Ranchers applaud USDA’s $211 million for sage grouse conservation

 It’s an example of how ranchers and the federal government can cooperate in a win-win effort that keeps grazing lands productive for both cattle and wildlife.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers It is a shining example of a crock of government crap and “welfare for farmers and ranchers”. Question: What is the difference in these farmers and ranchers and some inter-city crack head? Answer: There is only one–the former get a much larger cut of the stolen money. — jtl, 419

by via Beef Magazine

 Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual No.It’s an example of how ranchers and the federal government can cooperate in a win-win effort that keeps grazing lands productive for both cattle and wildlife. And it’s been years in the making.

But it has come to fruition, at least as far as sage grouse conservation is concerned. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will increase its partnership with ranchers to invest in conserving sage grouse habitat while keeping working ranches working. The four-year strategy, called the Sage Grouse Initiative 2.0 (SGI 2.0), follows up on the already-successful Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) that began in 2010. SGI 2.0 will invest approximately $211 million in conservation efforts on public and private lands throughout 11 Western states.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View“Ranchers across the West appreciate the continued partnership with NRCS through the Sage Grouse Initiative,” said Brenda Richards, Public Lands Council (PLC) president and rancher from southern Idaho. “As the original stewards of our Western lands, ranchers work day-in and day-out to maintain healthy rangelands and conserve our natural resources for the generations to come. The Sage Grouse Initiative has proven itself to be a win-win for livestock producers and the grouse, and the partnership through 2018 will support the continuation of the successful conservation efforts already underway.”

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsSage grouse are found in 11 states across the western half of the United States, including California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming and the bird’s habitat encompasses 186 million acres of public and private land. In 2010, the SGI launched and has helped ranchers implement increased conservation efforts on their land, benefiting both the grouse habitat and rangeland for livestock ranchers.

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Since its launch in 2010, public and private partners engaged in the SGI have conserved 4.4 million acres, an area twice the size of Yellowstone National Park, using voluntary and incentive-based approaches for conservation. Between 2010 and 2014, NRCS invested $296.5 million into SGI, which partners matched with an additional $198 million. By the end of 2018 with implementation of the SGI 2.0 strategy, NRCS and partners will invest approximately $760 million and conserve 8 million acres, an area more than seven times the size of the Great Salt Lake.

According to NCBA, due to lawsuits and litigation, the sage grouse is currently at risk of being listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA has not been reauthorized since 1988 and NCBA and PLC believe the rather than listing the grouse under the ESA, efforts like the Sage Grouse Initiative will benefit the bird more and prove that listing is not the answer.

“The Endangered Species Act is outdated and has proven itself ineffective,” says NCBA President Philip Ellis, who ranches in Wyoming. “Of the 1,500 domestic species listed since 1973, less than 2% have ever been deemed recovered. With this partnership, voluntary conservation efforts have increased, ranchers remain on the land, and wildlife habitat is thriving. In fact, Interior Secretary Jewell announced this year that through working with ranchers and other stakeholders in Nevada and California, the Bi-State Sage Grouse population was no longer at risk and was not listed under the ESA. This is prime example of how land management and conservation efforts should be made, in partnership with those who know the land the best, not by bureaucrats in Washington D.C.”

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.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

Posted in Radical Environmentalism, Sage Grouse | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Many People Can Planet Earth Sustain?

…market prices… give private owners the proper incentives to balance current consumption against future uses, even for nonrenewable resources. It is, in fact, democratically elected government officials who are myopic, since their control over such resources is fleeting.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThis is an excellent smack down of the quivering lipped enviro-wackos’ who use the word “sustainability” as a crypto-commie code word that really means, we are going to take your property whether you like it or not.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers This explains how secure private property rights and free markets can and will, if left alone, fix the problem.

Libtards should avoid reading it seeing as how common sense (aka logic) applied to facts confuses them. — jtl, 419

Why the Population Bomb Is a Dud

Asked whether or not the growing world population will be a major problem, 59% of Americans agreed it will strain the planet’s natural resources, while 82% of U.S.-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science said the same. Just 17% of AAAS scientists and 38% of Americans said population growth won’t be a problem because we will find a way to stretch natural resources. Pew Research Center Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits“If humanity is to have a long-term future,” writes James Dyke at the Conversation, “we must address all these challenges [of population growth] at the same time as reducing our impacts on the planetary processes that ultimately provide not just the food we eat, but water we drink and air we breathe. This is a challenge far greater than those that so exercised Malthus 200 years ago.”

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)Thomas Malthus was a pioneer in political economy who wrote a famous 1798 essay on the dangers of population growth. Nowadays, environmentalists concerned with “sustainable growth” typically invoke Malthusian concerns as they recommend government interventions.

Free-market thinkers tend to reject such “solutions” as unnecessary, but beyond the technical policy debate, there is also a strand in the free-market community that embraces population growth with optimism.

The crux of Malthus’s original essay was that unchecked populations grow exponentially, whereas food production grows — at best — linearly. The following passage sums up the bleak Malthusian view of life:

The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.

The Malthusian mindset explains Paul Ehrlich’s runaway bestseller The Population Bomb and the popularity of the “zero population growth” (ZPG) movement in the 1960s. Ehrlich said, “The mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children.” (Advocates of ZPG over the years have differed on whether their goal could be achieved purely through voluntary sterilization and restraint versus government controls.)

How does a free-market economist respond to modern-day Malthusianism?

