Security a priority for farmers
West Missouri farm country has no shortage of livestock and rolling hills, but terrorism targets seem few and far between. No tall buildings. No well-known landmarks.
The nearest Manhattan: It’s in Kansas.
‘Out here things are still pretty quiet,’ cattle rancher Rod Findley proudly declared last week as he finished feeding his Hereford heifers in an early-morning fog. ‘I would think a terrorist would be a little out of place around here.’
While the threat of terrorism clearly hangs over urban areas, a growing concern about an attack on the U.S. food supply is bringing more attention from law enforcement to rural America and farms like Findley’s.
US officials warn of terrorist attacks on food supply
PLEASANT HILL, Missouri – American farmers got a new set of tips from the US Department of Agriculture this harvest season: how to protect themselves from a terrorist attack.
Few were likely to worry much in the quiet rural communities that have so far been untouched by the low cloud of anxiety that has settled over urban areas with the dense populations, which offer anonymity to outsiders and potentially high casualty counts.
“Out here things are still pretty quiet,” said cattle rancher Rod Findley as he finished feeding his Hereford heifers in an early-morning fog that drifted across the Missouri hillsides.
“I would think a terrorist would be a little out of place around here.”
Taiwan to stop importing Canadian beef products from U.S.
North Texas E-news
Billings, Mont. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued on Tuesday updated export requirements for Taiwan regarding fresh/frozen boneless beef derived from Canadian cattle under 30 months of age.
Effective with an Oct. 9, 2006, slaughter date, beef derived from cattle imported from Canada for immediate slaughter are not eligible for export to Taiwan.
“Earlier this year, South Korea made clear its concern with Canadian beef being commingled with U.S. beef and requested that its imports of U.S. beef not include any product from Canada,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “USDA has not reported any sales activity to South Korea this year, according to the latest weekly export sales report, for the period ending Sept. 21.
Mexico opens markets to U.S. dairy heifers
North Texas E-news
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2006 — Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that Mexico will resume trade in U.S. dairy heifers under 24 months of age.
“I am pleased with this first step in reestablishing cattle trade with Mexico, but I remain committed to a broader resumption of cattle trade between our countries,” said Johanns. “My goal is to restore the once-vibrant live cattle commerce between the United States and Mexico and to do so in accordance with science-based international guidelines.”
Pennsylvania Beef Council Awarded State and National Grants
Pennsylvania beef producers will be better able to compete in the international market now that a $20,000 state grant has been awarded to the Pennsylvania Beef Council, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.
The state funding matches a grant awarded to the Beef Council by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Increasingly, foreign markets are imposing higher quality standards and stronger restrictions on the food products they import from the United States,” said Wolff. “Pennsylvania’s outstanding food safety and quality assurance programs, such as our Beef Quality Assurance program, help make our state’s food products among the safest in the world and position our producers to meet foreign market requirements.”
Dr. Warner Receives World-wide Recognition Treating Bucking Bulls
By Erin Heine
Dr. Gary Warner has been a familiar name to many Elginites since 1980. He started his veterinary career with Elgin Veterinary Hospital immediately after graduating from the Louisiana State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Charles Graham and Dr. Wallace Cardwell were the original owners of EVH and were practicing veterinary medicine at that time. Dr. Robert Lewis and Dr. Warner were the only other doctors on staff. Back in those days each of the doctors saw any animal that came through. There were not certain doctors assigned to particular areas of the practice.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnosed in Two Michigan Deer
Contact: Thomas Cooley 517-336-5034
Agency: Natural Resources
Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife health officials, collaborating with Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, today announced epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been diagnosed in two Michigan white-tailed deer. The two deer — one free-ranging and one privately owned — were from Allegan County.
EHD is an acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease contracted by wild ruminants but most commonly affects white-tailed deer. EHD is not transmitted from one animal to another by direct contact, and it is not transmissible to humans. Cattle may develop an infection from the EHD virus that is not readily apparent; but fever, oral lesions, lameness and reproductive problems occasionally occur. Dogs and cats are not susceptible to EHD. The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected insect, Culicoides, which includes midges, gnats and other biting flies. EHD typically strikes in late summer and early fall. The insect dies with the onset of frost.
Pre-Weaning Calves: Decreasing Disease & Increasing Value
Calves that have been weaned before they are marketed are bringing premium prices in Virginia and across the country. This is at least partly due to the estimation of their increased health status but is probably also due to the perception that those who cared enough to market their calves this way probably cared about genetics and other factors that go into the production of high quality calves.
