Cull for Traits that Adversely Affect Profits
by: Glenn Selk
OSU Animal Science Dept.
Culling wild cattle has always made good sense. Wild cattle are hard on equipment, people, other cattle, and now we know that they are hard on the bottom line.
Mississippi State University researchers used a total of 210 feeder cattle consigned by 19 producers in a “Farm to Feedlot” program to evaluate the effect of temperament on performance, carcass characteristics, and net profit. Temperament was scored on a 1 to 5 scale (1 = nonaggressive, docile; 5 = very aggressive, excitable). Three measurements were used: pen score, chute score, and exit velocity. Measurements were taken on the day of shipment to the feedlot. Exit velocity is an evaluation of temperament that is made electronically by measuring the speed at which the animal leaves the confinement of the chute. Exit velocity and pen scores were highly correlated.
Process Newborn Calves to Assure Healthy Start in Life
by: Darrell Rankins
Ph.D, Alabama Cooperative Extension Animal Scientist
First and foremost, it is important to have cows on a good plane of nutrition at calving time. Cows should calve with a body condition score of 5. When this takes place calf health and survival is at its best. Good cow nutrition equates to good recovery by the cow and adequate colostrum and a healthy start for the baby calf. Ideally, a calving season should be in place so that adequate attention can be given to the cow herd during this time. If calving is spread out over the entire year then many problems can occur and go unnoticed until it is too late. In addition, a set calving season also allows for the timely processing of baby calves. Assuming that the cows are being checked daily, it becomes a rather routine procedure to handle the baby calf. The following can be accomplished with a day old calf in a matter of minutes.
Forage Focus: Water System
You don’t realize how important water really is sometimes until you don’t have any. I tested this theory out first hand recently when an old “Tee“ on the pipeline from my main well, that also feeds my house, decided to leak. We were without water to the house for about 12 or so hours my wife thought it seemed more like several days.
This particular line had been in for about 12 years and looking at the hairline crack in the “Tee“, it is hard to say how long it had been leaking. Besides the pump kicking on occasionally for no reason, I did not have any idea that there might be a leak until water appeared at the soil surface. So, I dug down through 3 feet of gray mucky mud, not what I consider a fun job, to find this cracked “Tee“.
Cattlemen discuss industry’s trade deficit
By SHANNON BURKDOLL, The Prairie Star editor
BILLINGS, Mont. – Mandatory country-of-origin labeling wouldn’t be necessary if the beef market were healthy, according to a central Montana rancher.
“If we had a healthy market, we wouldn’t need mandatory country-of-origin labeling,” said Dan Teigen who operates the family’s 122-year-old ranch near Teigen, Mont. “The mandatory country-of-origin labeling law was passed by the federal government, which was great for the moment, has been backsliding since.”
Teigen joined six other ranchers in discussing the challenges faced by cattlemen in today’s cattle and beef industries at the Montana Cattlemen’s Association’s annual Cattlemen’s Day on Nov. 4 in Billings, Mont.
McDonald’s testing burgers with Angus beef
McDonald’s Corp. is testing hamburgers made with Angus beef at six Los Angeles-area restaurants, trying out products that would go head-to-head with Burger King’s line of higher-end burgers.
Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s, said on Wednesday that customer response to the burgers has been positive so far, but added that no decision has been made about expanding the test to additional restaurants.
Proud added that the Angus burgers are just one of many menu items the company is testing in various markets.
Vet’s Corner: Third-party verification of management practices can add value to market calves
By David Barz, D.V.M., Northwest Vet Supply
Tri State Neighbor
The cold wind has returned to the prairie. Many producers have already marketed their calves, while others still have calves to sell. The prices are not as good as last year when they were at all-time highs, but most ranchers should still find them profitable. The buzz word in agriculture for the past decade has been “value-added.” There are several simple procedures which add value to calves.
Beef producers working together at 56th annual Mid-Winter Conference
High Plain Journal
Colorado Cattlemen’s Association held their 56th annual Mid-Winter Conference recently at the DoubleTree Hotel in Colorado Springs. With more than 300 in attendance, CCA members and guests were able to come together on key issues affecting the beef industry.
