Message from the Owner

Stan & Jean Potratz, Owners

Ethanol's Impact on
Ag. Costs

High energy prices have produced a boom in building ethanol & biodiesel plants in the Midwest. That means that a much higher % of the annual corn crop will soon pass through the ethanol plants instead of being feed directly to livestock (corn) or less directly as soybean meal.

Here's my understanding of the changes this will mean for US livestock producers (It's a basic truth that you cannot feed the energy from an acre to livestock and your car at the same time):

  • The cost/value of grain will rise. We can predict the trend but not the exact % or amount.
  • So it will cost more/lb. to raise "white meat" including pigs (a form of corn with legs) and poultry (a form of corn & soybean with wings).
  • It will cost more/lb. to fatten cattle/sheep in feedlots. So grass fattening cattle and sheep may gain-if it can be done without taste and tenderness losses.
  • It may cost less to maintain a beef cow herd, ewe flock or herd of meat goat nannies-because the high-protein by-products (wet or dry) from ethanol will go down (due to excess supply). The winners are those with access to plenty of low-value roughage (e.g. cornstalks, grass hay) which will be an excellent match for ethanol by-products. Year-round dry lot feeding of cows and ewes may become very competitive in some Midwest areas.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer (of which natural gas is the primary input) will (already does) cost more per lb. So:
    1. Corn will cost more/bu. to produce. Therefore more land may be planted to soybeans (which do not need nitrogen).
    2. Legume based pastures (which do not need nitrogen) may gain in favor.
    3. A legume hay/corn rotation may return on erodible land of lower inherent fertility.
    4. Land with high organic matter (thus needs less fertilizer/bu.) will increase in value.
  • All transportation costs of feed and livestock will be higher. So the relative feed-cost advantages of the Midwest will increase. But the relative cost of moving livestock (live or dead as meat) to the cities will also increase.
  • And the "winners" over the coming years may be those producing red-meat livestock close to the consumers (in the cities) on high quality legume/grass pastures.

Best wishes to all,
Stan Potratz

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Premier Specials

Show Fans

Premier Fans by Hartzell Fan Inc.
Preferred by our staff for performance, superior air flow (in distance and volume), sound and quality of construction. Features propeller type blades that truly move air. Rafter brackets are included. Black.

Two sizes offered:
Premier 24
(24 in. dia, 8500 CFM, 1/2 hp. motor, 5.2 amp. draw, 47 lbs.).
Premier 18 (18 in. dia., 4300 CFM, 1/3 hp. motor, 3 amp. draw, 33 lbs.).
880031 Premier 24 $255
880030 Premier 18 $220

Schaeffer® Slim Line 24
Standard aluminum fan blades (3). Nice slim cage. Rafter brackets are included. Black. Good value. (24 in. dia., 8200 CFM, 1/2 hp. motor, 4 amp. draw. 34 lbs.)
880032 Schaeffer 24 $225

Use Source Code: News 19. If ordering from our website: Enter News 19 in the "Catalog Source Code" box on the "Checkout-Confirm and Submit" screen to get Free Shipping.

Offer good through July 31, 2006 or While Supplies Last!

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Customer Testimonial

ElectroNet-Set up in less than 30 min.

I must have called Premier Fencing at least a half a dozen times to inquire about different forms of fencing. I had heard good things about ElectroNet, but I couldn't imagine that I could set 164' of fencing in less than 30 minutes and that it would keep the goats or sheep in and predators out.

I finally bought a 164' roll of ElectroNet last week and set it up for the first time on Saturday. Sure enough, I had it up in less than 30 minutes. Figuring out how the charger and battery worked took longer than setting up the fencing, but now that I have that down pat, I can move my fencing as often as I want. It takes me longer to mow a path to set the fencing in than it does to set it up.

So far, so good, my five Boer goats have stayed in and predators have stayed out. I am so grateful for all the help I received from the folks at Premier. Just this morning, I was on the telephone with a representative of Premier detailing my current set-up and asking more questions. Everyone I've talked to has been extremely kind with the fencing "newbie".

M. Bernard, Lincolnton, NC

Click here for Premier's ElectroNet.

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First Aid for Horses
by K.D. Houlding, DVM

Develop a relationship with a veterinarian who knows you and your horses.

