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Meat processing plant earns financial support

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By Steve Moore

During the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board meeting last Friday in Owingsville, the Board voted to approve and support the regional meat processing facility, to be located in the Henry County Commerce Park near Campbellsburg. Named ‘Trackside Butcher Shoppe’ by owners/operators John Edwards and Chris Wright, the approximately 6,500 square foot meat processing facility will be USDA Inspected, and will process Beef, Sheep, Swine, Goats, Rabbits, and Chickens, with a two week hiatus to process deer in the fall. A retail component is planned, as well as a kitchen for value-added further processing of meats.

In addition to KADF funds and loans, the project has received major financial support from regional county Agriculture Development Councils including Henry, Shelby, Oldham, and Trimble. Other county ADC’s are expected to support the project as county allocations are released.

It is anticipated that construction of the facility may begin by late summer.

Cow Disposition Affects Pregnancy Rate

Now we have another good excuse to cull cows due to bad temperament. While we’ve observed that cows that are unruly and nervous are less likely to conceive to artificial insemination, we presumed it was because they have been stressed as they are passed through the working facilities and restrained while being synchronized and inseminated. Now it seems that, even in the serenity of a natural breeding pasture, cows with bad dispositions are less likely to conceive when mated with bulls.

A Florida study recorded disposition scores over two years on 160 Braford and 235 Brahman x British crossbred cows. They wanted to evaluate the effects of cow temperament and energy status on the probability to become pregnant during a 90-day natural breeding season. Cows were scored as 1-calm, no movement-to 5-violent and continuous struggling while in the working chute. Also a pen score assessment was assigned as 1-unalarmed and unexcited-to 5-very excited and aggressive toward technician. Even the speed at which the cows exited the working chute was rated. An overall temperament index score was calculated by averaging the chute score, pen score and exit velocity score. Blood samples were analyzed for cortisol, a hormone released when mammals are stressed or excited. Increased cow temperament score and elevated plasma cortisol concentrations both were associated with decreased probability of pregnancy. These results suggest that excitable temperament is detrimental to reproductive function of cows.

In short, an unruly and nervous cow should be on your list to send to the stockyard, so you and your working crew will be safer, and you’ll reap the benefits of this dandy cull cow market.

FSA NOTES

The Farm Service Agency reminds agricultural producers of the acreage reporting requirements that must be met prior to receiving program benefits. In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the local FSA office at New Castle to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline. For most crops, the deadline is July 15.

The following exceptions apply:

•If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

•If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendars days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should contact the FSA Office at 845-2820 to get the specific date for their acreage reporting requirements.