The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 21, 2013

Cow-Calf Conference highlights cattle options

Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference follows up with area farmers

OTTUMWA — Last summer’s blistering drought gave cattle producers plenty to talk about at the Cornbelt Cow-Calf Conference this weekend.

This year, the conference was geared toward looking at different options relative to Iowa’s variable weather, said Byron Leu, CCCC steering committee member and ISU Extension beef program specialist.

Astoria, Ill., producer Steve Foglesong told cattle producers to “think outside the box.”

“They need to make decisions they would not normally make when addressing high feed costs and shortages of hay,” Leu said.

In addition to eight presentations covering everything from confinement feeding to pasture to cover crops, attendees could meander through 48 exhibits to see the latest equipment and chat with area farmers.

Dr. Lee Schulz, assistant professor and extension livestock economist at Iowa State University, said cattle farmers are smart and easily able to adapt during drastic circumstances.

“But they should be ready if dry weather persists to make some decisions,” Schulz said.

 

A worrisome outlook from John Deere

John Deere Ottumwa Works general manager Andy Hansen presented John Deere’s outlook on cattle economics Saturday afternoon.

“This drought may not be unprecedented, but it’s serious, serious business,” Hansen said. “Feed prices are higher and corn prices are going to be through the roof at least until next fall and maybe beyond if we have another summer as dry as this last one.”

Another scorching summer could force farmers to feed hay earlier and haul water to the herds, and herd liquidation could cause prices to decline, he said.

Cattle producers are also struggling with shipping costs since the Mississippi River is so low.

“There’s not enough water in the Mississippi to get barges all the way down to New Orleans,” Hansen said. “Federal mandates say there has to be 9 feet of water in there at all times and 40 feet at the mouth, but the [Army Corps of Engineers] is struggling to make that happen.”

Therefore, feed that has to be exported must be trucked to New Orleans, which is much more expensive than using a barge, which can hold 100 rail cars of grain, Hansen said.

He said “it’s a completely different world now that China has 4 million people in its middle class.”

This means there is now a greater demand for beef, pork and grain stocks from China, he said.

This year, corn prices are expected to average $7 per bushel for the 2012-13 crop year, he said. Wheat prices are expected to stay strong and will be driven by strong overall grain prices and poor winter wheat weather, he said.

“If — and that’s a huge if — we get normal amounts of moisture this year, that will take a lot of pressure off these prices next fall,” Hansen said.

In terms of ethanol, Hansen said it’s dangerous when the federal government mandates a particular solution.

“I would a lot rather them incent something around improving energy efficiency rather than mandate ‘X’ amount of gas has ethanol in it,” he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition