Talking turkey about beef production – Master course designed to educate, help area’s producers
By Gregg Powers
Johnson City Press (TN)
Beginning this year, any producer who has completed the Master Beef Producer Course will be eligible for an increased cost-share percentage of 50 percent instead of the standard 33 percent in the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.
The program helps cattle producers purchase bulls and cattle-handling facilities and is designed to help improve profitability and competitiveness by enhancing production and reducing costs.
Last year, 43 cattle producers participated in the course held in Elizabethton and Jonesborough and all of them said they would recommend the course to others. More than 75 percent of the participants reported that the knowledge they gained in the course would have an economic impact on their farm of more than $1,000.
Check Heifers To Be Certain They Will Be Heavy Enough At Breeding
The period between weaning and breeding is a very critical time in the life of a beef female. At weaning she is between 7 and 10 months old and weighs, in general, 350 to 650 pounds. Some six months later, she is exposed to the bull or to artificial insemination. Hopefully, most of these heifers are bred in the first 21 days and 80 percent or more are pregnant after a 45 day breeding season. Growing programs for weaned replacement heifers must be adequate to allow enough gain from weaning to 13 months of age to allow a high percentage of heifers to being cycling. Since most beef breed replacements will need to gain 240 pounds between weaning and breeding, the heifers must gain at least 1.33 pounds per day.
Cattle Health: An Introduction To Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)
Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is a viral infection of cattle. Today it is believed to primarily cause reproductive problems. However, it can also be devastating to overall cattle health if introduced to a herd that has little immune protection. BVD is currently one of the most costly diseases of cattle. Cost estimates in herds with BVD range from $24 to $200 per cow per year. Clinical signs and cost estimates vary depending on the level of herd immunity, the virulence of the infecting virus strain, and the pregnancy status of cows at the time of initial infection.
The Fruit of Our Sirloins
By William Saletan
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? People have puzzled over that question for at least 2,000 years. In the eternal cycle of natural reproduction, they saw no answer. But it turns out that the cycle is not eternal. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration tentatively approved the use of cloned animals to make food. Natural reproduction is giving way to artificial reproduction. And with the new era comes a new question: Which came first, the steer or the steak?
Case in point: Elvis. He’s a 19-month-old Angus calf. You can view him on the Web site of ViaGen, a cloning company. In a recent slide presentation from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the caption below his photo reads, “Elvis was cloned from a side of Prime Yield Grade 1 beef.”
Hand-Tented and Needle-Tented Subcutaneous Injection
Damage to eatable tissue from injectable animal health products, especially in the more expensive cuts of beef, surfaced as a significant problem in the 1991 National Beef Quality Audit conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and funded by the Beef Checkoff.
To address the finding, the NCBA Beef Safety and Quality Task Force developed guidelines for injectable health product use, and the NCBA began a national educational program to change the injection technique used for routine animal health injectable products. In an effort to remove injections from eatable tissue, the NCBA injectable animal health product-use guidelines encourage the selection and use of injectable products that can be given subcutaneously (subQ) and encourage the selection of the neck region for administration of all injectables in cattle.
Keys to Successful Pasture Establishment
Hay and Forage
A livestock producer needs the right keys to unlock the secrets of establishing quality pastures, says Keith Johnson, Purdue Uni-versity extension forage specialist.
He lists six keys to successful pasture establishment: “The choice of a site is important, as is the soil on that site and the forage a producer chooses to plant,” he says. “They also need to think about the seeding process, weed control and the first use of that for-age.”
Johnson will address each point during the Heart of America Grazing Conference, Jan. 24-25 in Mount Vernon, IL.
When selecting a site, consider its proximity to your homestead, water and electricity, and whether the site is prone to flooding, Johnson advises. Soil composition and the types of forage it can grow also should factor into the decision.
BeefTalk: The Future Starts with Common Sense
The future is much more than we, as individual producers or groups of producers, can fathom at times.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist NDSU Extension Service
There is a future – and it is bright.
During the past few weeks, several BeefTalk columns were based on an article titled “The Future of Animal Agriculture in North America” found in the electronic “Choices” magazine (http://www.choicesmagazine.org, Volume 21, No. 3, 2006). “Choices” is published by the American Agricultural Economics Association.