We should first make the obvious point that people in the private sector are just as capable of extrapolating population figures as government officials. Indeed, as I explained in “Are Markets Myopic?,” market prices — particularly in futures markets — give private owners the proper incentives to balance current consumption against future uses, even for nonrenewable resources. It is, in fact, democratically elected government officials who are myopic, since their control over such resources is fleeting.

Higher population allows for a greater division of labor, as well as more inventions that can be easily scaled.

To illustrate the shortcoming of a naïve natural scientific perspective on these issues, consider an anecdote from my high school years. I remember that my biology textbook asked us to consider a petri dish with a population of bacteria that would double every day. By stipulation, the bacteria would completely fill the dish — and thus hit the ceiling of its “carrying capacity” — on the 30th day. The textbook then delivered the stunning observation that on the day before this crisis, the dish would only be half full. The textbook’s point, of course, was to warn that trends in biology were not linear, and that crises could develop rapidly out of apparent tranquility and abundance.

If my classmates and I learned this principle in high school biology, then presumably at least some traders in the Chicago agricultural commodities markets have thought about it, too. If Earth’s population will grow more rapidly than food production over the next decade, then the spot prices of wheat, soybeans, and beef will eventually skyrocket as the crunch sets in. If the crisis of population growth is “obvious” to academics the world over, then this growth would be factored into market prices and food prices would already be high in anticipation of the future disaster.

Although there are sophisticated arguments involving the “negative externalities” of climate change, generally speaking, the possible dangers of excessive population growth would manifest themselves in the form of higher prices for raising children. Couples would voluntarily reduce their (biological) family size as real estate prices, tuition, health care, and food prices rose faster than wages to reflect the impending crunch. There is nothing for government officials to do in this area except to get out of the way and let market prices do their job, as opposed to subsidizing population growth through poorly designed welfare systems, “free” government schooling, and similar programs. People in the market make horrible forecasting decisions all the time, but government policies typically reinforce those flaws in human nature rather than counteract them.

As with any serious thinker, Malthus’s real work was imbued with nuance. Rather than making him a hero of progressive interventionists, one could hold up Malthus as a pioneer in understanding the importance of market institutions in encouraging responsible decision making when it comes to family size. However, if we focus on the narrow empirical prediction that exponential population growth must outstrip food production, then Malthus was simply wrong, or at least he has been so far. The “green revolution” is the shining example in the more general history of human ingenuity overcoming obstacles, especially in the context of relatively free markets. Julian Simon famously won a bet with Ehrlich predicting that the prices of key commodities — which he let Ehrlich and his colleagues choose — would fall during the 1980s.

In his own work, Simon stressed human creativity and adaptation as the “ultimate resource.” When typical Malthusians look at humanity, they see billions of bellies that must be filled. Instead, Simon saw billions of brains that could produce a new strain of crop, discover a cure for cancer, or develop a new technique for locating oil deposits.

When typical Malthusians look at humanity, they see billions of bellies that must be filled.

One of Simon’s most compelling arguments is to point out that human labor is the one resource that has consistently become relatively more scarce over the centuries. Specifically, the amount of labor time that the typical worker needs to spend in order to earn the wages for buying other resources has dropped dramatically. (Robert Bradley provides some compelling graphics on the topic.) If the Malthusians had been right, then labor would have become relatively abundant and superfluous, with commodity and energy prices rising far more than wage rates.

As the population grows, two competing forces affect living standards. On the one hand, higher population allows for a greater division of labor, as well as more inventions that can be easily scaled. (The work of J.K. Rowling and Steve Jobs would not have been nearly as valuable on a tropical island with 100 people.) On the other hand, there are finite limits on certain resources — such as standing room on Earth, for the foreseeable future — and thus at some point further population growth drives down average wages.

Nonetheless, the market contains the proper incentives to allow individuals to make informed choices about procreation. Furthermore, experience to date has definitely come down on the side of the optimists. So far, free societies have proven “the more, the merrier” to be true. Wherever population growth appears to fall into a Malthusian trap, we find excessive statism, not free markets and private property rights.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

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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Court says no to EPA’s WOTUS rule

Good news, especially seeing how the rule was scheduled to take effect today! We get a break every now and then. — jtl, 419

From Craig Rucker at CFACT

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersAt the eleventh hour a federal court ordered an injunction blocking EPA’s onerous water rule.

EPA was defiant.

 Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual EPA bureaucrats declared they will only halt the rule in the 13 states that requested the injunction.

That means relief will only extend to Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewMissouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

For now.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsWhen Judge Ralph Erickson of the North Dakota District Court granted the injunction, he did so in the expectation that the argument by these states has a substantial chance of prevailing at trial.

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)If they win, they might win for all of us.

They certainly deserve to.

Congress intended the federal government to have authority over “navigable” waters. EPA’s rule would enable it to grab control over virtually any water through a scheme that makes a mockery of congressional intent. Any water with a “nexus,” that might conceivably flow into navigable water, will be EPA’s to rule.

Under our Constitution, Congress makes the law.  When federal bureaucrats forget that, it is up the courts to restrain them.

Thanks to Judge Erickson for this wise decision.

Let’s hope this victory goes all the way.

For nature and people too,

Craig Rucker
Executive Director

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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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The Saretsky family blazes new marketing trails

One Earth has become the largest vertically integrated, natural beef program in Canada involving 9,000 cows on former Diamond Willow and HAB partnering ranches in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and upwards of 20,000 calves raised under certified natural protocols each year. The calves are finished at several Alberta feedlots including Cattleland Feedyards at Strathmore, which has developed expertise in finishing natural cattle.

