix her if this is a problem. What do you think this is, and what do you think I should do?

Answer: 

If this is a white-faced cow, I would bet on squamous cell carcinoma (cancer eye) of the third eyelid. If you are thinking of keeping her, your veterinarian needs to confirm this.

The third eyelid is an extra “lid” all nonprimate mammals have. It’s on the lower inside of the eye and can move from that point diagonally upward. It helps keep the cornea clean (think “windshield washer”), produces tears, contains lymphoid tissue that produce antibodies to fight infection and protects the cornea from injury. It’s also a common site, along with the lids and the globe, for cancer eye.

A squamous cell carcinoma in this location may respond well to treatment, as the affected portion of this third eyelid can often be surgically removed. Removal may result in a complete resolution of the problem, but we have to consider genetics. The same factors and same genetics that led to the cancer are still present in this cow, and the tendency toward cancer eye is a heritable trait. It could recur at this site or another site in either eye, and she has a heifer calf that may have a tendency toward the ailment.

Let me say, you are dealing with a very reputable producer. I would take him up on his offer to replace her or refund your money.

A series of four West Central Cattlemen’s meetings will be held in the area during the month of January.  The topics covered will address reducing cow costs.  The locations and times are as follows:

  • January 22, Hitchcock County Fairgrounds, Culbertson NE 6:00 pm CT
  • January 23, Veterans Memorial Hall, Arthur NE 6:00 pm MT
  • January 24, Community Center, Brady 6:00 pm CT
  • January 31, McPherson County Fairgrounds 6:00 pm CT

Speakers and topics are as follows:

  • Seeded Forages for Complementary Grazing by Troy Walz, Nebraska Beef Extension Educator
  • Managing Feed Costs by Randy Saner, Nebraska Beef Extension Educator
  • Cow Size and Efficiency by Travis Mulliniks, Range Beef Nutrition Specialist, West Central Research & Extension Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Benchmarking as a Management Tool by Robert Tigner, Agricultural Systems Economist Educator
  • Grazing Management Principles that Make a Difference  by Jerry Volesky, Range and Forage Specialist, West Central Research & Extension Center, University of Nebraska- Lincoln

To register contact your local Extension Office or Randy Saner by e-mail randy.saner@unl.edu or by phone at 308-532-2683.  The cost is $15 per person if pre-registered or $20 at the door.  An evening meal will be served at all locations.

Tri-State Cow/Calf Symposium will be held at the Wesleyan Church in Imperial Nebraska on February 8 with registration at 9:00 AM and the program starting at 9:30 AM MT.  The program was developed by Extension Educators and Specialists from Colorado State University, Kansas State University and the University of Nebraska.  The emphasis of this symposium is Strategies for Success.  Topics for the program include:

  • Range Management – How Drought Affects Calf Weight and Nutrition by Travis Mulliniks,  Extension Range Beef Nutrition Specialist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Rainfall – Based Pasture Insurance by Monte Vandeveer, Extension Agricultural Economist, Kansas State University
  • Leasing Pasture, Tenant Dealing with Drought by Robert Tigner, Agricultural Economics Extension Educator, Nebraska Extension
  • Cattle Trace Pilot Project – What is it and why should you care? By Cassie Kniebel, Project Manager, Cattle Trace, Kansas State University
  • Trouble Shooting Low Pregnancy Rates by Gregg Hanzlicek, Interim Associate Director and Director of Field Investigations, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
  • Legacy & Succession Planning by Allan Vyhnalek, Farm & Ranch Succession Educator, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Producer Panel on Succession Planning Rita Hogsett, Champion NE and Ken Grecian, Palco Kansas

To register, send registration form to Lincoln County Extension Office, 348 W State Farm Road, North Platte Nebraska 69101.  The cost is $30 or $50 per couple and students $10.  If you are interested in a booth, the cost is $150.  The program will be held at the Wesleyan Church, 1710 Wesley Drive, Imperial Nebraska 69033.  For more information, contact Randy Saner at 308-532-2683 or the Chase County Extension Office at 308-882-4731.  Website link to the program is https://go.unl.edu/ftiu or the brochure link is  https://go.unl.edu/k440

Efficiency and sustainability are important topics to beef consumers and the future success of the beef industry. These topics are also the theme of Nebraska Extension’s Ranching for Profitability session in 2019.

In January, Ranching for Profitability will be offered as a webinar that beef producers can join from any of 13 downlink locations across Nebraska, or from their home via the internet. A list of sites and registration information follows.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, Jan. 17, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Mountain Time (6:30-9:30 p.m. Central). Expert university and industry speakers will address genetic changes in cattle breeds; consumer preferences at the meat counter; and protecting herd health.

Dr. David Lalman from Oklahoma State University will lead off the evening on the topic “Genetic Trends for Maternal and Growth Traits in Major Cattle Breeds.”  Lalman will explore the implications of the tremendous genetic change of the last 50 years to input costs and productivity for cow-calf producers.

Dr. Kim Stackhouse, Director of Sustainability at meat-processing company JBS, will give a beef processor’s perspective on the kind of product sought by grocers and the food-service industry to meet consumer demands for “sustainably produced” meat. Understanding consumer desires will help producers understand ways to effectively tell how they efficiently utilize resources to sustainably produce beef.

Dr. Brian Vander Ley, Nebraska Extension Veterinarian, will wrap up the evening discussing “(Re)Moving the Needle on Herd Health.”

To attend a webinar host site, please contact the local Nebraska Extension office where you plan to attend by Jan. 15 to insure enough program materials are available.

Those who would like to attend from home can register for a remote webinar seat, by contacting their local Beef Extension Educator to receive program information and the webinar link.

Cost is $10 per person.  Those wishing to participate in the online meeting will need to pay their local Beef Extension Educator prior to receiving the webinar link.  Those attending a downlink site can pay at the door.

Please call to register for the webinar meeting at one of these locations.

Ainsworth (Brown County Courthouse), 402-387-2213;

Broken Bow (Mid-Plains Community College Campus), 308-872-6831;

Burwell (Garfield County Courthouse), 308-346-4200;

Curtis (NCTA Education Center Auditorium), 308-367-5284;

Columbus (Platte County Extension Office), (308)536-2691;

Kearney (Buffalo County Extension Office), 308-236-1235;

North Platte (West Central Research and Extension Center), 308-532-2683;

O’Neill (Holt County Courthouse Annex), 402-336-2760;

Rushville (Sheridan County Extension Office), 308-327-2312;

Scottsbluff (Panhandle Research and Extension Center), 308-235-3122;

Sidney (South Platte NRD Meeting Room), 308-235-3122;

Valentine (Cherry County Courthouse), 402-376-1850;

West Point (Cuming County Courthouse Meeting Room), 402-372-6006;

For questions about the “Ranching for Profitability” Meeting, please contact Aaron Berger at 308-235-3122 or aberger2@unl.edu.