The series of articles identified issues that ultimately will shape our industry and included issues such as markets, structure and competition; value of integrated markets and consumer demand; global competitiveness; environmental concerns and regulations; community concerns and labor; food safety and animal health; and the welfare and care of animals.
Ranchers brave snow, ice for stock show
DENVER (AP) – The National Western Stock Show in Denver is up and running despite a recent series of storms that socked a big chunk of cattle country.
Stock show officials say the number of entries at the 101st edition of the National Western is running close to last year’s – when more than 15,000 animals were registered.
However, participation at a quarter horse show that started December 29th was down by about 50 percent because of the bad weather.
Some ranchers in southeast Colorado, western Kansas and northern New Mexico are still digging out after a round of storms that began just before Christmas. It’s believed that at least 3,500 cattle have died in southeast Colorado.
Rising residential tide leaves islands of agriculture
In the shadow of carefully laid brick and impeccable landscaping, small herds of cattle still graze and horses run on dwindling patches of land throughout a county once spread evenly with livestock.
As residential and commercial construction continue to flood into the farthest reaches of Williamson County, the onetime fixtures of a farming community are struggling to survive and coexist alongside the development.
Many local farmers, determined to maintain their land and lifestyle, find themselves isolated amid sprawling subdivisions and new neighbors unfamiliar with the trappings of farm life.
Cold can worsen fescue foot in cattle
Owners should watch for signs, take action in preventing infection, lameness.
Springfield News-Leader (MO)
Lameness problems in cattle can show up almost any time of the year, but the cold months of December and January are usually the worst, according to Eldon Cole, a University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist.
The condition is called “fescue foot” and typically affects the rear feet and lower legs.
Fescue foot results from cattle grazing endophyte-infected fescue pastures that — for several reasons — have produced a large amount of an ergot-like toxin.
The most prevalent toxin (ergovaline) causes a constriction of the blood vessels in some animals. That results in less blood flowing to the extreme parts of the body (rear legs and feet, tail switch and ear tips).
UF is much more than home of those Gators
As exciting as Monday’s game is, the university’s resources reach into so many other fields.
Eleanor C. Foerste
If you notice red and green decorations coming down and orange and blue ones going up this weekend, you will know a Gator fan is nearby.
Viewers around the world will be watching a bunch of hard-hitting guys move a piece of faux pigskin up and down a striped field in the biggest collegiate game of the season. The University of Florida Gators play the Ohio State Buckeyes for the national championship Monday night.
The Gator Nation of more than 300,000 UF graduates and hundreds of thousands of fans is spread across the globe as graduates live and work in various countries. Gator fans of all ages know the University of Florida is in Gainesville, but most are clueless that UF has at least one office in every county in Florida through the UF/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Service.
As ranchers leave Legislature, Arizona loses ties to rural roots
By ROBBIE SHERWOOD
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC
PHOENIX — Politics is a lot like ranching. It’s just the art of herding people instead of cattle.
Throughout its 94-year history, Arizona has had so many rancher politicians (more than 120 in all) that, at one point, critics took to calling the state’s government the “Cowboy Legislature.”
But like so much of the state’s rural roots, that era is coming to an end.
Sen. Jake Flake and his lifelong friend Rep. Jack Brown, with a combined 22 years in elected office, are the last active ranchers in the Arizona Legislature.
Mid-South Ruminant Nutrition Conference to be held
High Plains Journal
The Mid-South Ruminant Nutrition Conference will be held April 18 and 19, 2007 at the Hilton Arlington in Arlington, Texas.
Topics are set to include the following:
–Using the CPM model with Texas feeds;
–Nutritional relationships to health;
–Nutrition and reproduction with an emphasis on energy relationships;
–Using by-products/low quality forages and forage extenders in dairy rations;
–Feed efficiency with by-products;
–Economics of feed variability;
–Starch digestibility in silage.
South Heart producer adds natural beef to operation
Farm & Ranch Guide
SOUTH HEART, N.D. – Commercial cattleman Jim Perdaems of South Heart is one of the first in the region to raise natural beef – cattle raised without the use of antibiotics, ionophores or hormones.
“It was kind of a curiosity at first. I wanted to see if it (raising beef) could be done without antibiotics – see if we could do it with a vaccination program,” said Jim, who added the natural beef program to his already successful commercial operation.