I had an old university professor who told me many times, “Get big, get efficient, or get out.” Here is living proof that it can be done even if you are into “natural.” Get motivated. — jtl, 419

Phil, Tony and David Saretsky.
Phil, Tony and David Saretsky.

Hands down, there’s no business David Saretsky would rather be in than the beef business and there’s nobody in the beef business he admires more than his father, Tony. However, the dream of following in his father’s footsteps hasn’t blinded him to new opportunities as the family business, Cantriex Livestock International, evolves through changing times.

“Ever since I was a kid I always wanted to be like Dad,” Saretsky says. “I went with him looking at cattle, meeting people, loading trucks, worked in our feedlot, calved cows and at 17 was a buyer under Dad’s licence. I didn’t realize it at the time but learning from such a wide and diverse range of experiences was a huge advantage to ensure my career in the industry.”

There was a bleak span when Saretsky did have second thoughts about his future in the beef business. He was studying economics at Lethbridge University in 2003 when the Canadian industry was sideswiped by the discovery of BSE in Canada.

“I saw my father’s life work go down the drain. His business that had exported more than 200,000 head of cattle per year for almost two decades and his own cattle inventory instantly crumbled. I knew right then that I’d never be able to rebuild the business my father had because times had changed,” he says.

The family stayed the course raising cattle on the farm located between Ponoka and Lacombe, Alta., order buying and negotiating price and basis contracts for clients in the domestic market. Over time, Cantriex regained traction in export markets and had success in Russia and Kazakhstan exporting live cattle, semen and embryos, but shipping cattle globally has been difficult in recent years of record-high domestic cattle prices.

Contacts made through business relationships along the way led from his start in sourcing natural cattle for two of Canada’s largest natural beef brands to his current position as director of cattle operations for One Earth Farms, sourcing and managing natural and organic cattle exclusively for the company.

To be honest, he says he wasn’t even sure exactly what natural cattle were in 2009, when Alberta-based Heritage Angus Beef (HAB) approached one of Cantriex’s longtime clients, William Hofer at Pine Haven Colony, Wetaskiwin, Alta., about getting involved with the HAB value chain. Soon Saretsky was sourcing natural calves for a second HAB producer, Jason Hagel of Swalwell, Alta., as well as feedlots associated with other natural and organic programs. Today, Cantriex is one of the HAB ranch families and recently switched from cow-calf to grassing yearlings for One Earth.

Mike Beretta of Beretta Farms near Toronto was next to approach Sartesky about finding western cattle for the farm’s organic and natural foods value chain. Around the same time, One Earth called about buying cows and marketing natural calves from its program.

As Saretsky’s story unfolds, One Earth launched in 2009 by Sprott Natural Resources investment company headquartered at Toronto, acquired Beretta Farms in February, 2013. Under Mike Beretta’s leadership as CEO, One Earth dissolved its cropping division on the Prairies and changed its strategy from becoming “Canada’s largest, most efficient operating farm” to becoming a “fully integrated farm-to-fork company with the goal of creating value through healthy food experiences.”

Looking for a brand presence in Western Canada, One Earth has since acquired Chinook Organics/Diamond Willow Organics, Heritage Angus Beef (HAB) as well as Canadian Premium Meats at Lacombe, Alta., which custom processes beef for both brands.

Canadian Premium Meats is a federally registered, European Union-approved custom meat-packing, -processing and -packaging plant that has been third-party certified to organic and halal standards. Saretsky says it was important to acquire both Heritage Angus and Canadian Premium at the same time in the November 2014 deal because Heritage cattle account for half the plant’s volume and 100 per cent of its beef export sales carry the Heritage Angus brand.

With the purchase of these three entities, he says, One Earth has become the largest vertically integrated, natural beef program in Canada involving 9,000 cows on former Diamond Willow and HAB partnering ranches in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and upwards of 20,000 calves raised under certified natural protocols each year. The calves are finished at several Alberta feedlots including Cattleland Feedyards at Strathmore, which has developed expertise in finishing natural cattle.

“Natural beef is still a niche market, but it’s been growing for the past five or six years and will continue to grow,” Sartesky says. “Now you’ll see a portion of beef counters with natural and organic beef even in smaller communities. It’s not big numbers like commodity cattle, but natural cattle are more challenging to source and it takes more time and attention to detail.”

In his position with One Earth he has had the privilege of escorting high-profile tour groups and customers from Canada, Europe, China and elsewhere through the associated ranches and feedlots to meet the families that produce their beef.

“As a beef producer, it’s personally rewarding to see families whether it’s at a restaurant or buying beef at retail, enjoying the food you produced,” he adds.

Stockmen’s Financial

The same month that One Earth was closing its natural beef merger, the Saretskys purchased the Stockman’s Assistance Corp. of Saskatoon from Bob and Marj Blacklock. The company finances cattle purchases for clients across Western Canada.

“We (were) grateful for their offer because it was quite an opportunity with such a strong portfolio,” says Saretsky.

David is managing director, Tony is president and David’s brother Phil has already doubled the size of the portfolio since taking over the administration of the program.

“Phil has a good understanding of the program and customers’ needs and has been able to solve some issues for clients. It has been very rewarding to have a part in helping clients grow their operations and has opened other doors for us because we are always meeting new people,” says Saretsky.

