Message from the Owner

Stan & Jean Potratz, Owners

How global forces are impacting you & your farm

  1. The value of the US $ has, as I predicted, declined 40 – 50% against the other currencies over the last 5 years. It may go 15% lower. I expect it to then stay low for years.
  2. Large numbers of people in countries overseas (China, India, Vietnam and Eastern Europe) who were poor for generations are suddenly prospering. The internet enables them to see how we and the west Europeans live.

Economically these 2 changes are tsunami's that will "wash" over your personal world.

Specific things to expect & why

  • The threat of imported lamb and goat is/will be much less. The low US $ makes Aust. and N. Zealand lamb, wool and goat meat up to 60% more expensive to US buyers than it was 5 years ago. These countries can make more selling lamb to China and Europe.

    So we USA sheep and goat producers can expect the "base price" of our products to stay in the profitable to very profitable range.

    An exception will be coarse and medium wools. If you have a niche market for these (as many do) use it. Otherwise the cost of shearing will continue to exceed it's value.
  • Prosperity overseas (to a level never seen before) is enabling large numbers of people to afford both more food and a more varied diet. Meat is in demand. So are dairy products. To produce meat and dairy products requires grain.

    Combine this unprecedented overseas demand (increasing annually) with a low US $. It's easy to foresee huge export demand for our grain, pork, milk, cheese, beef, chicken & turkey.

    Mix in the misguided but very real demand for US farm acres to produce ethanol and you have a year in/year out package that will mean record prices for most US farmers and ranchers.
  • So land prices will go even higher. Combine the cheap US $ with the far higher price of farmland in Europe. You can expect to see money from overseas pushing our land prices even higher. (Good news if you are selling land! Bad if you want to buy.)
  • Land rental prices for US land will go up. Why? Because owners will demand it and potential renters can pay for it.
  • US hay prices go even higher-and stay high. Why? Hay land has been converted to corn/ethanol production. So less hay is available. And hay buyers can, due to high prices for milk and beef, pay $ per ton.
  • Because hay and grain will be much more expensive it will be far more profitable to manage grasslands more intensively with fertilizer, controlled grazing, superior varieties and irrigation.
  • Prices for "stuff" that we all use on farms will rise even further. That includes fertilizer, seed, fuel, equipment, etc. Why?

    1. Because we land users will both need more of these and can afford to pay more (because our products are worth more).
    2. The world price of all plastics and metals (steel, copper, aluminum, zinc) will continue to rise. This means products made for use on farms and ranches from metal and plastic will also rise.
    3. The land-user cost of imported "stuff," unless it comes from the Far East, will rise even faster than domestic "stuff."

These predictions will be impacted up or down by these less predictable factors:

  • Who we elect as president in 2008. Our ability to export is affected by our national image overseas far more than most realize.
  • Drought/floods in the US or overseas.
  • Further US military actions overseas (Iran?) without the support of the world community.

by Stan Potratz

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Special Price from Premier!

Stockholm Pine Tar
$7 (reg $10)

Stockholm Pine Tar, item #623210 is a topical fly & insect repellent. Repels insects by a strong long-lasting burnt tar smell. Effective for several days after application.

Many who pasture or range lamb apply it to the tail and after docking, dehorning and castration; also to shearing cuts to minimize risk of fly strike.

Comes in a 450 g. tub. Stockholm version claims a stronger repellent ability than other pine tars.

Note: When ordering from our website, enter News 27IT
in the "Catalog Source Code" box on the "Checkout-Confirm & Submit" screen or in the notes field. The promo. code on our website will not work for this. The original price will be shown on your website order. We will adjust it to the sale price when received.

To Order:
Use: News 27 for phone orders
Use: News 27IT for website orders

Offer good through November 30, 2007 or while supplies last!

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Premier VIP

Current health issues facing goats

by Dr. Nathan Peterson, Mahaska Veterinary Clinic, raises goats in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

Diseases associated with feed consumption:

Acidosis: rumen pH altered by excessive grain intake; uncomfortable, grind teeth, stagger; treat with bicarbonate (baking soda, Pepto-Bismol).

Bloat: excessive froth or air build up in rumen; increase in grain or green, leafy alfalfa; relieve bloat by tubing and/or drench with therabloat.

Mycotoxins: toxin produced by corn, or hay, infected with certain fungus; effects liver the most; can cause bloat, acidosis, laminitis, death.

Pregnancy Toxemia: same as in sheep-does with multiple fetuses late in gestation with insufficient energy uptake. Does go off feed, grind teeth, recumbant. Treat with IV glucose, propylene glycol, Magic (corn oil, molasses, karo syrup), Vit-B, and possibly removal of fetuses.

Urinary Calculi: usually males straining to urinate, paw at ground, grind teeth. Related to Ca:P ratio in feed, and urinary pH. (high concentrates: low roughage). Prevent with urine acidifiers (ammonium chloride).

White Muscle Disease: Vit. E and Selenium deficiency: directly related to the soil the forage is grown in; weak, lethargic, stiff, newborns may be born dead, retained placentas: easy to supplement in feed, mineral, water, or injectable at any time; newborns receive Bo-Se.

Infectious diseases:

Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis: virus causing arthritis in goats > 6 mo. and encephalitis in kids 1 - 4 mos. of age. Can also cause interstitial pneumonia & mastitis. Transmission through milk, doe to doe, needles. Serology test and cull if positive. No treatment.