“We are building relationships, keeping informed on key issues, and providing one unified voice for Colorado beef producers,” said Mark Roeber, CCA president.
Representatives from across the state attended this annual event, sponsored by CCA and the Colorado CattleWomen, to share their commitment to improving Colorado’s beef industry.
Winter grazing strategies should be adjusted during drought times
Tri State Neighbor
BROOKINGS, S.D. – With harvested forages in short supply in some areas, many South Dakota ranchers may graze drought-stricken pastures and rangelands this winter to stretch feed supplies.
A South Dakota State University specialist said grazing during the winter, even during drought, is an excellent way to extend the grazing season and reduce reliance on harvested forages. However, winter grazing strategies must be adjusted this year to compensate for the lack of moisture in the soil profile.
Hereford Beef Ideal for Market Niche
Hereford beef has a huge niche to fill in today’s marketplace. Both tender and lean, the product is ideal for the consumer segment requesting less fat, but no less eating enjoyment. The following industry research explains the Hereford difference.
In March 2006 a beef checkoff funded executive summary titled “Pre-Harvest Cattle Management Practices for Enhancing Beef Tenderness” was published. A portion of the summary is dedicated to the management of genetic inputs for positive tenderness effects, and Table 1 references research data from the 2005 findings of scientists from the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), Clay Center, Neb.
In 2005 Tommy Wheeler, acting research leader for the Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit, and his MARC colleagues — Mohammad Koohmaraie, director; Steven Shackelford, food technologist; and Larry Cundiff, geneticist — published in the Journal of Animal Science the results of a trial testing the tenderness of steaks from seven industry-dominate cattle breeds. Steaks were tested using the Warner-Bratzler shear force method, as well as by a trained sensory panel.
Table 1 in the checkoff summary compares the carcass quality and beef tenderness characteristics of the seven dominate breeds — Hereford, Angus, Red Angus, Charolais, Gelbvieh, Limousin and Simmental.
Hay producers say production down; prices up
Dodgecity.com / The Associated Press
EMPORIA, Kan. — A decrease in hay production and an increase in prices may lead to a shortage of the crop for Kansas cattle, hay producers say.
Much of the hay that has already been cut is being shipped to Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and some hay barns in Kansas could be empty when haying season resumes.
“It’s going to be too close for comfort for producers,” said Brian Schemer of Schemer Farms, east of Emporia. “These barns are going to be empty. A lot of this hay is being trucked out of here.”
Schemer, who hays about 600 acres, said while he harvested only a third of a ton from one meadow where he usually averages a ton and a quarter, he’s getting $85 to $100 a ton this year, compared with an average of $55 to $65 a ton for prairie hay last year.
Organic beef outstanding in its field
A group of California grass-fed ranchers who raise cattle for Panorama Meats, Inc. (formerly Western Grasslands, Inc.) received organic certification for a total of 55,000 acres of privately owned and leased grasslands in Northern California on which to raise Panorama Organic Grass-Fed Beef.
This accomplishment is the culmination of a long-term effort by the company’s ranchers to increase the number of certified organic acres available for their grass-fed cattle. Panorama ranchers’ organic pastures and processing plants are certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, the USDA-accredited certifying agency.
Aurora County beef ultrasound clinic Dec. 20
Tri State Neighbor
BROOKINGS, S.D. – The Aurora County beef ultrasound clinic will be held Dec. 20, at the Aurora County Ag Building in Plankinton, S.D.
“With numerous bull sales on the horizon, this will be an opportunity for area ranchers and beef producers to gain skills and knowledge pertaining to beef ultrasound,” Brule County Extension livestock educator Rod Geppert said.
Registration is at 10:30 a.m. with coffee and rolls.
An ultrasound demonstration will take place at 11 a.m. Jean James and Kama Bruns of Northwest Imaging will scan a group of bulls so that producers can see how ultrasound works and how the data is collected.