Who-d a-thunk it? Game ranching and private ownership of wildlife for hunting, tourism and meat are saving rhinos, etc.

Well duh! That legally secure private property rights is the foundation for economic prosperity and development used to be a fundamental idea in our society and culture. It was even taught in the public’s schools. Suddenly I woke up and realized that, little by little over the years, it has become an alien concept–even unknown amongst the current generation. All the more reason to educate your children at home. — jtl, 419

Who-d a-thunk it? Game ranching and private ownership of wildlife for hunting, tourism and meat are saving rhinos, etc.  via aei-ideas.org

There’s a pretty interesting and stark contrast between two completely different approaches to saving wildlife in Africa (rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards and African buffaloes, etc.): a) ban the private ownership and all commercialization of wildlife except for eco-tourism vs. b) allow the private ownership of wildlife and legalize commercial activities relating to wildlife like private game ranching. Most African countries like Kenya take the first approach – individuals are not allowed to own or profit commercially from wildlife. A change in South Africa’s law in 1991 legalizing private ownership of wildlife and private game ranching provides a natural experiment to compare the two approaches.

A recent Bloomberg article provides these details:

1. South Africa’s private game-ranching is a $1.1 billion a year industry and growing at 10 percent annually. Foreign hunters, about 60 percent of whom came from the U.S., spent $118.1 million on licenses to hunt in South Africa in 2012.

2. Private game ranches have increased fivefold to 10,000 since South Africans were allowed to own and profit commercially from wild animals. The game ranches cover 20 million hectares, or about 16 percent of the country’s land.

So what’s happen to the number of wild animals in South Africa?

3. The private game industry is largely responsible for boosting the country’s large mammal population to 24 million, the most since the 19th century, and up from 575,000 in the early 1960s. For example, South Africa now has more than 20,000 white rhinos, 80 percent of the world’s total, up from 1,800 in 1968 when limited hunting was first introduced.

4. South Africa’s law change has also led to a commercial trade in wild animals with captive-bred species ranging from sable antelope to wildebeest sold at wildlife auctions.

And what about the situation in Kenya?

5. Kenya has lost 80 percent of its wildlife since it banned hunting in 1977 and large-mammal numbers are declining by 4.2 percent a year. The country’s elephant population has dropped 76 percent since the 1970s, while rhinos are down 95 percent.

MP: As counter-intuitive and paradoxical as it might seem, the best way to save African elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos from extinction is to kill them and eat them – in limited numbers of course. That is, by allowing private ownership and game ranching in South Africa, wild animals like the rhino have a commercial value that naturally results in greater conservation and protection efforts (“sustainability”) than in countries like Kenya, where wildlife naturally and predictably decline in numbers as victims of the “tragedy of the commons.”

As Steven Landsburg reminds us in The Armchair Economist, “Most of economics can be summarized in four words: People respond to incentives. The rest is commentary.” It shouldn’t be surprising then that wild animals are increasing in numbers in South Africa and decreasing in Keyna – private property rights, commercial use, market pricing, and the profit motive are the incentives that make all the difference in the world.

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Commissioner Suzie Foss’s Testimony on the Damage of Wildfire

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Posted in Private Property Rights, Private Property Rights on the "Public" Domain, Public Domain, Public Lands | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Why George Monbiot is wrong: grazing livestock can save the world

And the feud rages on. — jtl

by L Hunter Lovins via The Guardian

George Monbiot’s recent criticism of Allan Savory’s theory that grazing livestock can reverse climate change ignores evidence that it’s already experiencing success.

George Monbiot: Eat more meat and save the world: the latest implausible farming miracle

cow in a field
Can grazing cows save the world? Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

In his recent interview with Allan Savory, the high profile biologist and farmer who argues that properly managing grazing animals can counter climate chaos, George Monbiot reasonably asks for proof. Where I believe he strays into the unreasonable, is in asserting that there is none.