If you do not know how, work with your veterinarian to teach you:

  • How to use a twitch and other restraints.
  • How to give oral medicine, give an intramuscular injection and an intravenous injection.
  • How to take a horse's temperature, pulse, respiratory rate and assess gut sounds.
  • How to bandage properly.
  • The parts of your horse including the bones.


  • Pulse rate: 30-45 beats per minute
  • Respiratory rate: 8-20 breaths per minute
  • Rectal temperature: 99.5-101.5
  • Capillary refill time: 2 seconds


  • Skin pliability is tested by pinching or folding a flap of neck skin and releasing. It should immediately snap back into place.
  • Color of the mucous membranes, nostrils, conjunctiva (inner eye tissue), and inner lips of vulva should be pink. Bright red, pale pink to white, or bluish-purple coloring may indicate problems.
  • Color, consistency, and volume of feces and urine should be typical of that individual's usual excretions. Straining or failure to excrete should be noted.
  • Signs of distress, anxiety or discomfort.
  • Lethargy, depression or anorexia.
  • Presence or absence of gut sounds.
  • Evidence of lameness such as head-bobbing, reluctance to move, odd stance, pain and unwillingness to rise.
  • Bleeding, swelling and evidence of pain.
  • Seizures, paralysis or "tying-up.

Take your horse's temperature.

Use a glass or electronic rectal thermometer. If you use a glass one, tie a string with a clip on the end of the thermometer's end loop. Shake down a glass thermometer's end loop or activate an electronic one. Lubricate the tip with a dab of K-Y or petroleum jelly. Tie your horse, and gently insert the thermometer into his anus to a depth of about 2 inches. Clip a glass thermometer to his tail for security. Hold the thermometer in place. Wait about 2 minutes for a glass one to register, about 30 seconds for an electronic one - listen for the beep. Remove the thermometer, and record your reading.

Take your horse's respiration.
Watch the rib cage move, count the breaths over a 30-second period and multiply by two to get the minute respiratory rate. If you cannot see the ribs move, see if you can see the nostrils dilate with each breath and count those.

Take your horse's pulse.

  1. Hold the horse's lead close to the head to keep it still. Place your index finger under the jaw against the inside of the horse's cheek. Move your finger back and forth feeling for the blood vessels. You can feel it roll under your moving finger. Place the tip of your finger over the vessel with firm but gentle pressure. Concentrate on what that finger is feeling. Give yourself time to pick up the pulsations. Once you are feeling the pulse regularly time the number of pulses over a fifteen-second period. Multiply the number by four to give you the minute heart rate of the horse.
  2. To use a stethoscope: Place your horse's left front foot forward (if he's standing). Place the head of a stethoscope against his chest wall, just beneath his left elbow, then push the scope as far toward and under the elbow as possible. Listen for the "lubdub" sound of his heartbeat. Count the number of beats in a 15-second period, and multiply that number by four to determine his beats-per-minute (bpm).

Take Your Horse's Digital Pulse
Squat down on the side of your horse's left front leg, and place your index finger around the left side of the fetlock joint at its lower edge. Apply pressure with your finger around the fetlock joint, until you feel a cordlike bundle (consisting of vein, artery and nerve) underneath your touch. Apply pressure to this bundle for 5 to 10 seconds until you feel a pulse. (Note: If you can't find a pulse, adjust the amount of pressure you're placing on the bundle. If you press too hard, you'll cut off blood flow-therefore the pulse. If you press too softly, you won't create enough resistance to feel the pulse at all.)

It helps to know what a healthy pulse feels like-but you can't always find a pulse on a healthy leg/hoof. It might be too faint. If you can easily find his digital pulse he/she may have a problem.

Listen for gut sounds with a stethoscope.
Hold the stethoscope against your horse's lower flank for at least 1 minute. Move the stethoscope higher on his flank, and listen again. Move to his other flank, and repeat this procedure. Normally, you'll hear two to four soft bubbles/gurgles per minute, and one loud grumbling sound every 2 to 3 minutes. If his gut sounds are louder and/or more frequent, he may be experiencing mild colic. If you hear nothing (and your stethoscope is working), he may be experiencing severe colic-silence indicates no gut movement.