In a conversation with Bill McKinnon the other day he commented how easy it is to sell calves that have been pre-weaned. He also reminded me that in the relative few years since the Virginia Quality Assured (VQA) program was initiated the change in the percent being sold that are pre-weaned has been a flip-flop from few historically to most this year.
U.S. beef hard sell as concern lingers, Aussies fill void
CONSUMERS STILL SKEPTICAL
By YUMI WIJERS-HASEGAWA
Michal Small has been waiting eagerly for the return of U.S. beef to Japan, but it seems the American will have to wait a while longer before the Roppongi Hills restaurants she frequents start serving the fare again.
“I think American beef is absolutely safe. And now is the best time to buy it because there’s so much scrutiny,” said Small, who lives in Tokyo’s Minami-Azabu district and comes from a family in Oklahoma that raises cattle for consumption by them and their friends.
But while Small may be eager to bite into a thick U.S. steak, the Japanese public’s mistrust stemming from the risk of mad cow disease doesn’t appear to be waning.
The fact that there aren’t enough cows meeting the current standard of import — under 21 months old with at-risk parts removed — leads to a limited supply and resultant higher prices, another reason for the slow return to Japan.
‘Organic’ doesn’t mean safer or more nutritious
It’s a bad moment for believers in the mystical wonders of organic and natural foods. Deadly E. coli bacteria, lurking in spinach from one of the biggest organic farms in America, just killed one woman and hospitalized at least 29 other people with kidney failure. In all, the contaminated spinach sickened nearly 200, in at least 23 states and Canada.
Meanwhile, several California kids are on kidney dialysis with permanent organ damage from the same virulent strain of E. coli O157: H7 after consuming raw, unpasteurized milk or colostrum from the Organic Pastures Dairy of Fresno, Calif.
Tragically, the victims were all seeking greater food safety and the promised health benefits of vegetables and milk produced the “old-fashioned way.”
Earthbound Farms, which grew the contaminated spinach, is being sued by a shocked family of organic believers in Ohio. Three family members were sickened, and one daughter has permanent kidney damage.
Hide-Washing Improves Beef Safety
A practical, effective cattle-washing system that reduces levels of pathogens on cattle hides–lessening the likelihood that the pathogens will get onto the meat and be consumed by humans–has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Clay Center, Neb.
The system could help reduce pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, which causes nearly 73,000 illnesses and 60 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Neosporosis in Beef Cattle
by Lori Weddle-Schott, U of M Beef Team
Neospora caninum has been recognized as a cause of reproductive loss in cattle since 1988. The organism, Neospora caninum, is a microscopic protozoan parasite. The disease caused by N. caninum is known as Neosporosis.
In 1988 dogs were identified as the definitive host for Neospora caninum. Neospora caninum can complete its life cycle in dogs, definitive hosts, resulting in shedding of oocysts in feces. Coyotes have also been identified as a definitive host for N. caninum.
N. caninum can only undergo part of its life cycle in intermediate hosts such as cattle, where the parasite remains encapsulated in tissues and is not shed in feces. Scavengers, such as dogs, may then become infected though the consumption of N. caninum infected tissues such as placenta or aborted fetuses. Cows and white-tailed deer have been shown to be common intermediate hosts.
Cows Can Now Be Successfully Bred By AI on A Single Day
Artificial insemination of cows in commercial herds has been slow to catch on for a variety of reasons, but recent changes in estrous synchronization systems as well as the move towards value-based marketing makes AI in commercial herds a strategy to consider. Over the years, estrous synchronization systems improved, but producers still had to check heat twice a day for at least 3 to 5 days as well as breed cows at 12 hours after they came in heat. That was still a considerable amount of labor. In addition, it was hard for producers with small herds to find technicians to breed a few cows a day.
Recent estrous synchronization research has focused on systems to AI cattle on a single day without checking heat. These systems are called Fixed Time AI systems or FTAI. The CO-Synch+CIDR system (Figure 1.) was developed at Colorado State University and has been tested by universities across the US. Results with this system are good with 50% to 65% of the cows becoming pregnant to a single AI breeding on one day.
The October 4, issue # 507, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at:
Fed cattle on the MERC have been bouncing around the low $90′s for each of the next four contract months since late summer. Will cash cattle be that high when those months arrive? Brian Roe offers his thoughts in this week’s BEEF letter.
Articles this week include:
* Summer Placements and February Futures
* Forage Focus: Evaluating Hay Quality
* Heifer Selection and Development…How About Future Planning and Profitability?
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report
And, if it’s still too wet to get into the fields next week, come visit us at the last fair in Ohio this year . . . the Fairfield County Fair!
The Tennessee Beef Newsletter for October is available by clicking here.
Note: all files are in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
For more information or to download Acrobat, click here.