Savory’s argument, which counters popular conceptions, is that more livestock rather than fewer can help save the planet through a concept he calls “holistic management.” In brief, he contends that grazing livestock can reverse desertification and restore carbon to the soil, enhancing its biodiversity and countering climate change. Monbiot claims that this approach doesn’t work and in fact does more harm than good. But his assertions skip over the science and on the ground evidence that say otherwise.

Richard Teague, a range scientist from Texas A&M University, presented in favour of Savory’s theory at the recent Putting Grasslands to Work conference in London. Teague’s research is finding significant soil carbon sequestration from holistic range management practices.

Soil scientist, Dr Elaine Ingham, a microbiologist and until recently chief scientist at Rodale Institute, described how healthy soil, the underpinning of civilization throughout history, is created in interaction between grazing animals and soil microbiology. Peer-reviewed research from Rodale has shown how regenerative agriculture can sequester more carbon than humans are now emitting. Scientists, as well as dozens of farmers, ranchers and pastoralists from around the world, describe how they are increasing the health of their land, the carrying capacity of it, its biodiversity, and its profitability, all while preserving their culture and traditions.

How much carbon can be sequestered in properly managed grasslands and how fast? We don’t know, but we do know that massive carbon reserves were present in the ten-foot thick black soil of the historic grasslands of the Great Plains of the US. We know that the globe’s grasslands are the second largest store of naturally sequestered carbon after the oceans. They got that way by co-evolving with pre-industrial grazing practices: sufficient herds of native graziers, dense packed by healthy populations of predators.

It’s reasonable to call for more research on whether properly managed grazing offers people a way to take carbon from the air and return it to the soil where nature intended it to be. What is not reasonable, is attacking without at least also citing the peer-reviewed science that backs up Savory’s assertions.

Claims that Savory’s approach has been discredited in the academic literature are based solely on two papers, one of which Monbiot cites. Both have been countered in academic and professional literature bypapers which find that Savory’s method meets the claimed ecological, economic, and quality of life enhancing goals. It improves grass density, soil moisture, soil bulk density, standing crop biomass, and soil organic matter, an indicator of increases in soil carbon.

Monbiot’s claims that Savory’s approach does not work will come as a surprise to the best-known practitioner of the approach, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Salatin was made famous in UC Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan’s book Omnivore’s Dilemma, which explores his success using Savory’s approach. Salatin explains how Savory’s approach enabled him to turn an uneconomic farm into an operation that now supports 35 prosperous agricultural ventures. From selling grass-fed beef and pasture-raised eggs to health-conscious connoisseurs and teaching interns how to replicate its successes, Polyface Farms is leading an agricultural revival.

I can attest from personal experience that Savory’s approach works. I used holistic management several decades ago on a thousand acres of ground taken out of cattle production for 20 years and let to degrade, erode and be overrun by noxious weeds. Its owners believed that resting land would increase its health. This may be true of intact wilderness. But it is demonstrably not true of most of the planet’s agricultural lands, now rapidly releasing stored carbon, nitrogen and other gasses, worsening global warming. Conventional agricultural practices strip the soil of nutrients and life, leading farmers to use expensive, chemical intensive substitutes, which in turn worsen the global warming. In our case, we restored cattle to the ground, managed as Savory advised, and within two years watched the water table rise, wetland plants returned and the economic value of the property increase.

In Australia, for profit company Sustainable Land Management says it has more than doubled stocking rates of cattle over historic rates on seriously desertified Australian range, achieved superior weight gain, doubled plant diversity, restored the grasslands, while buying no feed, even despite severely deficient rain. The land management company isattracting foreign investment to a region of Australia hungry for economic development.

In the American heartland, Grasslands Llc is practicing the same land stewardship, healing grazing land and rural communities. On properties such as the Hana Ranch on Maui, Savory’s approach is making farming economically viable. Patagonia, the clothing company committed to environmental responsibility, has partnered with Ovis XXI and the Nature Conservancy to regenerate the grasslands of Patagonia using holistic management.

As someone who lies awake at night wondering if what works in practice can possibly be true in theory, Monbiot might do well to adopt Savory’s mantra: always assume that you are wrong, test for that, and then revise your approach appropriately. Allan Savory has done this for decades, subjecting his methods to the discipline of the marketplace, his suggestions to science and his ideas to the relentless scrutiny of people who make their living from their land.

