Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, December 22, 2017, Page 8, Image 8

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December 22, 2017
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Rancher, BLM collaborate on research
Capital Press
HAMMETT, Idaho — The
Bureau of Land Management
and a local ranching fami-
ly have completed the first
three-year cycle of a planned
nine-year collaborative study
using management-intensive
grazing to restore native pe-
rennial plants to landscapes
where they’ve been choked
out by invasive weeds.
The terrain along Inter-
state 84 from Twin Falls to
Mountain Home is covered
by invasive annual cheat-
grass and medusahead, which
overwhelm native plants and
burn readily.
Wildfires often force
ranchers off important pas-
ture for a couple of years un-
til vegetation regrows.
Several years ago, ranchers
Bob Howard, John McGrew
and Steve Damele started a
long-term demonstration proj-
Bureau of Land Management
Rangeland specialists use a transect to evaluate species
composition on range near Hammett, Idaho. The Bureau of Land
Management and rancher Bob Howard are partnering on a study
to determine how management-intensive grazing may be used to
reduce pressure from invasive annual plants and reduce fire risk.
ect on their private land, hop-
ing to convince the BLM of the
merits of increasing grazing
densities on public allotments
to improve rangeland health,
thereby decreasing the preva-
lence of fires.
In 2012, the ranchers
hired range specialists with
Wilder-based Intermountain
Rangeland Consultants to
document their progress with
data and scientific analysis.
Their consultant, Dan
Ogle, explained the ranch-
ers have been grazing land
at higher densities in the
winter and spring for short
durations, feeding on annual
invasive plants when they’re
green and provide good for-
age, but before native peren-
nials have emerged.
Ogle regularly checks im-
provements in range health
by evaluating “transects,”
consisting of three 100-foot
lines stretching in different
directions. The lines include
50 points, at which Ogle
records the species compo-
sition throughout the plant
“They do have some im-
provements in perennials at
many of the sites they were
monitoring,” Ogle said.
On Damele’s land, Ogle
has noticed growth in pop-
ulations of a native “species
of concern” called slickspot
peppergrass. Though he ac-
knowledges increased pre-
cipitation during recent years
could account for some of
the plant’s gains, he said it’s
clear intensive grazing hasn’t
caused damage.
Ogle also has data from a
transect on Howard’s private
land showing perennials in-
creased from 16 percent of
the biomass in 2013 to 20
percent in 2017. He’s been
especially pleased by the
spreading of native Sandberg
In 2014, the BLM and the
Howard family partnered on
a more in-depth version of
the study on the BLM’s Rat-
tlesnake Seeding Allotment.
The public study encom-
passes 48 transects.
BLM Ecologist Joe Sirot-
nak said the partners in the
project were to meet on Dec.
6 to evaluate data from the
first full three-year rotation
of the Rattlesnake project.
Palate plays a key role in livestock diets
For the Capital Press
hen wild and do-
forage on rich land-
scapes that have many and
varied plants, they generally
have functionally good re-
lationships with their social
and biophysical environ-
ments, as well as good nutri-
tional results.
The outcome is less suc-
cessful when they are on
monoculture pastures and
near zero when in feedlots,
according to studies reported
by Fred Provenza, Depart-
ment of Wildland Resources
at Utah State University, and
his associates. These scien-
tists reviewed the function-
ality of palatability where
the palate is in touch with the
needs of the body.
Herbivores are free to
choose from a wide variety of
physically and biochemically
unique species of plants when
on highly diverse grasslands.
The various rangelands on
which they graze may offer a
number of different grasses,
forbs, shrubs and trees.
These plants produce
thousands of different prima-
ry and secondary compounds.
The primary compounds in-
clude energy, protein, min-
erals and vitamins, which are
important for the nutritional
balance they provide.
The secondary com-
pounds include three main
groups of chemicals: alka-
loids, terpenes and polyphe-
nols. These chemicals can
be either beneficial or toxic,
depending on their form and
various interactions with oth-
er compounds in the diet.
During the past four de-
cades, researchers have
learned much about the abil-
ity of herbivores to select
the appropriate plants from
their environment to satisfy
Doug Warnock
their nutritional and chem-
ical needs and maintain an
intake that provides health and
well-being. The research find-
ings show that a combination of
flavor-feedback mechanisms,
the physical and chemical char-
acteristics of the forages at hand
and social interactions across
generations can enable health
through nutrition.
Also learned was that her-
bivores are fallible and can,
under certain conditions, se-
lect forages that decrease per-
formance and cause toxicosis.