“I’ve been able to work with so many good people along the way and they’ve all been my mentors. It’s a great learning experience just to see how others manage through certain situations. There’s always something to take away.”

For more information call Saretsky at 
403-782-5583 or visit the company’s Cantriex and Stockmen’s websites.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)

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.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

Posted in Cattle Production | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

4 important tips for navigating the rocky waters of WOTUS rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is set to go into effect on Friday. Are ranchers prepared to be in compliance with this broad and vague rule? Will the courts overturn the rule? Here are four things you need to know about WOTUS and how to stay out of trouble when EPA comes knocking at your door.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersFor those who might have been living under a rock, all this means that you no longer own any water–not even the mud puddle in your drive way. There is only one sure way to solve this problem–disband, dismember  and dismantle the EPA. We never needed them in the first place.  — jtl, 419 

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual At press time, the courts had yet to make a decision granting an emergency injunction over the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is set to go into effect on Friday, Aug. 28.

READ: Court hasn’t ruled on WOTUS injunction

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewMore than 30 states have filed lawsuits against EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers over the controversial WOTUS, which many believe is too far-reaching and unlawfully expands the agencies’ powers under the Clean Water Act. The coalition of states hope the lawsuits will ultimately overturn the rule and prove the EPA has reached far beyond its scope and unlawfully stepped into the private lives of American citizens.

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsIn a recent press conference, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said, “A federal rule of this scope and significance needs thorough judicial review before costly and disruptive burdens are imposed on North Dakotans. The rule is unnecessary, unlawful, and will do nothing to increase water quality in our state.”

READ: 28 states want WOTUS implementation delayed

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)An injunction can only be invoked if the states can prove jurisdiction and irreparable harm. As a rancher facing the prospect of EPA seeking a power grab and looking to micromanage landowners, I see several ways WOTUS, if allowed to be implemented, would do irreparable harm to not only the agriculture industry, but also homebuilding, oil, gas, and mining.

Here are four things you need to know about WOTUS before the sun rises on Aug. 28:

1. Businesses will be implicated by WOTUS and economies will suffer.

Not only will states be burdened with extra costs of implementation, but it will become increasingly complex to obtain necessary permits for doing business, and will put industries at risk as they try to follow previously established state regulatory programs and the new conflicting federal requirements. The complexity of the new rule, combined with the broad-sweeping manner in which it’s written, not only makes following the rules difficult but also gives much flexibility to agencies to decide whether or not you’re in compliance of the rule.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey calls the rule “regulatory lunacy.”

Morrissey says, “This rule would infringe on citizens’ property rights and force them to pay thousands of dollars to do basic work around their homes, farms and workplaces. This rule expands a scheme whereby property owners have to ask the EPA for permission to do yardwork.”

READ: WOTUS: Woe to us

2. WOTUS reference to “navigable waters” is deliberately vague.

According to Forbes, “The Clean Water Act (CWA) gives the federal government jurisdiction over navigable waters, and this has long been understood to include a certain amount of upstream (tributary) water in order to protect larger water features. However, ‘navigable waters’ is defined as ‘the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas,’ which is where interpretations start to get muddy. Years of jurisprudence have created a near impenetrable morass of definitions and elemental tests.”

So what is a navigable water, and how might the water found on your ranch now be under the jurisdiction of the EPA? Well, an example might be small, temporary ponds, wetlands, rivers, streams or creeks. It’s unclear whether a pond is significant enough to be a regulated body of water under the new rule. Because of how vague WOTUS is written, each body of water will be determined on a case-by-case basis, requiring much time, money, geographic span from the agencies and a lot of stress for landowners questioning the scope of the new rule.

READ: The WOTUS rule: Overdue necessity or unnecessary burden?

3. Violate WOTUS and pay $37,500 per incident per day.

Yes, you read that right. A whopping $37,500 is the daily fine for every incident in which you have an unauthorized discharge of pollutants from your ranch that requires a Clean Water Act permit, according to Mike Barnett, Texas Farm Bureau director of publications.

“Unpermitted discharges of pollutants into WOTUS are unlawful and carry large potential penalties, even if the farmer or rancher has no knowledge of that feature of WOTUS,” writes Barnett.

Barnett warns that farmers and ranchers will need a section 402 NPDES permit from state regulatory agencies or the EPA for applications of pesticides, fertilizers or manure from any sprayer, spreader or nozzle. Even worse, a permit may be required for grading, laser leveling, terracing, plowing, deep ripping, construction, maintenance of roads, fences, ditches, ponds and culverts.

“A permit to plow? It doesn’t look all that far-fetched,” he said.

READ: 5 things you should know about the EPA WOTUS rule

4. How do I stay in compliance?

Barnett lists seven tips for minimizing the risk of violating the new rules under CWA including:

• Request a Jurisdictional Determination (JD) from the Corps of Engineers to definitively identify WOTUS on your farm or ranch.

• Assume that certain features are WOTUS and avoid anything that might result in a discharge to those areas.

• Seek clarification from the Corps of Engineers about whether your dirt-moving activities in or near WOTUS qualify for one of the section 404 permitting exemptions.

• Apply for a Section 402 or 404 permit when conducting activities that could result in a regulated discharge.

• Request a JD from the Corps of Engineers by contacting your local Corps office. Be aware that the JD form on the website at the time of this writing is not based on criteria for the new rule.