If Monbiot is serious about informing and educating his followers, he might do well to educate himself first. I’d invite him to come out on the land, see with his own eyes and learn from those who are healing grasslands while producing food, fibre and community prosperity. Savory’s network would be more than happy to once more make themselves available.

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The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II (The Economics of Liberty)The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty will introduce the reader to the fundamental principles of the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School traces its origins back to the Scholastics of Medieval Spain. But its lineage actually began with Carl Menger and continued on through Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many others. It is the one and only true private property based, free market line of economic thought. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Kindle Version Now Available: Environment and Natural Resource Economics

KINDLE VERSION NOW AVAILABLE

PAPERBACK VERSION COMING SOON

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View by Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Cattle Futures Rally with Reticence; Begin to Slide Again  

via The BeefRead.com

As of this morning, August LC had retraced 38% of the $13.45 break seen this month and returned back to the 10 day moving average, though not over it. The 10-day has crossed under the 40-day MVA for the first time since April. Technical indicators, such as stochastics, showed there was plenty of room to rally further, especially in light of the discount of August LC to cash with 9 days left to trade. But the early rally folded already, as bearish sentiment and lack of confidence combine to dash today’s early strength shortly after the pit opening.

It’s worth mentioning the marketplace really peeled the open interest out of LC on the break, with yesterday’s 308,999 contracts the smallest since last October and way off the high made over 380,000 contracts made in February. Last Friday’s Commitment of Traders report was also interesting, showing Money Market longs had bailed out while Commercial had covered shorts and gotten long. None of this information seems particularly bearish. We appear to have had a major cleansing correction, or a top, depending who you talk to.

         Bears Feeling Bold

The bears have dismissed the discount of futures to cash and are focused on the promised increase in formula and contract cattle for September and October as reason enough to press. And though those numbers are two weeks from the grasp of packers, and a couple of plants in Nebraska need cattle for this week, expectations for cash this week are predominately steady to weak. Given that showlists are down everywhere but Kansas, that may be more difficult to achieve in practice than bears and the board currently believe.

Yesterday, a big Texas plant was down due to an electrical issue but that short fall is expected to be made up on Saturday. Slaughter this week is expected at 580,000 head and packers continue to bank huge weekly P&Ls.

         Lean, Lean, Lean

Let’s not forget that demand for lean product continues to be robust with 90s near all time highs, though the round (coming off an all time high over 50% higher than a year ago) and chuck are undergoing a correction. By the way, the summertime scramble for lean beef has occurred while imported lean beef continues to pour in to the U.S., mostly from Australia, with YTD imports from there almost 40% higher than a year ago and total YTD beef imports up almost 16% from 2013.

Line in the Sand

Today’s futures action will have bulls’ stomachs in knots. Futures halted their rally at the first line of resistance and are now holding support. It does not seem that the fundamentals are on the verge of the collapse the futures are bent on portending. But it ain’t over til it’s over, making where futures go from here the tone setter for the rest of the week.

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A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Beef demand looking forward

It is rightfully said that, if you put 10 economists into a room, the result will be 11 opinions. Here is the other side of the supply-demand picture. — jtl, 419

beef-ground-consumer-thinkstock-RGB

photo: Thinkstock

It is that time of year where I receive many inquiries in regards to fed and feeder cattle prices for the fall and winter period. We all know that beef supplies will experience a year-over-year decline during the third and fourth quarters of 2014 and therefore the true focus will be on the demand equation. Consumer income levels are the largest factor influencing beef demand which will determine wholesale beef values and the structure of the fed cattle market. Feedlots can determine the value for feeder cattle by looking at the expected fed cattle prices at the time of slaughter because input costs are known or can be locked in. Therefore, both feedlot operators and cow-calf producers need to look at the economic situation and how income levels will change for the average consumer when projecting the price outlook.

