Small-scale livestock owners wary of animal ID program
By LEAH BETH WARD
GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic
When the idea of a national identification system for livestock first came up a few years ago, Mary Taylor, a rancher in the Moxee area, didn’t give it much thought.
“I said, ‘Well, the government’s going to do what the government’s going to do.’ ” she said.
But the more Taylor read on Internet sites like “stopanimalid.org,” the more concerned she became. Now she’s convinced the evolving National Animal Identification System, or NAIS, will invade her privacy, increase her expenses and give agri-business an unfair competitive edge in an age of diminishing returns for small-scale farmers and ranchers.
S Korean team soon to scrutinize US beef facilities
SEOUL (AFP) -
South Korea will send a team of experts to scrutinize US meat processing facilities before deciding whether or not to lift a three-year ban on US beef imports, officials said.
“They will stay in the US from next week through early next month for the scrutiny,” a top agriculture ministry official said, while refusing to confirm news reports about their planned departure on Thursday.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the team would likely leave for the United States on August 24 and return home on September 3.
The Seoul government will make a decision on whether it will resume the imports of US beef early next month after the team returns, it said.
Scared skinny: Ranchers say fear of wolves causing livestock to lose weight
By JESSE HARLAN ALDERMAN of the Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho – Consequences of the federal wolf reintroduction program in the Northern Rockies may be visible on the dinner table soon, in the form of skimpier lamb chops and porterhouse steaks that expose more bone than beef.
For years, cattle ranchers and wool growers have fretted over wolves that kill dozens of cows and sheep each year. But the steepest price may be the declining weight of livestock terrified by the howls and footsteps of the stalking predators.
Currently, calves fetch $1.45 per pound on the market. So if wolves cause just a few lost pounds on each head of cattle, that quickly mounts into big losses, said Lloyd Knight, the executive director of the Idaho Cattle Association.
Seeing in Beautiful, Precise Pictures
by Temple Grandin
Because I have autism, I live by concrete rules instead of abstract beliefs. And because I have autism, I think in pictures and sounds. I don’t have the ability to process abstract thought the way that you do. Here’s how my brain works: It’s like the search engine Google for images. If you say the word “love” to me, I’ll surf the Internet inside my brain. Then, a series of images pops into my head. What I’ll see, for example, is a picture of a mother horse with a foal, or I think of “Herbie the Lovebug,” scenes from the movie Love Story or the Beatles song, “Love, love, love…”
National Animal ID System: Tracking the livestock
By SANDY NELSON
The New Mexican
A federal program to monitor the nation’s commercial animals draws concerns
Some farmers in Northern New Mexico are cooperating with an ambitious federal effort to inventory and monitor the nation’s livestock, but others see it as government intrusion they intend to defy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture by 2009 wants every cow, bull, steer, bison, horse, goat, sheep, pig, alpaca, llama, deer, elk and poultry animal raised for the commercial market to have its own identification number. And it wants to know where all these animals live and where they’re going.
Decipher the meat label claims
By CHARLES STUART PLATKIN
This is the first of a two-part series on labeling for meat and poultry. The first is on claims that tell us what is not added. The second column will cover claims about the rearing of livestock and healthfulness of the foods we eat.
Having confidence in our foods is important. However, with so many claims — no antibiotics, no chemicals, no additives, hormone-free — it’s difficult to know what they really mean when it comes to meat and poultry. Here’s a guide, as the first of a two-part series.
Beef plant planned in North Dakota
Financing changes hands for Ridgefield project
By Russ Keen
Aberdeen American (SD)
A $6.5 million beef kill-and-process plant is being planned for Fargo, N.D.
It would initially process about 1,200 beef cattle and up to 10,000 bison a year. By its fifth year of operation, the goal is 25,000 beef and 18,000 bison.
It’s called North Dakota Natural Beef LLC. North Dakota State University in Fargo will be responsible for supplying the plant with natural-beef animals, which means they haven’t been given growth hormones and certain medicines.
An equity drive that ended July 28 raised $3.65 million. The goal was $3.5 million to $4.5 million, according to news stories released earlier this month.
7 in 10 Housewives Reluctant to Buy US Beef
By Kim Yon-se
Seven out of 10 housewives are reluctant to buy beef produced in the United States, even though the government is set to lift its 31-month ban on imports of U.S. beef.
In a nationwide survey of 651 urban housewives in July, the Korea Rural Economic Institute found 458, or 70.4 percent, of them have no willingness to spend money on U.S. beef.
Cattle: Hot Weather in Late Pregnancy Affects Gestation Length
Oklahoma State University physiologists studied early fall (August) and late fall (October) calving cows. Data from two successive years were combined for 50 Angus X Hereford crossbred cows.
The “early” and “late” fall calving cows had been artificially inseminated in early November or early January, respectively. Semen from the same sire was used for all cows. All cows were exposed to a single cleanup bull for 35 days at 4 days after the AI season.
The weather prior to calving was significantly different for late pregnancy in the two groups. The average maximum temperature the week before calving was 93 degrees F. for the “early” fall group. The average maximum temperature the week before parturition in the “late” calving group was 66 degrees F.
Livestock Producers Should Be Wary Of Nitrate Possibility in Corn
COLBY, Kan. — This year many dryland cornfields will not produce enough grain to warrant combining costs. These fields, however, represent opportunities for cattlemen for silage, hay or grazing, a Kansas State University animal scientist said.
Regardless of the harvesting option, nitrates in the corn may be a problem, said Sandy Johnson, livestock production specialist with K-State Research and Extension.
A few areas have received some showers in the past few days, said Johnson, who spends her days working with livestock producers in northwest Kansas to provide research-based information and to find solutions to their challenges. For plants that are still growing, the showers cause nitrate concentrations in the plant to spike even higher as the plant uses the moisture to try and grow again, which brings in even more nitrogen.
Why some producers choose to separate momma and baby at an early date.
The practice of early weaning has gained considerable attention in recent years. University researchers have looked at the potential advantages of weaning calves at a younger age younger than the 7-8 months at which many cow-calf producers separate calves from their mommas. And some producers have broken from tradition for reasons of their own.
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