• For more information on the section 402 permitting process, see http://1.usa.gov/1MzZh15 and http://1.usa.gov/1hOhkFk.

• For more information on section 404 “dredge and fill” permitting and exemptions, see http://1.usa.gov/1E75ekK and http://1.usa.gov/1JkF7Tg.

Are you worried about the updated CWA rules? Are you concerned about being in compliance with this vague ruling? Are there any navigable waters on your ranch that you fear may or may not follow under the definition of WOTUS? Share your thoughts and concerns in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

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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Rally Time

By Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com via The Beef Read

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersAfter a big wash-out prior to 1:00 p.m. yesterday in CME cattle futures, the market began creeping up in the afternoon, portending the +100 point higher opening today. Leaving a big tail on the charts and turning up technical indicators, a short-term low appears to be in with the possibility of a more significant low in the making. A close tomorrow above Tuesday’s high would certainly go a long way to cement the low and build some confidence that the recent careening slide is over.

Big Futures Trade

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual There was big volume and a big open interest build on yesterday’s flush, up over 6k contracts but it’s unclear who the players were. Was there desperate hedging by cattle feeders and their bankers, long hedging by packers or adding to shorts by managed funds? All of the above? The weekly CFTC commitment of traders report for yesterday’s action won’t be revealed until a week from tomorrow leaving room for nothing but speculation until then.

    Quiet Elsewhere

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewActivity in the country has been extremely quiet compared to the financial markets with a very few fringe Corn Belt cattle trading lower than a week ago at $226-228. After last week’s large negotiated trade volume, packers are not expected to be aggressive. Still, packer margins are excellent and fed cattle costs in the mid-$140s are attractive as they are well below where the market has averaged for the last 20 months.

September Cleanup?

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsOne of the keys to how long the packer can keep a lid on fed cattle prices this fall is when the north, 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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)specifically central and eastern Nebraska and Iowa, get through their peak numbers and regain front-end currentness. Perhaps if packers keep putting south-bound wheels under cattle and up slaughter schedules somewhat in the south that northern cleanup will occur quickly. As those in this business know, cattle weights don’t top seasonally until Nov 1. There have been reports of more packers discounting big cattle this week. So getting ahead of marketings this time of year can propose a challenge. And packers have exhibited a discipline on keeping kills reined in since May.

Discounts Intact

Soon-to-be-lead month Oct LC is almost $5 discount to last week’s cash trade even after rallying $3 off of yesterday’s low, which saw the market remarkably trade under $140, a level not reached in the most active futures month since May 2014 or in cash fed cattle prices since early January 2014. It would certainly seem that futures will lag behind the cash market for the foreseeable, until or unless an unexpected significant development alters the perceived landscape.

Copyright © 2015 The Beef Read. All rights reserved.
The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

FOLLOW FLYOVER PRESS ON FACEBOOK

Check out our WebSite

Check out our e-Store

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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Buy In Or Buy Out

If the kids want to be in business, they should make a business-like decision to buy in.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersSkin in the game is the best motivator of all. — jtl, 419

Dave Pratt via Ranching for Profit Blog

In response to a ProfitTips column I called The Great American Tragedy, one Ranching For Profit School alumnus, and friend, shared the following story. He gave me permission to share it with y’all but asked to remain anonymous. He wrote:

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual   Recently a friend and I were discussing the high failure rate of small businesses and that, even for those businesses that do last more than a few years, almost none get transferred to the next generation. Then he made an interesting comment about how lucky I was that my family was one of the few examples he knew of where a successful succession took place. After all, here I was, running cattle on my parent’s ranch, operating a small but successful ranching business, living right down the road from the folks.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewI took his comment as a compliment, smiled, nodded and began thinking about the idea that we had managed a successful succession. After a bit of noodling around, I reached a different conclusion: regardless of how it looks from the outside, I am highly skeptical about just how much “succession” took place, and here’s why:

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe real reason I’m still here running the ranch is that I basically bought my parents out.

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)As a kid, I never really gave much thought to staying in agriculture, as I didn’t perceive there was much economic opportunity. I took a few horrible ag classes in college, then gave up on that too. In my late twenty’s I was surprised to stumble into an opportunity to buy the little ranch next to my parents’ place. In some ways it was a dream come true. In others it was a nightmare. Looking back, it was really a financial bail-out for everyone (except me).

The reason for the need of a bail-out was that in the 1980’s my mother, bless her heart, had gotten herself and her partner (the lady next door/owner of the ranch I purchased) into a deep financial hole.

I was able to obtain some low-interest financing that allowed me to buy the land, plus purchase all of my parents’ cattle and equipment. I also entered into a long-term lease on my parents’ ranch (the home place). I was leveraged to the hilt, but it gave me complete decision-making power over the land and livestock operation. The money I was able to pour into the “organization” was just enough to get my mom and the neighboring property owner out of hock. It’s not that I precisely planned things to work out that way, but luckily they did.

About a year later I attended my first RFP. Following that experience, I went home and began making wholesale changes: got rid of all the farming and haying equipment, then began evolving the cattle enterprise toward something that would actually work. In the meantime I was working my ass off (off farm) and pouring that capital against the operating loan. I married a woman with a good job (good enough to support our household) and kept adapting. Through extraordinary effort, I was able to pay off some of the higher interest loans early, and things got better. My parents were helpful and supportive, although they still spoke longingly about the good old days. In the end, they really had no power to object to the new model, as I had sort of put them out of business.