  • Glass, electronic or plastic strip thermometer with string and clip attached
  • Stethoscope
  • Penlight
  • Gauze squares and sponges for cleaning and applying pressure to wounds
  • Forceps for removing foreign bodies or pinching shut a bleeding artery
  • Surgical scrub
  • Water or saline solution (contact lens sol.)
  • Jet-spray bottle for irrigating wounds
  • Nonstick wound pads - assorted sizes
  • Leg wraps and padding (cotton sheets, quilts, etc.)
  • Compression bandage (Vetrap, Coban, Expandover, etc.)
  • Adhesive wrap (stretch gauze) and adhesive tape
  • Cotton roll
  • Easyboot or other treatment boot
  • Cold wraps
  • Sharp Scissors (Must have rounded ends and should be kept sharp).
  • First-aid tape
  • Steel cup or container
  • Latex gloves
  • Permanent marker pen
  • Pliers (to pull nails)
  • 1. 6" diameter PVC tubing cut in half the long way into lengths of 1.5-2 feet (for emergency splinting).
  • Reference materials
  • Bucket
  • Heat packs
  • Ice
  • Twitch
  • Duct tape
  • Syringes
  • Tweezers/forceps (to remove splinters, etc.)
  • Wound Powder/Ointment
  • Antibiotic Aerosol
  • Fly Repellent
  • Epsom Salts (for soaking abscessed feet)

American Association of Equine Practitioners -
Bayer Equine WellCare Program -
Emergency Chart -
The Horse -
Equisearch -
Netvet -

All Materials on are copyrighted. Copyright (c) 2004-2006 Iowa Horse Council. All rights reserved.

Click here for Premier's Horse Fence

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Premier Tip

Finding sheep software that works best for you

We had been talking about getting some kind of sheep software to use on our family farm. There are hundreds to choose from. It took my husband and I about 2 months to finally get one that we think will work well for what we want.

  1. Decide what you want from your software.
  2. Search on the Web by typing in Sheep Software (hundreds of different software will pop up).
  3. Read through each one and see what they have to offer.
  4. Most sites will have a sample of their software. Try it out and see if it still interests you. If not, cross it off your list.
  5. As your list gets smaller, e-mail the companies with any questions you might have. We found that most are happy to help anyway they can.
  6. When you get down to your favorite 2 or 3, get a demo from the company and use the demos for approximately one month. This way you can make sure that is what you want before purchasing.

We followed this procedure and now we have sheep software that we really like and it seems to work well for us. I will know for sure at the end of the year, but so far so good.

by Premier's Sales Consultant, Sara McArtor

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Premier Employee

Carol Hoyle

This month's featured employee is Carol Hoyle of Washington. She has been with Premier a year and a half in our shipping department.

Carol says that the good exercise she gets from shipping out Premier's packages is one of the best things about per position. "It is hard work but it gives me a feeling of accomplishment and everday is a different challenge." The best part about Premier she says is that everyone is so nice and helpful and works together as a team.

Carol and her husband Jeff have been married for 29 years. They have 2 children; Josh - 25 and Megan - 22; a one-year old grandson Jarrod plus the family dog and cats.

Carol is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2003. After 12 weeks of chemotherapy and 4 weeks of radiation at the University of Iowa Hospitals, she is completely cured and can now fully enjoy her family and her hobbies including gardening, sewing (hates mending), reading and refinishing furniture and hardwood floors (just hers in her family home, not for hire). Relay For Life and her Team "Wipe Out" is also very important in her life as this is a fund raising event for cancer research and a celebration for cancer survivors nationwide.

Carol says that she follows the Golden Rule of Do Unto Others... It is her favorite statement as it is a basic rule to live life by.

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Sausage Noodle Bake

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 c. finely cut onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1/3 c. water
1 c. grated cheese
2 c. drained, cooked wide egg noodles*

Put sausage and onion in a skillet. Brown and stir over low heat about 10 minutes. Take from heat. Spoon off drippings. Stir into skillet a mixture of soup, milk, water, cheese and noodles. Pour mixture into greased baking dish, holding about 6 cups. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*You'll need to cook 1-1/2 cups wide egg noodles in 4 cups of boiling water.

This recipe is from Carol Hoyle's mom, Joan Redlinger, and a family favorite while Carol was growing up.

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