His neighbor, Daryl Zarak has been raising natural beef cattle on his ranch located between Belfield and South Heart for the past three to four years. Zarak said he has had “no problem” finding markets for his natural beef and suggested Jim try raising natural beef, too.
MSGA: Cattle producers can control destiny using BQA recommendations
The Prairie Star
BILLINGS, Mont. – Cattle producers in Montana have the opportunity to control their own destiny in the future through a wide variety of Beef Quality Assurance recommendations and new technological advances.
That’s the message Jerry Yates, manager of the Reyman Memorial Farm for the University of West Virginia, gave during the 122nd annual Montana Stockgrowers Association convention in Billings, Mont.
Speaking during the Pfizer Cattleman’s College, Yates challenged producers to “take the reins to do everything a little bit better.”
“It all begins when you turn the bull in with the cows, and our responsibility doesn’t end until consumption,” he said. “Quality can be influenced with the right bulls and cows in conjunction with your nutrition program.”
U.S. seeks to boost Canadian beef, cattle imports
Sioux City Journal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration said Thursday it will seek to increase cattle and beef imports from Canada despite questions about Canadian safeguards against mad cow disease.
Canada discovered five new cases of the disease last year. One in particular was disturbing because the cow was born years after Canada adopted safeguards to keep the disease from spreading.
The United States banned Canadian cattle and beef after Canada found its first case of mad cow disease in May 2003. Later that year, an imported Canadian cow in Washington state became the first U.S. case of mad cow disease.
Letter: Not all beef producers support horse slaughter
Regarding the letter “Horse slaughter ban good for beef farmers”.
Wallowa County Chieftan
I raise beef cattle and own horses and I oppose slaughtering horses for human consumption. Closing horse slaughter facilities would have no impact on my beef production or sales. I myself eat beef. I don’t eat horsemeat.
You would think that associations of horse breeders and beef cattle ranchers would get this distinction, but they don’t. It’s up to the small farmer/rancher, like me, individual horse owners, and consumers to make it clear. This is not an “animal rights” issue. Horses are not cattle.
ICE raids hurt Swift more than snow storms
Rocky Mountain News
The historic snowfall that socked cattle ranchers in southeastern Colorado and the plains will have a “minor impact” on Swift & Co.’s beef-processing operations, company officials said on Friday.
The futures market “overreacted” to storms, said Sam Rovit, Swift’s president and chief operating officer, on a conference call with analysts and investors. “This is an infinitesimally small number of cattle related to the overall kill.”
Rovit added that Swift, the nation’s third-largest beef and pork producer, draws “few cattle” from southeastern Colorado.
Cattle futures for February delivery jumped 3 percent last week on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and reached a four-month high Friday. An estimated 3,500 cattle are believed to have died on rangeland in southeastern Colorado, according to Leonard Pruett, the region’s agriculture extension agent for Colorado State University, although that number could rise as cattle contract infections caused by stress and dehydration.
Beef genetics featured at ’07 Bull Day event
Farm and Ranch Guide
Beef cattle genetics will be highlighted in two ways at the fourth annual Central Dakota Bull Day Jan. 27 at Farmers Livestock Auction in Bismarck – in the featured speaker’s presentation as well as in the bulls themselves.
The speaker for the event will be Russ Danielson, associate professor in the Department of Animal and Range Science at North Dakota State University. His topic will be Beef Genetic Tools.
The popular Bull Day event will feature 40 pens of bulls, representing the latest in beef cattle genetics. The bulls will be on display from 10 a.m. until noon. Following noon lunch and Danielson’s talk, the bulls will be paraded through the sales ring, at which time information will be given about each breeder’s production and marketing program.
Recent NBQA focuses on end-products
The Prairie Star
By SUE ROESLER, Farm & Ranch Guide
Friday, January 5, 2007 12:01 PM CST
The recently completed 2005 National Beef Quality Audit is another management tool cattle producers and feeders can use to market their beef and plan for the future.
“We need to think of the audits as a benchmarking tool – a way to see where we are so we can identify whether we are making progress toward established goals,” said Lisa Pederson, N.D. Beef Quality Assurance coordinator.
At the Beyond the Bunk II program developed by the N.D. Stockmen’s Association Feeder Council, Pederson said the audits focus on the end-products of beef production, namely beef, fat and bone.