Oklahoma State University
Hot dry summer weather brings about heat and drought stress on summer annuals. Stressed plants such as the forage sorghums can occasionally accumulate dangerous concentrations of nitrates. These high nitrate plants, either standing in the field, or fed as hay, can cause abortion in pregnant cattle, or death if consumed in great enough quantities. Nitrates do not dissipate from suncured hay (in contrast to prussic acid), therefore once the hay is cut the nitrate levels remain constant. Therefore, producers should test summer annual hay fields before they cut them for hay. Stop by any County Extension office for testing details. Testing before cutting gives producers an additional option of waiting and allowing for the nitrate to lower in concentration before harvesting the hay. The major sources of nitrate toxicity in the South and Southwest will be summer annual sorghum type plants, including sudan hybrids, sorgo-sudans, sorghum-sudans, millets, and Johnsongrass. Other plants also may accumulate nitrates. See OSU Fact Sheet F-2903
Farmers struggle to halt anthrax outbreak
Toronto Globe and Mail
Thin ribbons of smoke curling into the northern Saskatchewan sky have become the marker of death for farmers battling to contain an anthrax outbreak that may have lain dormant in the soil since wild bison roamed the land generations ago.
In the two weeks since anthrax was discovered in a dead bull in Melfort, 136 animals on 21 properties have died of the disease.
Japanese inspect work at Creekstone beef plant
BY PHYLLIS JACOBS GRIEKSPOOR
The Wichita Eagle
Japanese auditors were in Arkansas City on Tuesday and will be there again today to conduct an inspection of the Creekstone Farms Premium Beef packing plant in preparation for lifting the ban on imports of U.S. beef.
Japan, once the largest U.S. export market for beef, closed its borders to shipments after the discovery of a case of mad cow disease in December 2003 in Washington.
Maryland teens impress Scots as livestock judges
Lisbon, Woodsboro girls win top two awards in contest
By Sandy Alexander
Baltimore Sun reporter
The terms, the protocol and even the animals were unfamiliar at the Royal Highland Show’s livestock judging contest in Scotland, but two Maryland teenagers adapted to earn top awards at the international competition.
Rebecca Hamilton of Lisbon and Maria Stevens of Woodsboro, both 17, competed as a team at the show, receiving points for their ability to evaluate beef cattle and to explain their rationale for rating the animals.
Database Shows How Agriculture Has Grown
By Giselle Abramovich
Business-to-business marketing services provider DM2-DecisionMaker has launched its Agricultural Marketplace Database with the help of names from Watt Publishing titles like Egg Industry, Poultry Tribune and Pig International.
Watt supplies the lists, and DM2 standardizes the data structure to map to the target markets, titles and demographics needed in the industry. The database is ideal for marketing professionals working for communications, computers and office supply companies. Organizations selling farm machinery, equipment, feed, tools, financial services and travel and transportation also may benefit.
Cattle campers learn show techniques, responsibilities
By Cathy Spaulding
Muskogee Phoenix Staff Writer
WARNER — Scores of agriculture students from across the United States turned the Connors State College show barn into a clip joint Tuesday morning as they learned to groom their show animals.
However, kids at this week’s Be a Champ Cattle and Lamb Show Camp are learning more than sheep shearing and cow clipping.
Camp founder, State Rep. Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, said he wants the young participants to develop confidence and learn teamwork.
Dorgan renews push for expansion of ag disaster package
Farm and Ranch Guide
U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) renewed his push in Congress this week for an expanded agriculture disaster package that will bring relief to family farmers and ranchers who have suffered not only from weather-related disasters in 2005, but also the severe drought that has affected much of the Midwest this year.
Dorgan, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, Thad Cochran and Robert Byrd, that he will push to expand the agriculture disaster package he already included in the Agriculture Appropriations bill.
That legislation is now awaiting action by the full Senate. Dorgan wrote that his tour through drought-stricken areas of North Dakota last week convinced him that the disaster relief package must be expanded.
From dry to parched in S.D.
Drought shows signs of fanning out from baked central zone
A drought that has reverberated across the pastures and wheat fields of central South Dakota is likely to expand to the rest of the state, threatening corn yields in the east.
The National Weather Service recently updated its drought outlook a week early to warn of the spread of dry conditions into most of the Upper Great Plains.
The Sulfate Type In Stock Water Affects Water Intake
Amanda Grout and David Fraser
Beef Stocker Trends
Sulfate salts present a major problem for water quality in large parts of North America, particularly for range cattle. In the semi-arid climates where the majority of beef cattle are grazed, hot, dry summers contribute to sulfate problems through evaporation of surface waters. This leads to increasing sulfate concentrations as the summer progresses.
Mad cow case shows checks working: Horner
CALGARY — The discovery of yet another mad cow in Alberta is no cause for alarm, says Agriculture Minister Doug Horner.
Horner told reporters yesterday that the discovery of yet another case of BSE was not unexpected and should not cause any harm to efforts to resume exports of cattle over the age of 30 months.
He urged Alberta cattle producers to “maintain the course.”
“We’re showing the world that our surveillance works,” he said. “We’re showing the world that we have the safest beef in the world because we’re doing that surveillance.”
Horner said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is investigating the case and attempting to trace the source of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Hone in on Heifer Health
by Barb Baylor Anderson
You may already have a system in place for managing heifer health. But, Clifford Shipley, veterinarian with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Farm Animal Reproduction, Medicine and Surgery (FARMS) Section, stresses that the most successful health programs for developing heifers must focus on a combination of nutrition, management, parasite control and the right vaccinations. …