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Ana Swanson The shortage of a vital you can try here component for automobiles, phones, refrigerators and other electronic devices is posing an early challenge to the Biden administration’s promise to revive a manufacturing sector depressed by the coronavirus pandemic.Credit...Thomas Samson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images WASHINGTON — President Biden came into office with plans to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic and spur a domestic manufacturing revival for goods such as automobiles and semiconductors. But one month into his presidency, a global chip shortage has shuttered auto factories in the United States, slowed shipments of consumer electronics and called into question the security of American supply chains. The shortage of a vital component for automobiles, phones, refrigerators and other electronic devices is posing an early challenge to the administration’s promise to revive a manufacturing sector depressed by the pandemic. And it has spurred an effort by the administration to reach out to U.S. embassies and foreign governments to try to alleviate the shortage, even as the White House acknowledges that there are most likely few solutions to the supply crunch in the short term. The White House plans to issue an executive order soon that will take steps to address these kinds of vulnerabilities in critical supply chains over the longer term, an administration spokesperson said on Thursday. The order will begin a review of domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical materials — including rare earths, medical supplies and semiconductors — with a particular focus on reducing dependencies on unreliable or unfriendly foreign actors. In the meantime, administration officials have begun looking for ways to ease the immediate shortage. Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, and Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, have been involved in efforts to increase chip availability; Sameera Fazili, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, and Peter Harrell, a senior director at the National Security Council, are leading the focus on supply chains, the White House spokesperson said. The United States has also tried to leverage its ties with Taiwan, one of the world’s largest chip manufacturers, to make sure American customers are not disadvantaged. In a letter sent on Wednesday, Mr. Deese thanked Wang Mei-Hua, the Taiwanese minister of economic affairs, for her “personal attention and support in resolving the current shortages faced by American automobile manufacturers.” Over the past year, the Trump administration tried to strengthen ties with the Taiwanese government and manufacturers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company to counter China’s growing influence over the chip market. The Biden administration is also meeting with auto companies and suppliers to identify bottlenecks and to urge them to work together to address the shortage. But the White House has acknowledged that its options to alleviate any shortfall are likely to be limited, given the fierce global competition for semiconductors. Many chip makers are already running near maximum capacity, and it will take at least several months to further ramp up production, analysts say. The shortage has been particularly disruptive for auto manufacturers because the production of vehicles relies on dozens of computer chips for electronic components that control engines, transmissions, entertainment systems, brakes and other systems. Both General Motors and Ford have estimated that the shortage will lower their operating profit by at least $1 billion this year.

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First snow of the winter and cattle are searching for forage. – Cattle producers need to follow recommended livestock-care checklists to mitigate significant dangers that arctic blasts bring to animal health and production, said Oklahoma State University experts. Ranchers might not typically think about frozen water sources during a mild winter, for example.  So it’s important to remember that cattle in southern Great Plains states are relatively naïve when it comes to the presence of ice in the field, said David Lalman, OSU Extension beef cattle specialist and holder of the university’s Harrington Endowed Chair in Animal Science.  “Calves, yearlings and young cows may never have experienced ice-covered water sources, so they’re more likely than older cattle to walk into the middle of a pond as a group,” he said. “Breakthroughs can be a disaster and possibly even fatal. Keep the water open or move them to a less risky situation such as an automatic water tank.” Other OSU Extension cold-weather recommendations include:  Make sure cattle have access to as much hay as they want to eat. Ruminal fermentation helps keep the animals warm. Hungry cattle do not create as much heat from fermentation.  Provide feed concentrate supplements every day, if possible.  Feed cattle beside or in a grove of trees or some other windbreak that is large enough for all the animals gathered. The better the windbreak, the lower the animal’s cold stress.  If there is no natural windbreak available near a water source, a quick and simple one can be made by placing a line of round bales of straw or low-quality hay where cattle can bed down.  Ensure cattle have unrestricted access to unfrozen water. If water intake is limited, hay intake is reduced and ruminal fermentation is affected. Feed cattle relatively close to their water source, if possible. Cattle naturally want to stay out of frigid winds. The farther away the water source, the longer they will wait to get a drink.  Cattle will eat snow to meet their water needs. However, it takes time for livestock to learn this strategy. The learning curve can result in physical distress.  Research indicates cattle consume 105% to 110% of predicted intake when temperatures drop below 22 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 125% of predicted intake when temperatures drop below 5 degrees. For wind chills of minus-20 degrees or lower, feed intake may be reduced because cattle are reluctant to leave sheltered areas.  “Extremely cold weather is one time that producers should not be overly concerned with waste when rolling out hay across the pasture, because cattle may take advantage of it as bedding and this will provide some relief from the extreme temperatures,” said Paul Beck, OSU Extension beef cattle specialist and holder of the university’s Dennis and Marta White Endowed Chair in Animal Science.  A video segment of Beck providing additional insights about cold-weather cattle care is available online through OState TV.  Bedding is beneficial in helping to keep cattle insulated from snow or frozen ground and can help protect cow udders from frostbite and contamination. Breeding bulls should be moved indoors, if possible. Producers have too much money invested to risk frostbitten testicles in their breeding sires, which can result in reduced fertility.    Beck cautioned producers to take extra care when breaking ice on frozen ponds. If possible, do not do it alone. Have somebody on hand to render aid if the ice-chopper falls in.

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