I’m not trying to sound like a hero or a genius. Frankly, it was all pretty crazy. And somehow, that doesn’t feel like a successful succession process.

Dave, I know in the past you suggested that it might be helpful for the kids to take over the cattle operations while leaving the land ownership in the hands of the elders. Based on my experience, I would say that having some substantial skin in the game AND taking over control of operational decision-making is critical to making substantial change in the structure of most family businesses. And that will certainly require borrowing some capital to start with, hopefully not from the parents. If I had simply “partnered” with my folks on the cattle, or “shared power” about the direction of the ranch, I never would have been able to make the changes necessary for survival.

You may know of some examples of smooth, cooperative succession where the parents gradually and gracefully pass off decision-making power, but I think they are few and far between. If the kids want to be in business, they should make a business-like decision to buy in. This, of course, would follow an analytical look at the business model.

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.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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Ignoring the water problem is no longer an option

The water crisis is about much more than water. Last of a three-part series.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Due mainly to government intervention that does not allow the allocation of scarce resources among insatiable desires to work through free market pricing, water has been way too cheap for way to long. — jtl, 419

Read part one and part two in this series.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual “The nexus of water, food and energy will define our quality of life in this century.”

That’s Jay Famiglietti’s take on the world we will live in. He is senior water scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewImbalances between such things as water availability, quality, value determination — and a myriad of related and messy issues — make it so.

Speaking at this year’s National Institute of Animal Agriculture (NIAA) annual conference, he said that though there’s enough potable water to go around, gaps in policy, infrastructure and management mean currently, too many have too little. Worldwide, groundwater is being siphoned at unsustainable rates, and in some of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world.

Solving the water issues requires more than just water discussions.
By Robert Cianflone, Getty Images

Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsEven in areas where water availability and quality are not current problems, Famiglietti explained in an earlier TED talk, “… We still have a crisis of management. Is water being effectively managed, or do governments even have the commitment to delivering water to their population?”Then he says there’s the crisis of economics. “Is there sufficient wealth to build and maintain the infrastructure that’s required to treat and distribute water?”

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)There’s the crisis of understanding as well. “Do people and our elected officials really understand what’s going on with water locally, regionally, nationally and globally?” he asks.

We think different

Discussing the issues here in the U.S., let alone finding solutions, is complicated by cultural evolution.

“The 21st-century American water wars have nothing to do with water,” says Aubrey Bettencourt, California Water Alliance executive director. “I would say the root challenge to the ongoing debates in these arenas is the societal shift from an agrarian society and agrarian majority to a consumer majority; that the new relationship between the reactive agrarian minority and the susceptible consumer majority increasingly determines the outcomes of water policies.”

Bettencourt was also speaking at this year’s NIAA conference. She explained that most American consumers are at least four to six generations removed from production agriculture and their food supply. Their motivations are typically different than those of agricultural producers.

“Today’s consumers are emotionally based,” Bettencourt says. “They don’t change willingly but must be, and are, constantly convinced on emotional grounds to change their behavior and to make purchases. As such, they’re more likely to support, oppose or demand specific policies, criteria or regulation on the industries from which they consume.”

Advocacy organizations outside of agriculture understand this and have proven masters of understanding the consumer psyche and affecting consumers’ attitudes.

“These organizations market to consumers, and communicate with them in the consumers’ own emotional language,” Bettencourt says. “Appealing to their need for positive social contribution, policy interest groups activate consumers to flex their purchasing power, and to share their advocate voice to demand government policies on agriculture and other natural resources.”

The social information age amplifies the ensuing cycle of proposed regulation, public support recruitment, political popularity, political priority and eventual implementation.

“The notion that it takes a regulation or a mandate to change agricultural practices is based on the dangerously ignorant myth held by the majority that agriculture will never do its job correctly, morally, efficiently or consciously,” Bettencourt explains. “So, to correct agriculture’s ways, to bring it into the modern age, to change and control the culture and practices of agriculture, increased public attention and demand is given to regulate the resources on which farming depends, for our own good.”

page 2

“American agriculture is in a reactive position for the first time in human history,” Bettencourt says. “For the first time, agricultural producers have to explain their role in society and why it’s important. For the first time, they must justify what they do.”

Rather than a battle with consumers, though, Bettencourt emphasizes that the dialogue surrounding water use is a war waged with advocacy groups for the hearts and minds of consumers.

“The future of American agriculture depends on water availability, and water availability depends on being an advocate,” Bettencourt says. “As an industry, we must get ahead of the mandates and regulations, embrace and pioneer water use technology wherever beneficial … It’s time to speak with authenticity, confidence, gratitude and persistence. Say what you want to say. Say it clearly. Say it with confidence … Represent the industry with confidence.”

Famiglietti explains there’s no reason for agricultural producers to shy away from the fact that agricultural production requires water use.

“Rather, take ownership, clearly articulate the issues, and become industry leaders and stewards. How can we raise the best product while having the least environmental impact?” he asks. “We need to change the conversation: from urban versus agriculture, from farmers versus fish, from economic growth versus the environment, to how much water does society want to allocate to produce food, or to how can we produce the best or most using the least amount of water.”

Bettencourt used California’s current historic drought to illustrate how the water crisis places consumers at increased risk, even here in the United States.

