Cattle and Corn: Working Together
We got a letter a few weeks ago, signed by Jeff Windett, Executive Vice President for the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) and Gary Marshall, Chief Executive Officer for the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council (MCMC). This letter was addressed “Dear Producer,” and it let Missouri farmers and agriculturalists know the efforts being taken by these two associations to better understand, and alleviate, the higher input costs for fuel, fertilizers, seed and feed.
Windett said this joint effort began when the energy policy was signed into legislation in Nov.-Dec. 2007. “At that point, certainly a lot of (beef) producers had questions about what this would do to feed costs. Corn producers recognized that as well so we tried to get together and look at things that would alleviate economic pressures,” he added.
MCA and MCMC Key Projects for Cow/Calf Farmers in Missouri
The first is to improve the delivery system for distillers grains to provide increased availability for cow/calf operators across the state, and the second is to promote continued research with University experts to identify economical rations that best meet the nutritional needs of cow/calf operations using distillers grains.
“The purpose of the letter was to reassure producers that we are keenly aware of some of the pressure they’re under,” Windett said.
Other areas being explored by MCA and MCMC include:
1. Incentives and infrastructure to background calves to higher weights;
2. Find ways to maintain forage production on appropriate land;
3. Increase tax exemptions for livestock production inputs such as farm fuel and fencing;
4. Get low interest guaranteed loans for livestock producers.
Windett said that one way southwest Missouri producers can get involved is by calling into the MCMC offices, and expressing interest in distillers grains. “Let them know if there’s an interest level out there in the case of distillers grains. They are in close contact with the ethanol plants.
“Right now part of our thinking is trying to identify where some of those distillers grains could be transported to,” Windett said.
“The message to producers is their associations are working together to try and find solutions to these challenges,” Windett said.