The animals’ inability to
do this is often due to mis-
management on the part of
the humans in charge. Mov-
ing animals to unfamiliar
environments negates the
multi-generational knowl-
edge developed about spe-
cific areas. Over-stocking
can limit the amount of nu-
tritious forages available and
increase the number of toxic
plants consumed, causing
problems from toxicities.
Flavor feedback connects
animals with specific land-
scapes or plant communities.
Primary and secondary com-
pounds from the consumed
plants interact with the an-
imals’ cells and organs in a
dynamic network of commu-
nication that guides the indi-
vidual in food selection. The
herbivore’s complex body in-
cludes varied sensory recep-
tors that convey information
about the various foods being
consumed by the animal.
A normally functioning
palate is in tune with the needs
of the body and guides the an-
imal in selecting forage plants
that will meet its requirements
for energy, protein, minerals
and vitamins. Also, it will lead
to self-medication that will
foster the animal’s health and
well-being. Animals begin
learning in utero to associate
the flavors of foods in moth-
er’s diet with their conse-
quences after digestion. After
birth, they learn which foods
to eat or avoid from foraging
with mother.
How does this relate to
the availability and selection
of food for humans? Infor-
mation about human food
sources, processing and diet
selection, as related to nutri-
tionally rich landscapes, is
also part of this report. That
discussion will be included in
a later issue.
Doug Warnock, retired
from Washington State Uni-
versity Extension, lives on a
ranch in the Touchet River
Valley where he consults and
writes on grazing manage-
ment. He can be contacted at
Cash dairy markets break records; November milk output goes up
For the Capital Press
ecords were broken in
last week’s cash dairy
markets. CME block
Cheddar fell to $1.4450 per
pound on Dec. 12 but then
rallied and closed Friday at
$1.53, up 5 1/2-cents on the
week and reversed six weeks
of decline, but was 27 cents
below a year ago.
The barrels closed at
$1.66, down a penny, 4 cents
below a year ago, and 13 cents
above the blocks after setting
a record inverted spread of
22 1/2-cents last Tuesday.
They also set a record single
day volume Monday, selling
36 cars, highest since daily
trading started Sept. 1, 1998,
and surpassed the previous
high of 35 loads set June 18,
2010, according to FC Stone.
A total of 97 cars were sold
last week at the CME and just
7 of block.
Lee Mielke
The blocks lost 4 cents
Monday, as traders anticipat-
ed Tuesday morning’s Global
Dairy Trade auction and the af-
ternoon’s November Milk Pro-
duction report. They gave up
another 4 cents Tuesday, dip-
ping to $1.45, the lowest block
price since March 29, 2017.
The barrels lost 8 cents
Monday and plunged a dime
Tuesday, to $1.48, lowest
barrel since July 27, 2017,
but narrowed the spread to
3 cents above the blocks, a
spread that typically runs 3-5
cents below the blocks.
Dairy Market News re-
ports that milk remains read-
ily available to Midwest-
ern cheese plants and some
cheese producers warned that
only heavily discounted milk
offers will be considered for
the remainder of 2017.
Western cheese output is
ongoing as milk is also plen-
tiful. Processors are hesitant
to take on additional milk due
to the weakness of cheese
prices and ample supplies.
Cash butter slipped to
$2.19 per pound last Monday,
then reversed gears and slow-
ly climbed to $2.26 Thurs-
day, but saw a Friday close
at $2.2450, up 2 1/2-cents
on the week and 5 1/2-cents
above a year ago when it
jumped 12 1/2-cents. Forty
cars traded hands last week.
4 1/2-cents Monday but
gained a penny Tuesday,
inching back to $2.21 per
Central region butter pro-
ducers report that orders are
back in line with expectations
following a slow start to the
month. Cream remains abun-
dant, but the market tone re-
mains resilient.
Western butter makers
report that demand is follow-
ing typical seasonal patterns.
Inventories have been drawn
down, but cream is becoming
less expensive and readily
Cash Grade A nonfat dry
milk also set a record last
week, unfortunately a re-
cord low of 65 3/4-cents per
pound, down 2 1/2-cents on
the week and 36 1/4-cents
below a year ago.
November milk up
November milk output
was up for the 47th consec-
utive month in the U.S., to-
taling 16.2 billion pounds in
the top 23 states, according
to preliminary USDA data,
up just 1.1 percent from No-
vember 2016. The 50-state
total at 17.3 billion pounds,
was up 1.0 percent. Revisions
lowered the original October
23-state estimate by 27 mil-
lion pounds, now put at 16.7
billion pounds, up 1.3 percent
from a year ago.
Milk cow numbers totaled
8.73 million head in the 23
states, unchanged from Oc-
tober but 57,000 more than
a year ago. The 50-state to-
tal, at 9.4 million head, was
unchanged from October but
53,000 above a year ago.
Output per cow averaged
1,861 pounds in the 23 states,
up 9 pounds.
California output trailed
its year ago data for the 11th
consecutive month, down 34
million pounds or 1.1 percent,
due to 14,000 fewer cows
milked and a 5 pound loss per
cow. Wisconsin was up just
0.9 percent, on a 20-pound
gain per cow but cow num-
bers were down 1,000 head
from a year ago.
TRAC Center, Pasco, WA • Visit us at:
• C&E Trenching
$6.00 at the door to attend,
$5.00 with a donated can of food
the 2nd Annual
Cattleman’s Connection:
“Where Cattlemen Connect
with Industry Leaders”
• Over 100 exhibitors
• Franklin PUD
• Pesticide recertification credits (English & Spanish)
• Irrigation Specialists
• 6th Installment of the Baker Boyer Series:
“Family Legacies Grown Locally”
• Baker Boyer Bank
• Rascal Rodeo: Monday, January 8th, 4:00PM-6:00PM
• Hands on livestock handling demonstrations
• Follow the Food: Showcasing samples of
locally grown food.
• Precision Ag Day: Wednesday, January 10th:
Focus on the latest & greatest in Precision Agriculture
8th Annual Lyle Holt Scholarship Competition
• Townsquare
Media Group
• Signs by Sue
• Capital Press
• Agri NW
• Basin Business
Expect more
in animal
Capital Press
Global production of ani-
mal protein will expand again
in 2018, bringing increased
competition, Rabobank an-
alysts reported in their 2018
animal protein outlook re-
The expansion will happen
across all species and around
all regions, Justin Sherrard,
a Rabobank global strategist,
said in a podcast accompany-
ing the report.
The analysts project total
animal protein production
will be up just over 4.5 mil-
lion tons, about 1.75 percent
year over year, bringing an-
other year of expansion above
the 10 year average, he said.
The increase should be no
surprise. Economic conditions
and consumer confidence are
ticking up, feed costs remain
relatively low and the cycle in
cattle and salmon continue to
favor expansion, he said.
“What is remarkable about
another year of expansion
is the focus it will bring on
trade. Trade is the only way to
deal with ongoing production
increases,” he said.
But it’s becoming more
complicated than ever before.
Old trade agreements are be-
ing renegotiated, and new
trade agreements are proving
hard to close, he said.
“So we find ourselves in a
situation where trade is going
to deliver more competition
— between species, between
trading regions — more vol-
atility and more uncertainty,”
he said.
But it will also bring op-
portunities for those animal
protein supply chains that are
well connected, strong, agile
and innovative, he said.
The analysts are also ex-
pecting more consolidation in
most regions, changes in the
retail landscape — such as on-
line markets — that will flow
back through the supply chain
and increased use of technol-
ogy, particularly data-driven
technology, throughout the
supply chain.
They also anticipate more
discussion and more focus on
alternative proteins. Not be-
cause they’re capturing a large
share of the growth in the pro-
tein market, which they’re not
at the moment, but because
they are capturing consumer
and investor interest, he said.
The expectation in North
America is for a sizable in-
crease in production across
all species, with a strong 3
percent growth in total pro-
tein supplies, said Don Close,
Rabobank senior analyst.
“We think beef production
will be up a strong 3 (percent)
to possibly as much as 4 per-
cent in 2018.
There’s simply more cat-
tle supply and more cattle on
feed. Expansion of the cow
herd is expected to continue
although at a much slower
pace than the last three years,
he said.
On the pork side, the ana-
lysts are looking for a 3.8 per-
cent increase in production in
North America. That increase
is largely a reflection of the
additional pork processing
facilities added in 2017, with
one more plant to be complet-
ed in 2018, he said.
At the slow end of the
North American production
curve in the coming year is
broiler production, expected
to increase 1.8 percent.
That slowdown is largely
due to smaller, slower-grow-
ing birds and a slowdown in
production and tonnage as
more and more firms go anti-
biotic-free, he said.
Globally, aquaculture con-
tinues to drive seafood supply
growth, with Asia being the
most important producer of
farmed seafood. That growth
in both 2017 and 2018 is es-
timated at 3 percent to 4 per-