Estrus has been traditionally described as an “all or none” response (Allrich, 1994). This means that once blood estradiol reaches a critical threshold then the cow expresses estrus. Additional estradiol in the system will not necessarily change or amplify the behavior. Although the “all or none response” is stated clearly in the literature, it perhaps should be reexamined with modern-day high producing dairy cows (see below).
The threshold level of estradiol is different for individual cows. Behavior of individual cows in estrus is highly variable with mounts received ranging from 1 to >100 and time in estrus ranging from 30 minutes to >30 hours. The highly variable nature of the behavior makes estrus difficult to study scientifically because the high coefficient of variation for estrous traits (number of mounts, etc.) makes it difficult to detect statistical differences when treatments are imposed.
While the development of EPDs is complicated, the application of EPD numbers to bull-buying techniques is reasonably straightforward and simple.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist NDSU Extension Service
At this time of year, most producers are preparing for the future as they gear up to purchase bulls for their cow herd. These purchases, which start with solid relationships between the seed stock supplier and the commercial beef producer, have a huge impact on the future of the beef business.
The livestock periodicals are filled with bull advertisements. The business of selling bulls is very competitive and lots of prospective bulls are at the bunk being fed for their two minutes in the sale ring.
Compared to last week, feeder cattle sold steady to 2.00 lower for both yearlings and heavy calves bound for the feedlot. Tighter supplies of lightweight stocker calves to be backgrounded sold steady to 3.00 higher with the full advance on steers and mostly in the Southeast. Auction receipts were heavy, as they normally are for the first full week of the New Year, especially in Midwestern areas where the weather was good like in Missouri which had reported receipts of 67,500 head. Feedlot demand was only moderate this past week as many yards were still trying to recover from last month’s severe snow and ice storms.
Denver (January 12, 2007) – Twenty outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry have each been awarded a $1,500 scholarship provided by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (CME) and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). The CME has sponsored this scholarship program for 17 years.
Each scholarship winner wrote a 750-word essay that identified key issues confronting the beef industry and suggested possible ways of dealing with those issues.
The overall scholarship winner, Ben Williams of Logansport, Ind., was awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the 2007 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in Nashville, where he will be recognized during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Awards Program Lunch on February 3.
by: Bob Ratliff
Cattle Today / MSU Ag Communications
Mississippi State — Cutting-edge genetic research by a Mississippi State University animal scientist may help solve a problem that costs livestock producers millions of dollars each year.
The research by Erdogan Memili, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, is aimed at improving fertility in cattle and can be applied to other mammals.
By Mike Linn
Mike Dee has downsized his herd of cattle by 10 percent since November, a move to keep his stronger cows fed in the wake of one of the worst hay shortages in more than 40 years.
Unfortunately, the Pickens County rancher isn’t alone.
Alabama ranchers sold 20 percent more mature cows in 2006 than they did the previous year, making Alabama’s cattle population the smallest since World War II, according to Billy Powell, executive director of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association.
Santa Rosa, La Pampa Province, Argentina – January 12, 2007 – Tyson Foods, Inc (NYSE: TSN) has entered into a joint venture in Argentina, which will create the first vertically integrated beef operation in the South American country. The venture is expected to produce both products for the domestic Argentine consumer and give Tyson access to European and other high value beef markets.
• Cattle and beef production represent the largest single segment of American agriculture. USDA says more farms are classified as beef cattle operations (35 percent) than any other type of farm. Most are family owned and operated.
• Herds with more than 100 head of cattle represent 51 percent of the beef cow inventory. Producers with fewer than 40 head of cattle usually have multiple sources of farm income or also have employment off the farm.
• Beef production affects the U.S. economy. According to USDA, meat animal producers in 2005 were responsible for more than $64 billion in added value to the U.S. economy, as measured by contribution to national output.
By Larry Stalcup
From castration to vaccinations, stocker operators have opportunities to improve feed intake and gains, and boost their profits when buyers come calling.
Whether calves are light or six-seven weight stockers, a good animal health program will help them perform better on pasture or in a grower yard, and prepare them for the high-concentration conditions at the feedyard.
Dan Thomson, Kansas State University (KSU) DVM and former head veterinarian for Cactus Feeders, Inc., says proper castration alone can boost stocker or fed-cattle profits by $25 or more.
Colorado Gov. Bill Owens castigated People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) last week after the fringe group criticized efforts to save cattle stranded by the recent holiday blizzards. Owens leveled words like “a bunch of losers” and “frauds” and advised radio listeners to KRFX to refrain from contributing to the activist group.
Springfield News Leader (MO)
Summer droughts are really more common than not in southwest Missouri.
In fact, this part of the nation is almost guaranteed to have six to eight weeks of drought conditions nearly every year, according to Jay Chism, an agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension.
As with any seasonal production problem, Chism says producers need to develop ways to deal with conditions that disrupt forage production.
“For example, producers should develop a pasture management system that will help move livestock through these conditions as economically as possible,” said Chism.
FSIS has extended the comment period on how to define the term “natural“ until March 5.
FSIS held a public meeting on December 12 to discuss a petition to establish a definition for the voluntary claim “natural.“ The agency also gathered comments on conditions under which the claim should be allowed to be used on the labels of meat and poultry products. The Agency decided to extend the comment period, which closed on January 11, based on the comments it received.
By VICKI SMITH
Farm-supply cooperative Southern States has closed 115 stores in the past six years, many falling victim to the same trend that has forced some of its traditional clients out of business — urban sprawl. Like many farm-supply stores that have changed to sell grass seed and pet food to suburbanites, the chain is dealing with a changing landscape.
The Richmond, Va.-based company owned or managed 327 stores across the Southeast at the end of fiscal 2000, but now has only 212 such operations, says company spokesman Jim Erickson. While some locations closed for other reasons, many shutdowns were driven by the gradual decline of agricultural lands.
By Anna King, Tri City Herald (WA)
Mid-Columbia hay growers are hoping for a warm, dry spring to bail them out this year.
Last year’s cold, wet spring decimated large amounts of Washington’s high-quality crop, and supplies are running short for Japanese dairy cattle, Western Washington horse owners and Mid-Columbia dairymen.
And growers say strong corn and wheat prices have reduced the hay acreage being planted in the Columbia Basin, further increasing demand.
Fremont News Messenger (NM)
Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.
As a resident of Sandusky County who is facing the threat of factory farm operations, I oppose any effort to exempt or water down health and environmental protections for large livestock operations.
Unfortunately, the amendment that New Mexico’s Sen. Pete Domenici plans to sneak into America’s agriculture appropriations bill does that. Domenici offers proof that factory farms, because of the political influence they wield, open a political Pandora’s box wherever they spring up.