Since the U.S. is the largest market for Canadian beef and live cattle, I want to discuss the U.S. economy and how disposable income levels could strengthen over the next six- to eight-month period. Alberta fed cattle prices have been hovering in the range of $148/cwt to $152/cwt throughout the spring and feeder cattle are now priced so that feeding margins are rather snug for the fall period. If we don’t see a significant change in disposable income, it will be hard to justify higher prices, even if supplies are contracting.

The U.S. unemployment rate has been improving since the recession. During May of 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent and during May of 2014, the rate was 6.3 per cent. The number of unemployed persons has dropped by nearly two million people over the past year. This is fairly significant because people tend to improve their diets once their income increases. The long-term unemployment rate is 5.83 per cent so it is important to realize that the economy is nearing this level which could cause job growth to slow down. It is possible to drop below 5.8 per cent but if this occurs, I would expect employment rates to come back to the long-term average and would suggest beef prices are vulnerable to a correction.

US-income-ground-beef-retail-prices-charts

Another factor I like to focus on is consumer confidence. This provides a good idea how consumers feel about their current economic situation and earning potential. Consumer confidence has been in the range of 80 to 84 since the beginning of 2014. A reading of 90 reflects that the economy is functioning on all cylinders for potential growth so the overall consumer sentiment is slightly below this target. Seasonally, there is a dip in consumer confidence during the early-winter period which may result in a slight slowdown in consumer spending; however, the trend remains positive moving forward into the fall of 2014.

Over the past four years, American consumers have spent more on food products. Year-to-date at-home spending has been running at 2.1 per cent above last year while away-from-home food spending is down 1.3 per cent compared to last year. Away-from-home food spending has been positive each month except for March when it was down 8.4 per cent in comparison to March of 2013. This has brought down the year-to-date number. Looking forward, I’m expecting both at-home and away-from-home food spending to finish 2014 up approximately two per cent in comparison to 2013.

U.S. disposable income is very important for beef demand, especially for the higher-end cuts. The chart below shows disposable income over the past year and you can see how disposable income generally stagnates during the fall period. There is potential for this pattern to occur again because after a period of growth, there is usually a period of consolidation in the economy.

In conclusion, consumer income is the largest factor driving beef demand. Unemployment is expected to slowly improve but nearing the long-term potential. Consumer confidence and disposable income will likely consolidate during the fall period after a period of steady improvement and growth. Therefore, beef demand will have limited upside from current levels during the fall period. It is important to realize that the function of the market is to ration demand given the lower supplies available. The market needs to move to high enough levels so that consumption slows down. The beef and cattle markets appear to be nearing that price level.

This article first appeared in the July 2014 issue of Canadian Cattlemen.

Gerald Klassen analyzes markets in Winnipeg and also maintains an interest in the family feedlot in southern Alberta. He can be reached 
atgklassen7@hotmail.com.

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The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Planned grazing makes for healthier pastures

by  in 

cattle-grazing_file-photo-RGB

Each year we are presented with an opportunity to graze our cattle in a manner that will improve our land, increase our profit and make us more sustainable. Planned grazing works. It has been shown to be beneficial under all environments. Planned grazing has the potential to increase or even double the production on a set land base. What impact would doubling your grass production have on your bottom line? Are you taking advantage of this knowledge to help you build a more profitable, more sustainable business? We are halfway through the 2014 grazing season but it is never too late to begin to do a better job.

Doubling grass production seems like a wild prediction. How can this be possible? Let me share some personal history. I was introduced to the concept of planned grazing in the mid-1980s. At that time I was a conventional rancher. I used continuous grazing and felt I was doing a good job, the best I knew how to do at that time. Planned grazing shifted my paradigms. I began to see that cows are tools to improve the land. I realized that proper grazing could improve the ecosystem building blocks. The result would be healthier land, increased production and increased profit. I have used planned grazing for the past 25 years. The result has been that my grass production has more than doubled on a ranch that I felt was under good management 25 years ago.

Planned grazing focuses on helping you achieve your landscape goal. Everyone would have a different goal in their own words and unique to their situation. A common theme might be “let’s leave the land better than we found it.”