Heading into this spring, Bettencourt — a third-generation California farmer — explained the state anticipated fallowing at least 800,000 acres. There was already 40% unemployment in the state’s largest agriculture counties, the result of what she termed natural drought and water mismanagement. Food costs were expected to increase as much as 25%. Utility rates grew significantly as the volume of hydroelectric power declined.

“Caught in the crosshairs are not just family farms and related industries, but the millions of poor and working-class consumers who cannot afford the special-interest brand of social consciousness, but live paycheck to paycheck, seeking the healthiest life they can afford,” Bettencourt says.

The clock is ticking

Ignoring the problem is no longer an option.

“The water cycle and water availability are changing,” Famiglietti says. “Water availability will become progressively more strained, while increasing extremes in flooding and drought threaten both animal exposure and the supply chain.”

In his TED talk, Famiglietti suggested the need for more efficient irrigation, more crop selection — including more saline-tolerant and drought-tolerant crops — improved pricing models, and national and global water policies. He also pointed out that many of the technologies needed to monitor and manage water more efficiently already exist.

“The problems we face today and that your industry faces in the future are of such concern, and so large in scope, that it behooves you to think from now about the second half of the century, because some of the changes you may need to make, or changes in water rights and water law, will take that long — because it’s very complicated,” Famiglietti says.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

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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Posted in Uncategorized, Water, Water Issues | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why Do Cattle Futures Act So Bad?

Cattle Futures Unrelenting Sell-Off Continues

No comment. I plead the 5th. And I promise to never say that I reminded you guys dozens of times that you needed to have them hedged.

Actually, right now is a great time for a speculator to be selling short in the market–jtl

A Handbook for Ranch Managers By Cassie Fish, CassandraFish.com

Though it’s easy to blame the bearish cattle futures market action on the global economic concerns that have spilled over into the U.S. markets this week, those same concerns haven’t impacted all U.S. agricultural commodities equally this week.

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual

In the midst of all the fear, Oct lean hog futures have posted an outside week and are trading higher on the week. That market is staring a huge supplies and a bearish seasonal, but it has rallied anyway. The corn market shook off the Monday sell-off, recovering 15 cents and is trading in a stable manner, refocused on dialing in new crop yields.

Cattle Futures Unrelenting Sell-Off Continues

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThe cattle market on the other hand can’t catch a bid. An early morning rally in live cattle futures quickly faded to another dollar down, with most active Oct LC taking out the February 2015 lows, now reaching levels not seen for that contract since May 2014. When the cattle market gapped higher back on June 6, 2014, it never looked back until this summer. But since then, all it’s done pretty much is look down. On a spot basis, there are a couple of sizeable gaps left on a daily continuation chart that Oct LC may yet fill.

The Nature of Markets

Combat Shooter's HandbookMarkets exploit vulnerabilities. Too much debt. Not enough equity. Too much infrastructure. A slowdown in demand. These are some of the factors plaguing Asia and specifically China and its suppliers like Australia for iron ore, Brazil for steel and Indonesia for mineral oil.

The Vulnerabilities Closer to Home

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute In the U.S. in 2014 end users scrambled to compensate in various ways for the shortage of domestic beef. By 2015, substitutes had been made, prices to consumers had been raised and the scramble ceased. The gouging the end user took in 2014 didn’t repeat in 2015.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsOver the last 10 years, the U.S. beef packing industry has shuttered plant after plant, taking nearly 90,000 head of fed slaughter capacity out of the market. This segment of the business had entire years of red ink in the past decade. The result of these actions and disciplined moderation of kill levels is that in the midst of the tightest fed cattle supplies in modern history, packers could close out 2015 at a near breakeven after posting modest YTD profits in 2014.

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) Bring on the ethanol boom and extensive multi-year drought and the beef cowherd was liquidated to the lowest level since the tail end of the baby boomers were being born. Under pressure from high grain prices and too much feedyard capacity, feedyards began to close or be converted into dairy operations, especially in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, reducing some of the over-capacity in bunk space.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) With record profits 2014 it was the cattle feeders turn to chase diminished feeder cattle supplies for placement. The result was record high feeder cattle prices and record high breakevens. Futures have stubbornly traded discount to cash prices this year and offered limited to lousy risk management opportunities. Industry breakevens for the remainder of 2015 easily average in the mid-$160s. Oct and Dec LC futures now near life of contract lows, $20-25/cwt below most breakevens. It is this vulnerability that seems to be the markets primary focus.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)If correct, then cash feeder cattle prices, limited supplies or no, could have the most downside going forward, as margin compression keeps moving downhill.

Copyright © 2015 The Beef Read. All rights reserved.
The Beef is published by Consolidated Beef Producers…for more info click here.
Disclaimer:  The Beef, CBP nor Cassie Fish shall not be liable for decisions or actions taken based on the data/information/opinions.

FOLLOW FLYOVER PRESS ON FACEBOOK

Check out our WebSite

Check out our e-Store

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.

Posted in Livestock & Meat Markets | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Low-stress herding boosts herd instinct, decreases predation

 Stockmanship isn’t about being kinder and gentler so much as learning to see it from the cattle’s point of view and acting accordingly.

Back in the early days (when it was still properly called the Savory Grazing Method (SGM)) one of the first and loudest howls to go up when paddocks and electric fencing were mentioned was, “But you are taking the cowboying out of it.”

