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naturalbeef_regDecember statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) confirm that 2010 was the best year ever for U.S. beef export value. A final total of $4.08 billion breaks the pre-BSE high from 2003 of $3.86 billion by more than 5 percent and exceeds the 2009 total by nearly $1 billion. Total volume was 1.067 million metric tons, an increase of 19 percent over 2009.

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Three weeks ago we assessed the rate of consumption of corn and soybeans and concluded that corn consumption was progressing too rapidly based on available supplies. Soybean consumption appeared to have slowed enough so that further rationing was not required.

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00_schatzker_markMark Schatzker is a travel writer and columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail and author of the book “Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef.” An ardent defender of beef consumption, he traveled to Scotland, Argentina, Japan and Italy, learning their beef production methods and tasting their unique brand of beef.

He also writes about raising his own two head of cattle on a small farm outside Toronto, purely for his own family’s beef consumption. He shared with Progressive Cattleman Editor David Cooper thoughts about the book and the response it has generated.

Q. How long did it take to actually write the book?
A. I would say about three years, with a lot of travel. The concentrated writing was something like six or seven months, but there was obviously a great deal of travel before that … I felt it was very important to really see many different beef-eating and beef-loving and beef-producing cultures to see the difference.

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The 2EZ Bale Mover, manufactured by End 2 End Welding and distributed by GoBob Pipe & Steel Sales, is a unique round bale trailer. It is one of only a handful of hay trailers on the market that is self-loading as well as self-unloading, but it is almost half the cost.

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Natur’s Way Inc. has released a direct-fed microbial (DFM) specifically designed for automated feedlot systems using micro-machines. Each 0.5-gram dose of MSE MAX is guaranteed to deliver 5.4 billion viable microorganisms (CFU) per head per day. The convenient seven-pound jugs contain 6,356 doses and can be safely frozen to prolong viability.

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