Great Opportunity in Professional Custom Application

One of the most heavily recruited positions currently available to a diminishing number of qualified people is that of Professional Custom Applicator. In a recent podcast interview with Mark Washek a recruiter at Ag1Source, he dubbed Custom Applicators as the “Fighter Pilot of the Ag Industry.” Today, as many parts of the country are dropping seed in the ground - you’ll see enormous insect like vehicles with long booms for wings traveling down the hi-way. You might not have thought it - but piloting one of those trucks could bring you loads of opportunity to make money in a fascinating agriculture career.

The Crystal Ball is Opaque

     Unfortunately, we are at a time not only in the meat industry but also in the general U.S. and world economy when what little anyone had to make a forecast for the future has largely disappeared into an opaque soup of uncertainty.  There is little doubt that demand for meat, both in the United States and worldwide, is tied to among other things, per-capita income and a behavioral variable related to perceived and actual wealth (although there is some controvery about the wealth effect).  Both are down with rising unemployment and plummeting asset values. 

Cost of Production 2009: The End of Points and the Beginning of Distributions

     For years, modern swine producers thought about cost of production as a point or single number.  For almost a decade, a cost of production of 38 cents a pound was consider standard, high efficiency cost control.  Those days are gone and I don't mean just that number.  There is no new number which is or will be the normal cost of production for all of us who love to live by rules of thumb.  The cost of production for meat animals is largely determined by the cost of the underlying feed ingredients which have entered a phase of volatilty that is not likely to abate.  The continued mandates for ethanol production which will absorb four billion bushels of US corn production will keep key feed ingredient prices on a perpetual "stocks-to-use" razor and provide another source of price volatility here-to-fore reserved for weather events alone.  The combined impact of weather and reduced stocks-to-use values will force the volatility of the grain sector into the

2009 The Changing Face of Agriculture Presentations

NIAA 2009 Annual Meeting The Changing Face of Agriculture, March 31 - April 1, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

SwineCast 0400, Environmental Issues - Removing Solids from Manures - NPPC Environmental Issues

SwineCast 0400 Show Notes:

  • Bruce Cochrane shares Canadian research on removing solids from manures to lower phosphorus loads in local areas
  • NPPC Chief Environmental Council Michael Formica hooks up to share front burner issues at both state and national levels for producers

BI-SHS2009: Ingelvac CircoFLEX-MycoFLEX vs. Circumvent PCV and RespiSure 1 One

BI-SHS2009: Ingelvac CircoFLEX-MycoFLEX vs. Circumvent PCV and RespiSure 1 One – Dr. Ernest Sanford, at the Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. Swine Health Seminar during the 2009 AASV Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, USA.

The End of Obesity is Just Around the Corner

If you imagine in your mind, the irrigated agriculture of California you probably can see a large valve sticking out of the ground with a wheel on top situated in the middle of a massive field with deep furrows.  As the valve is turned, water gushes out into the furrows, flooding them to provide water for the crops.  Alternatively, you might see large water guns irrigating the fields with booming sprays similar to a lawn sprinkler on steriods.  The way of the future will require a much more efficient approach if water use to produce crops in California is to be sustained.  Intensive approaches to irrigation have been developed for use in very dry climates where evaporation is heavy and represents a large waste of what little available water is there.  In these methods, drip irrigation delivers water right to the root zone in buried or partially buried plastic pipes with small holes to meter out the water.  This almost eliminates evaporation waste and the delivery of water to

Characteristics of Competitiveness are Changing in the Meat Complex

     Just as the landscape is changing on a global economic front as outlined in my previous blog, so then are the characteristics of competitiveness as we look out into the next five year horizon.  Many years ago, responding to the advent of scale in animal production, veterinary science in production agriculture moved from a focus on individual animal treatment to something widely referred to as herd health.  The change signaled a move from diagnosing and treating individual animals to defining the conditions within which the herd would be best served and proscribed culling for individuals that did not conform or adapt to the generalized conditions.  Defining the conditions best for the herd meant creating SOPs for bio-security, ventilation, average temperature at each day of age, average nutrition and a set of standard vaccinations as examples.  Not every individual animal prefers the average or thrives in the average conditions and the response in general was to allo

SwineCast 0378, Electronic training and collaboration support

SwineCast 0378 Show Notes:

  • New website provides collaboration space for multi-specie diagnostic interaction.
  • Electronic training and collaboration support sure to grow in importance according to Iowa State

SwineCast 0377, Evolution of production software

SwineCast 0377 Show Notes:

  • Conversation with MetaFarms Tom Stein on the evolution of production software and what the perfect system would do
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