The building blocks are energy flow, water cycle, mineral cycle and succession. Stop and think about it. Does anyone have trouble doubling grass production in an ideal year when growing conditions are excellent? I think we would all agree that this is commonplace. When we improve the ecosystem building blocks we help create more excellent years. Suddenly doubling the grass production makes sense. It is not some wild starry-eyed idea.

There are two main requirements to achieve healthier pastures. We need to stop the overgrazing and cover the bare ground. Overgrazing occurs when we graze too long at one time (graze period) or when we return for a second graze before the plants have fully recovered from the previous graze (recovery period).

Graze Period: Stopping overgrazing requires a short graze period. I suggest a graze period of three to five days to get started. Once you see the benefits of a short graze period you may choose to use an even shorter graze period. The rule of thumb is: the shorter the graze period the better. The graze period you decide to use will be based on your commitment to land improvement and your availability of labour.

Recovery Period: The recovery period is king. Plants must be allowed to fully recover from a graze before being grazed a second time. The best indicator that a plant is fully recovered is that it is ready to flower. Grazing a plant at this stage has no detrimental effects. In fact grazing at this stage is beneficial to the individual plant and to the ecosystem. The rule of thumb is: full recovery is essential. I suggest a recovery period of 60 to 90 days to start. You will need to experiment to find the recovery period that works best for you. My experience has been that as you move closer to 90 days your results will be better. In some of the drier areas grazing once a year may be the best choice.

Bare Ground: The ideal situation is to have no bare ground. Literally every inch of ground should be covered by a growing plant or litter (dead and decaying plant material). It is possible to double your effective rainfall by having no bare ground and soil with a high organic matter. Effective rainfall is defined as the amount of rain available for plant growth compared to total rainfall. When it rains some of the water runs off, some soaks in, and some is lost to evaporation. The rest is available for plant growth and this amount can be doubled with an effective water cycle.

Moisture is the limiting resource in most of Western Canada. What improvements would you see by doubling your effective rainfall? It is interesting how everyone talks about the rainfall and almost no one talks about the water cycle. Often when we talk about dry spells or drought we are really talking about an ineffective water cycle. We can’t change our rainfall but we can improve our water cycle. When we do this it has the same results as increasing our rainfall.

Another often overlooked part of planned grazing is the replan. Basically this means preparing a grazing plan before the growing season begins. Once growth starts we are constantly monitoring our regrowth (an indicator of growing conditions) and adjusting our management to match our growing conditions.

Planned grazing has three main components: it helps you achieve your landscape goal (what does your land need to look like to provide short-term profit and long-term sustainability?). It focuses on increasing the health of your land by improving the ecosystem building blocks. It allows you to adjust your management to match the growing conditions you are experiencing in the current year.

I hope this gives you cause for thought. Planned grazing works. It is based on sound proven principles. It has helped many people and it has the potential to help you. I encourage you to investigate planned grazing. I hope you have an excellent growing season. Happy trails.

Don Campbell ranches with his family at Meadow Lake, Sask., and teaches Holistic Management courses. He can be reached at 306-236-6088 ordoncampbell@sasktel.net.


The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)The Essence of Liberty Volume I: Liberty and History chronicles the rise and fall of the noble experiment with constitutionally limited government. It features the ideas and opinions of some of the world’s foremost contemporary constitutional scholars. This is history that you were not taught at the mandatory government propaganda camps otherwise known as “public schools.” You will gain a clear understanding of how America’s decline and decay is really nothing new and how it began almost immediately with the constitution. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II (The Economics of Liberty)The Essence of Liberty Volume II: The Economics of Liberty will introduce the reader to the fundamental principles of the Austrian School of Economics. The Austrian School traces its origins back to the Scholastics of Medieval Spain. But its lineage actually began with Carl Menger and continued on through Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and many others. It is the one and only true private property based, free market line of economic thought. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)The Essence of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic. This is the volume that pulls it all together. With reference to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s description of Murray Rothbard’s work, it is a “unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.” Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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Cattle Futures Stabilize; Packers Find Value at $155

via The Beef

After an ugly and treacherous sell off, CME Live Cattle Futures are finally exhibiting signs of a low. Whether this low ultimately holds is another discussion, because at least for now, August LC is once again gaining on the rest of the contracts and yesterday August held the summer spot lows of $146.35 made by spot June and $146.57 made in July.

Other contract months also retraced to major long term support points yesterday, dropping all the way back to the 100-day moving average. Most months have retraced back to the May highs that were obliterated when we broke out in early June to begin the run that put in the July top. Point being, Futures have retraced to areas of long term major support.

Cash Fed Prices Give Back Half of Summer Gains

It was the cash that drove futures when we broke out in June, an almost $19 rally in live prices that occurred over an 8 week period. Now cash is breaking, certainly reasonable after a huge rally of that magnitude and if prices average $154.50 this week, cash will have retraced about 50% of the summer rally in 3 weeks time. This would also put the average back to where cash was the last week in June.

   Most Packers Willing to Take on Inventory Here

Three of the four major packers were active buying cattle yesterday with $155 paid in Kansas and Nebraska. And, there continues to be packer interest this morning at $156 in western Nebraska and eastern Colorado, a region that still seems to be relatively short of numbers, at least for the majority of the players.

And why not, though cutout values are falling as expected, packers margins have not, and there is incentive to keep plants rolling. Plus, not all packers have access to the increase in fed cattle supplies that will be seen at some large formula yards. And while the big corporate yards delayed marketings to add pounds rather than buy high priced replacements, independent cattle feeders did not and therefore currentness in all feedyards has not been compromised, only in some.

      Can We Get a Bounce Here? 

Since cash prices have found a foothold and the market technically is quite oversold (and with expiration 2 weeks from tomorrow), an upward retracement back to the 40-day moving average certainly doesn’t seem out of the question.

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COMING SOON

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View by Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Are Wolves A Threat To Your Cattle?

by Amanda Radke in BEEF Daily

New Mexico ranchers are fighting for the right to protect their livestock from the threat of the Mexican Gray Wolf. Share this video explaining the situation, and let us know what you have done to ward off predators in your livestock operation.

There’s been mountain lion recently sighted in the river hills near our ranch, and we suspect we lost a calf this summer to this big cat. In my area, predators aren’t very common, and the death of even one calf is disappointing, to say the least. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with predators on a regular basis.

But for many ranchers — from Northern Minnesota to Southern New Mexico –predation of livestock by cougars, mountain lions and wolves carries a huge economic bite. In fact, in the lower 48 states, 5% of all cattle losses are due to wolf predation, says westernwolves.org.

READ: Younger Calving Cows Most At Risk To Predators

According to westernwolves.org, while wolf predation causes relatively few livestock losses compared to other sources, that small percentage can add up to big losses for individual livestock producers and their livelihood. The website points out that there are many compensation programs for lost livestock — both from the private and public sectors. While such programs sound great, I’ve been told by ranchers in Northern Minnesota that it’s often difficult to prove a wolf attack because there are no remains of the victim animal.

The westernwolves.org website continues: “Despite the challenges of raising livestock in areas with predators, many producers remain successful and some are discovering that certain husbandry techniques used to protect livestock from wolves can actually lead to reduced predation by other animals, higher stock weights and survival, and increased profits.

“Current research suggests that livestock production may indirectly benefit wolves since the habitat and open space provided by ranch lands is crucial for big-game animals, which are the primary prey of wolves. Successful wolf conservation may ultimately depend on wolves and livestock producers learning to coexist.”

 The organization encourages the use of sheep guard dogs, range riders, fladry (flags that act as a visual deterrent), improved fencing and pasture rotation to help protect against wolf attacks and help manage livestock in areas where predators are an issue. Research is also underway to develop a wolf repellent and a sound device to deter wolves from preying on livestock.

Unfortunately, some of these management practices can be costly and labor intensive, making them difficult to execute. When a predator is killing thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars’ worth of cattle, I can see why a rancher would prefer not to have to coexist with wolves. However, killing a wolf can lead to public outcry and even death threats to ranchers and their families.

