On the scene at the 2012 Cattle Convention, Nashville

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Know thy pastures, then fix them

Not only are farmers and ranchers looking for ways to
stretch corn and grain feeds for cattle, they want to stretch pastures, too.
Craig Alford, a Dupont pasture management specialist, was at the National
Cattle Industry Convention talking to beef producers about ways to do that.

“With today’s high input costs, you need all the extra
grass you can get,” he says. “I give them a checklist.”

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S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G feed to the max

What can I do to feed less corn, or cheapen a feedlot
ration?

That question is high on the mind of cattlemen, and lots
of people were trying to give them an answer at the National Cattle Industry
Convention.

At the ADM booth, marketing manager Sheldon Bailey was
telling beef producers about their product, Amino Gain, which has been available
for about a year now. It is one way to make corn byproducts go farther, he said.

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Coming Soon, to a Salebarn Near You: Record calf prices

Get ready for the best cattle markets . . . EVER! They are
already happening in a neighborhood near you.

Fed steers are at $1.10 a pound, stocker cattle at $1.25,
and most notable and significant (maybe) 500-pound calves are at or over $1.50.
From some standpoints, it’s the golden age of the cattle industry!

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Rabo expert paints the world ag view

The days of living in our own little world are over.

That's the message delivered to beef producers this week by Bill
Cordingley, head of the agribusiness research department for international
banking giant Rabo AgriFinance. 
"The developing world is actually leading this bull run in
commodity values," he told the cattlemen at the Cattle Industry
Convention, in Denver. "It's a broader-based bull than in '08, with many
new commodities, like sugar, participating.

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AI for beef cows: Will its time ever come?

One of the “hot” topics at the Cattlemen’s College this
week is the issue of artificially breeding beef cows to high-indexing stud
bulls. People involved in that business tend to think that we lag behind the rest
of the world, that most cow/calf producers in the U.S. consider it too much of
a hassle. They’d rather just turn a bull lose.

How to sell calves on highest market

CattleFax’s Troy Applehans, addressed a beef industry crowd
at the Cattle Convention from the perspective of cow/calf producers. He said
they need to take a harder look at seasonal trends in this market.

“About 80% of the beef calves in this country are born in
the spring and weaned in the fall,” he said. “And probably 80% of those are
priced in the fall when they go to an auction. That’s a lot of calves being
priced in a narrow time window.”

Go ahead, expand, but know the risks

Staff members of CattleFax, a market outlook and research
firm (www.cattlefax.com/)  spoke to beef producers at the annual
Cattlemen’s College of the Cattle Industry Convention this week. Their message:
Yes, the market is telling you to expand your cattle operation, but do it with
fully knowledge that the ante has been upped, and the risks of owning and
feeding cattle are greater than ever.

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Rocky Mountain Round-Up, or Worst of Times?

The biggest cattle show of the year will be
held this week, February 1-5, 2011, in Denver. It’s the Cattle Industry
Convention, the annual gathering of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
(www.beefusa.org/), with the giant trade show and endless meetings. They’re
calling it the Rocky Mountain Round-Up.
 

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