Beef producers may need to make operational adjustments
By Jennifer Bremer
High Plains Journal
Beef producers must meet the specifications that are sought after by the consumers in order to stay competitive and profitable in the future.
John Lawrence, director of the Iowa Beef Center told attendees to the 4-State Beef Conference it is important to increase the number of high quality beef that is raised, while decreasing the number of yield grades 4 and 5.
“Demand for beef has decreased over the past three years and there has also been a decrease in the percentage of cattle that are grading Choice,” said Lawrence. “At the same time there is an increase in the number of cattle that are grading Select.”
He said the consumer has told the industry that they want a leaner product; therefore the producers need to work on increasing the quality grade but also decreasing the yield grade.
USDA investigating cattle sale
Sioux City Journal
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating whether Canadian cattle were bought in a South Dakota sale barn and sold to a packer in Nebraska.
The USDA does not allow selling Canadian cattle on the open market, such as at a livestock sale barn.
Jim Rogers, a USDA spokesman in Washington, D.C., said Friday that the agency is looking into the situation but could not provide details.
According to a news release from the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, a South Dakota rancher purchased the cattle at an auction barn in South Dakota and sold them to a slaughter plant in Nebraska.
The packers would not pay him for seven head of cattle because, they said, the cattle were from Canada. Seven head of the 87 sold to the packer had Canadian ear tags
When do we intervene and assist a cow or heifer in labor?
Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
Spring calving season is upon the Oklahoma ranches that have spring and winter calving. An issue facing the rancher at calving time, is the amount of time heifers or cows are allowed to be in labor before assistance is given. Traditional text books, fact sheets and magazine articles stated that “Stage II” of labor lasted from 2 to 4 hours. “Stage II” is defined as that portion of the birthing process from the first appearance of the water bag until the baby calf is delivered. Newer data from Oklahoma State University and the USDA experiment station at Miles City, Montana clearly show that Stage II is much shorter, lasting approximately 60 minutes in first calf heifers, and 30 minutes in mature cows.
Cattle Health: Bovine Viral Diarrhea — The Virus And The Disease
Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) causes several different disease syndromes including failure of conception, persistent infection, abortion, congenital defects, stillbirths, and pre- and post-natal growth retardation. BVDV infection is often a component of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) by causing an impairment of the immune system. Infection in the immune competent animal causes a broad range of clinical signs ranging from the more common subclinical syndrome with serum antibody production as the only evidence of infection to a severe intestinal disease with or without hemorrhages and possible death.
Salmonella in Michigan
MSU Extension agent, Clinton and Gratiot counties
Recently, there has been much talk about the incidence of Salmonella in Michigan dairy cattle. In fact, there have been numerous cases of Salmonella in herds not just in Michigan, but all across the United States. The recent concern has been justifiable; however, understanding Salmonella and how a few basic precautions can effectively control the disease should put everyone a little more at ease.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella describes several different kinds of bacteria. These bacteria typically infect the gut of a host animal. Physical illness may or may not result from the infection. When physical illness does occur from Salmonella infection, it is referred to as salmonellosis. With high levels of Salmonella exposure and low levels of cattle resistance, any one of the many kinds of Salmonella can cause salmonellosis. There are, however, some strains of Salmonella that are more likely to cause illness. Salmonella typhimurium is one such strain. Salmonella typhimurium is the most common type of Salmonella found in Michigan dairy cattle, cows, and calves. It is also the most likely type of Salmonella to result in physically ill cattle.
Cattle Health: Blackleg and Other Clostridial Diseases
Clostridial diseases inflict heavy losses among livestock in Alberta every year. The family of bacteria, Clostridia, are responsible for these diseases. They generally cause a fatal infection when they enter the animal’s body. The bacteria are capable of living for years in the soil because of their ability to form spores, which protect them from the action of the weather.
Bull market for Angus
The marketing campaign for this special breed is rustling up big bucks
By AMANDA ROGERS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The 1,800-pound black Angus bull rushes into the small iron-barred West Arena, slinging snot and drool and pawing the ground.
He digs into the green-dyed bedding down to the red dirt below, slinging it onto the sports coat of one of the ring men below the arena.
“He just wants to remind everybody he’s a bull,” says auctioneer Jim Birdwell.
The crowd roars, then digs a little deeper into its pockets.
People filled the seats Saturday for the Best of the West Angus Bull Sale, the premier show for local Angus breeders. Some just wanted to see the massive animals, while others were banking on building up their herds.
Zarak high-tech ‘recipe’ for feeding calves
By SUE ROESLER,
Farm & Ranch Guide
Daryl Zarak, a natural beef rancher west of South Heart, N.D., adds pre-processed corn to the box as part of the recipe for his calves.
SOUTH HEART, N.D. – Daryl Zarak, a natural beef producer west of South Heart, zips on his coveralls to protect against the bitter wind chills on a January morning and heads outside to begin feeding calves at 7 a.m.
Even with the added efficiency of using pre-processed corn and barley in the feed mix, it will take him until nearly 11 a.m. to finish the work.
Zarak has been running a substantial natural beef operation for the past several years. He has his own calves and buys other spring calves from producers in the region, feeding about 600 calves a day in his feedlot at home. When the calves reach about 800 pounds, he ships them down south to two or three different feedlots in Nebraska.
Breeders Showcase 630 Herefords in Denver
The Hereford breed showcased the largest breed show at the 2007 National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver. There were more than 630 Herefords competing at the 101st NWSS, including 485 entries on the Hill in the open and junior shows and seven loads and 29 pens in the Yards.