READ: Wolves’ Economic Bite On Cattle Goes Way Beyond Predation

Watch this video from the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, and you’ll see what I mean.

I realize that there is a lot of animosity between environmental groups and ranchers, but folks must realize the economic hit of predation can sink a ranchers’ livelihood. I’m not sure what the solution is, but I would be interested to hear from readers.

Do you live in an area where predators are a big concern? What restrictions do you have to abide by to protect your livestock from these predators? Has the general public fought against your right to protect yourself from these predators? How have you managed your livestock to ward off attacks? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group. 

Other helpful BEEF resources:

How Much More Upside To The Cattle Market Can There Be?

What You Need To Know About Chemical Castration

3 Alternatives For Replacement Beef Heifers

How To Properly Store And Handle Cattle Vaccines

9 Tips For Preventing Pasture Bloat In Cattle

Take A Virtual Tour: World’s Largest Vertically Integrated Cattle Operation

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Posted in Grey Wolf, Mexican Wolf, Radical Environmentalism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cattle Prices

Posted 8/12/2014

Cattle Futures Plunge Again As Market Looks For Low

Yesterday’s push off the lows and decent close had given some market watchers hope that at least a short term low had been established. But this morning’s market action has quickly dashed that hope as lead August LC has made a new low for the move.

​Open interest in LC did decline yesterday as traders continue to head to the sidelines and we’ll likely see another drop today, though we’re all wondering, are we close to exhausting the selling? Technical indicators show the market getting oversold.

         Cash Prices Sliding

There was a little very light trade yesterday of $157-158, which was steady to lower from Friday’s late trade. This morning rumors are circulating that a few cattle traded at $155, some to go next week and the rest to go week after next. USDA cutout values are dropping also, as expected, though there is hope pre-Labor Day buying by end users will commence any moment.

Where has the packer competition gone? To be blunt, that elbows out competition is what got fed cattle prices to $165. The last two weeks has not seen all four majors aggressively seeking cattle. And with the promise of more formulas for September, this may become the industry norm again, which will limit price discovery and prices if true.

         Lean Beef Still Strong

Defying the down is the lean beef complex. The canner/cutter cow cutout yesterday was a record high of $231.17, while the select fed cutout was $251.62. How about that spread! And news was made public yesterday that BPI, Inc., the company who suffered cruelly a couple of years ago due to ABC News reporting on “pink slime”, has hired staff to recover trimmings in Garden City, Kansas to supply their increasingly busy production of lean finely textured trimmings at BPI’s Dakota City, Nebraska plant. Because of the historically small cow kill, which will continue for years, not months, alternative sources for grinding beef is and will continue to be the single most bullish factor supporting fed cattle prices long term. Remember the American consumer considers eating a hamburger and driving a car two of their undisputed rights.

         Big Crop Report Today

If today’s 11 a.m. USDA Crop report is bearish corn, Feeder Cattle futures may get another shot in the arm. Long term support for corn is $2.97-3.25 per bushel. Though the back months of LC futures don’t support $160 breakevens for fats, the promise of the cheapest corn in 4 to 6 years will have a powerful motivating impact on the cattle feeding industry at a time when feeder supplies are excruciatingly tight.

         Long Term Still Bullish But Short Term Tough

Short term, the packers and futures traders may have their way with this market. But at some point, and it may be a few weeks, this market will catch and resume its historical uptrend. And one of these days, the basis traders will be punished severely and without mercy for selling the discount.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits. Although woven around the experiences and adventures of one man, this is also the story of the people who lived during the period of time in American history that an entire generation was betrayed It is the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. It is the story of thebetrayal of an entire generation of Americans and particularly the 40% (of the military aged males) of that generation that fought the Vietnam war.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Combat Shooter’s Handbook. Call for a pizza, a cop, and an ambulance and see which one arrives first. So, who does that leave to protect you, your life, property and family? The one and only answer is: YOU This Handbook is intended to help you exercise that right and meet that responsibility. Available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

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