Low stress herding = problem solved. If that ain’t cowboying I don’t know what else you could call it. — jtl

by Matt Barnes via Progressive Cattleman

Herding yearlings

Horses tied and waiting, we watched 386 commingled spayed heifers move across a large mountain meadow as a cohesive herd. We were camped in a meadow surrounded by aspen trees, just below the Continental Divide in western Montana.

This is an esoteric pleasure of stockmen, who can appreciate the aesthetics of a herd showing good movement, especially in a landscape where we aren’t the only carnivores – where there might be a cougar, grizzly bear or wolf nearby.

My colleagues and I have been working with a couple of truly progressive cattlemen who have demonstrated successful grazing strategies and had remarkably few losses to potential predators.

The rancher on whose land we worked that day once found a wolf eating the carcass of a dead yearling – but otherwise has had no conflict with wolves.

The rancher, Whit Hibbard, is a lifelong cattleman and a practitioner of both rotational grazing and stockmanship, especially low-stress livestock handling as developed by Bud Williams.

One way to describe low-stress livestock handling is handling a herd not like a pack of wolves would – surround and push – but more like a border collie, with pressure and release.

I often see otherwise-excellent cowboys moving cattle exactly like a pack of wolves. I just didn’t recognize it until I learned about low-stress livestock handling. The more I learn, the more I see we have more impact on cattle than we realize.

Animals hide stress like they hide weakness or injury, a mechanism for coping with potential predators. Stockmanship isn’t about being kinder and gentler so much as learning to see it from the cattle’s point of view and acting accordingly.

On that particular day, as we camped in the meadow, we watched those cattle because we’d been testing some herding methods and wanted to see the cattle stay in a large, concentrated group rather than be scattered.

cattle moving with low-stress

One reason we want increased stock density on the range is the improved distribution generally associated with rotational grazing. The ranch already practices rotational grazing with seven permanently fenced pastures.

With a short summer grazing season, this is enough to prevent most repeat grazing of individual plants (i.e., overgrazing), but it isn’t enough to reap all of the benefits of high stocking density. In the past, the ranch has split pastures, including the one we were in, with two or three temporary electric fences to further shorten grazing periods and improve distribution.

We were using herding to get the same benefits associated with more intensive rotations.

Protection in the herd

We also wanted to rekindle the herd instinct because the herd is the natural anti-predator behavior of cattle, just as it is of bison, elk and other preyed-upon species.

Our experience had been that the relatively few cattle actually killed by predators weren’t random; they were ones that were more vulnerable – not just ones that were sick or injured but also those that were isolated from the main herd or in small groups, a behavior for which commingled yearlings are particularly known.

We tested two apparently similar approaches to herding cattle, both thought to be low-stress. The first method, developed by cattleman Garl Germann of the Rodear Initiative, was to hold the cattle at high density with one rider driving from behind while another kept the leaders from moving beyond the herd – effectively encircling or rodearing the cattle.

This achieved a very high stock density with fine-scale control of where the cattle grazed. But with this method, the density needed to be constantly enforced. It was our idea, not the herd’s idea.

As part of this method, we night-penned the cattle with poly wire so the density would be maintained and morning herding would not need to begin with a gather. The night pen was not intended to keep potential predators out.

Our second method was to make our idea the herd’s idea, using low-stress livestock handling without night-penning. We gathered the cattle from water at midday before they began the afternoon grazing period. We generated most of the movement from the side rather than the back and made sure every animal that responded properly to pressure received an immediate release.

We pointed them in the general direction of a water source or salt and mineral feeder, letting them line out and choose their own density and speed. Our focus wasn’t on the destination but on making the movement as a single herd a rewarding experience for the cattle.

Each morning, we observed the density of the cattle, and over the course of several days, we saw them go from small groups to large groups to a single herd.

That’s the moment of beauty we were watching that day in the meadow: 24 hours after we stopped riding, the commingled heifers were staying in a single herd, at a stock density similar to what we had used when herding them.

too much pressure

Both methods increased stock density and would facilitate strategic grazing management and improved grazing distribution, but working with animal behavior led to the cattle staying together voluntarily.

One question remained: Was the herd instinct we were observing primarily from low-stress livestock handling or the cumulative effect of both herding methods? To answer that, we returned to the first method after rekindling the herd instinct.

The next day (the last day of the herding project) two of us encircled the cattle, moving them slowly through areas where we wanted more use, and settled them late in the day.

The next morning, we found them scattered. Why? Because the method involved persistent pressure rather than consistent release when animals behaved as we intended.

We accidentally punished them for doing the right thing, and when given the chance, they chose to do what we considered the wrong thing.

When we stopped adhering to the principles of low-stress handling, we didn’t see the stress we were causing to the cattle, even though we were slow and quiet.

Adhering to those principles is how we make our idea theirs: Staying together facilitates strategic grazing management as well as coexistence with large carnivores.  end mark

Matt Barnes, certified professional in rangeland management, directs the Rangeland Stewardship program at People and Carnivores in Bozeman, Montana. For more information, email Matt or visit People and Carnivores and click on Publications.

PHOTO 1: Herding yearlings in western Montana. Riding reverse-parallel, a low-stress livestock handling technique for pressuring and releasing the herd from the side.

PHOTO 2: All 386 of the commingled heifers showing rekindled herd instinct and good movement 24 hours after the riders stopped herding. This facilitates strategic grazing management and coexistence with large carnivores. Photos courtesy of Matt Barnes.

Email Matt Barnesmbarnes@peopleandcarnivores.org

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

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 II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)

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.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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