Caseous Lymphadenitits: (Coynebacterium psuedotuberculosis) bacterial abscesses located in the skin and can disseminate throughout the viscera. Pus is highly contagious to sheep and goats. Diagnosed via serology test and culture. Treat through lancing and flushing abscess or formalin injections.

Enterotoxemia: (Clostridium Perfringens Type C, D) bacterial disease causing acute bloody diarrhea; type C < 3 weeks old, type D > 3 weeks old (feeders). Treat with antitoxin and penicillin. Bottle babies seem more prone.

Floppy Kid Syndrome: metabolic acidosis causing weakness, paralysis at 3 - 10 days of age. Unknown etiology. Treat with bicarb (baking soda/Pepto-Bismol) and oral penicillin

Footrot: (Fusobacterium necrophorum) trim feet, KoperTox, Tetracycline.

Johne's: bacterial disease (Mycobacterium psuedotuberculosis) common to dairy cows, producing chronic diarrhea & wasting disease. No treatment. Fecal culture is the gold standard but still is not 100%. Test & eliminate.

Pinkeye: reddened and inflamed conjunctiva; multiple entities (Chlamydia, Moraxella, Branhemella); Treat with Tetracycline and decrease exposure to dust, sunlight, flies, weeds.

Sore Mouth: Viral infection causing sores on mouth, nose, eyes, udder, vulva. Very contagious, humans too (Orf); not life threatening unless kids starve themselves to death or if the dam doesn't let kids nurse; vaccine available, but may not work.

Tetanus: Use C/D-T vaccine. May need to use Antitoxin only lasts 2 - 3 wks. 300 IU per head (5 doses per 1500 IU bottle).

Thiamine Deficiency: blind, star-gazing, and 'dizzy' goats at 2 - 6 mo. old, can also affect older goats caused by decreased thiamine production. Treat with IV thiamine, SQ Vit-B, and penicillin. REPEAT! REPEAT AGAIN!

Diseases that cause pneumonia:

P. Multocida/M. Haemolytica
Mycoplasma sp.

Diseases that cause abortions:

Campylobacter (vibrio)


Coccidiosis: diarrhea +/- blood at 1 - 4 mos. of age; stressful situations bring on signs.

Heamonchus Contortus: "Barberpole worm"- most significant stomach worm; bloodsucking causing anemia and death.

Tapeworms: Mites are intermediate hosts; problem of goats?


  • Sarcoptic mange: reportable zoonotic disease.
  • Chorioptic mange: host-specific mite causing patchy hair loss; 21 day life cycle, but can live 3 - 4 mo. in bedding. Treat with pyrethrins, not ivomecs.

Note: We at Premier are not veterinarians and strongly suggest that you contact your veterinarian when questioning an illness in your animals!

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New Products From Premier!

2008 New Products

  • High quality hot-dip galv. steel handling eqpt. for less $$ than painted eqpt.
  • Handling Equipment-taller (45") panels and extensions.
  • Wide range of livestock treatments.
  • Low-cost reusable covers save kids/lambs from cold and wet.
  • Heat lamps that please and are easy to use.
  • Winter water solutions: 16 gal. Heated Tub, Pet Bowl and ThermoCube.
  • Customized neck tags for goats and sheep.
  • For identification-ear notcher.
  • Extra books & DVD's.
  • Latex gloves-wider range of sizes.

Click the links below to see our new 2008 products:

Clippers and Shears
Ear Tags and Tattoo Supplies

Note: Premier's catalog is mailing early October 2007.

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Premier Tip

Horse fence in the winter months can be easily converted to a Pos/Neg system if needed.

Electric Fence

with two or more lines in the winter with
snow and ice

If you live in an area prone to having snow in the winter, snow acts as an insulator. It is suggested to have the fence lines connected on one end, so that during winter months it can easily be made into a Pos/Neg fence by disconnecting every other hot line and connecting to a ground.

The rest of the year you can go back to having all lines hot if needed.

If you have an ice storm and your fence lines are covered with ice the animals might not receive a good shock. One way to get ice off the fence is to give the fence a good shake, this will help break up the ice.

You will need to check the fence often during the winter months.

For more fencing needs from Premier click here.

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Premier Employee Spotlight

Carl McCall

This month's featured employee is Carl McCall of rural Washington County. He has been the shepherd here at Premier for 10 years. The very best part about his position he says is "getting to test new products and reporting back how well an item does or doesn't work in the field. I also enjoy helping to take pictures for the catalogs." He continues that the best part about Premier "is the coworkers. They are the absolute best. Also taking care of the ewes and lambs at lambing is an exciting time."

Carl and his wife Kelly have three children, a son Jason (20) and twin girls Heather and Holly (18). He farms 600 acres of corn and soybeans and has 100 head of sheep, mostly suffolk cross ewes. He is an avid hunter, a member of Pheasants Forever and a dye-hard Iowa Hawkeyes Football fan. His favorite statement is "you never know when your time is up - so eat dessert first."

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Poor Man's Turtles


1 bag Rolo's
1 bag mini pretzels
1 bag pecan halves or walnut meats

Put waxed paper on a cookie sheet and then lay mini pretzels on the waxed paper.

Place a Rolo on top of each pretzel. Put the cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 1 - 2 min. (watch carefully).

Take out of oven and lightly press pecan halves or walnuts in the center of each Rolo.

Cool and store in a covered container.

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