The Hereford activities got underway with the 99 head junior show on Jan. 11 followed by the pen and carload show that same day. Herefords took center stage on the Hill with the open females showing on Jan. 12 and the bulls on Jan. 13. Doug Satree, Montague, Texas, judged the open cattle on the Hill and Walt McKellar, Senatobia, Miss. sorted the junior entries. Doug Gerber, Richmond, Ind., Vance Uden, Franklin, Neb., and Robbie Hamilton, Wharton, Texas, teamed up to evaluate the bulls in the Yard show.
Judges: Plants must be closed
By MIKE LEE
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Two North Texas horse-slaughtering plants, which annually process thousands of pounds of horsemeat for human consumption overseas, are violating a 1949 state law and must shut down, a federal appeals court panel has ruled.
Fort Worth-based Beltex and Kaufman-based Dallas Crown could face criminal charges if they don’t cease operations, according to the ruling handed down Friday by three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The two plants handle about half of the 91,000 horses slaughtered in the United States annually.
“The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon,” Judge Fortunato Benavides wrote. “Not once in memory did the cowboy eat his horse, but film is an imperfect mirror for reality.”
The companies will appeal, their lawyer, David Broiles of Fort Worth, said Saturday.
Rules for winter feeding
Leaf Chronicle (TN)
How much hay does a cow need each day?
Jim Neel, beef cattle specialist with University of Tennessee Extension, says following several simple “rules of thumb” will help producers manage their cattle during winter.
Neel says a mature beef cow with an average body condition score (BCS of 5) should eat about 25 to 30 pounds of average quality, dry hay or its equivalent per day to get her required energy needs.
Low Stress Stockmanship benefits both animals and owners
Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune (WV)
Over 100 area agriculture producers learned about the benefits of Low Stress Stockmanship during the educational meeting Wednesday at the Burlington Fire Hall. Guest speaker Richard McConnell from Aldrich, Missouri presented concepts to create a more positive environment around working with livestock.
Richard McConnell grew up on a dairy farm in Missouri. After several years of both residential and heavy construction, he served three and one half years with Peace Corps in Honduras, Central America. He earned a B.S. and Masters in agriculture education from the University of Missouri Columbia. He taught Vocational Agriculture for 13 years.
Oilseeds in cattle rations
Farm and Ranch Guide
BROOKINGS, S.D. – A new publication from SDSU Cooperative Extension offers tips on using oilseeds for feeding beef cattle.
SDSU Extension Extra 2058, “Oilseed Crops In Beef Cattle Rations,” is available online at: http://agbiopubs.sdstate.edu/articles/ExEx2058.pdf. Or ask at your county Extension office.
SDSU Extension Beef Specialist Julie Walker wrote the publication. Walker said feeding livestock the unprocessed, whole seed could be an alternative outlet for oilseed crops if the crop isn’t suited for human consumption for some reason.
The publication discusses whole soybeans, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, canola seeds, and whole cottonseed. It also discusses feeding oilseed meals.
Producers Sought for USDA’s National Beef Board
Wisconsin Ag Connection
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications from organizations seeking to be certified to nominate individuals to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. Organizations not previously certified may apply.
The 104-member Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board was established by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The board administers a coordinated program designed to expand foreign and domestic markets and uses for beef. Membership is comprised of cattle producers and beef importers.
Interesting beef plant campaign donations
By Sid Salter
The Clarion Ledger (MS)
When this newspaper has published stories in the past about the campaign contribution money trail involving the Mississippi Beef Processors debacle, it has seemed to anger some politicians.
That’s too bad.
The Mississippi Beef Processors, Inc., plant in Oakland cost the taxpayers $55 million when it ultimately failed in 2004. It also cost some honest plant workers their jobs and let the cattle farmers depending on the cull cow plant down as well.
Still, nobody’s been held accountable or done a day of jail time.
Cloned beef vs. the ‘yuck factor’
Millions of Americans would pass on the meat and milk, but the FDA says they are safe.
By RICK MONTGOMERY
The Kansas City Star
Science fiction — it’s what’s for dinner?
Except this isn’t fiction: Cloned cattle and their offspring are grazing out there, waiting to go to market. Some may already have entered the food chain. And, come spring, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could slap a seal of approval on clones as safe producers of beef and milk.
If opinion polls are correct, millions of Americans don’t care to sample it.
Yet the news is “kind of ho-hum” to Don Coover.
The Galesburg, Kan., rancher, veterinarian and owner of SEK Genetics — distributor of bull semen — says “it’s silly” for Americans to worry about consuming the stuff of cloned animals or their descendants.
Dozens of scientific studies back him up.
NW cattlemen oppose USDA border beef rule
Issue likely focal point of meetings
EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Reopening the Canadian border to most live cattle shipments is drawing opposition from mainstream cattlemen in addition to R-CALF.
Sharon Livingston, president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said both her organization and the neighboring Washington Cattlemen’s Association “are not in agreement” with the U.S. Department of Agriculture rule published Jan. 9. She also pointed out the rule is counter to current National Cattlemen’s Beef Association policy.
The Rise of Organic Meat
Bradenton Herald (FL)
Roberta C. Nelson
Every day, Ben Pate herds his chickens to new pastureland on his poultry farm.
While Pate goes through the trouble of moving his bottomless chicken coops each day, his customers go to the trouble of driving out to his Gulf City Road farm to buy the chickens because they believe naturally fed chickens taste better and are better for you.
Moving chickens every day might seem bizarre, so unlike traditional farms where the birds stay in one place and have food brought to them. With each day’s move, Pate’s chickens have the benefit of a fresh supply of insects and grubs on uncontaminated land. Their old pasture benefits from the natural fertilizer the chickens leave behind. Pate benefits by the physical exercise – and by never having to clean a chicken coop.