Daily Archives: January 23, 2007

Purdue Extension Director announces retirement

Purdue Extension Director announces retirement

by Dave Russell

Brownfield Network

After nearly 35 years of service to Purdue University, Dave Petritz, director of Purdue Extension has announced he will retire June 30th.

“Purdue has been one of the leading Extension organizations in the nation due in large part to the quality of his leadership,” said Randy Woodson, Glen W. Sample Dean of Agriculture. “There is no one who cares more deeply about the university, Purdue Agriculture and Purdue Extension than Dave.”

During his career at Purdue, Petritz was involved in several programs to help farm family’s deal with difficult financial times. He also coordinated the 1988 drought response effort that included a toll-free hotline and extensive media coverage.


ARS: Identifying variation in the U.S. bovine prion gene

ARS: Identifying variation in the U.S. bovine prion gene

AG Professional

Do genes affect bovine spongiform encephalopathy — also known as BSE, or “mad cow” disease? Are some cattle more susceptible than others?

To address these and other questions, Agricultural Research Service scientists at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Neb., have sequenced the bovine prion gene (PRNP) in 192 cattle that represent 16 beef and five dairy breeds common in the United States.

This work, partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, is expanding the understanding of how the disease works.

BSE is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by prions — proteins that occur naturally in mammals — that fold irregularly. Molecular biologist Mike Clawson and his Clay Center colleagues are examining PRNP variation in order to learn if and how prions correlate with BSE susceptibility.


Clemson University offers bulls for sale

Clemson University offers bulls for sale

Greenville Online (SC)

Sixty-one top-notch herd sire prospects will be sold Feb. 3 during the 37th annual Clemson Bull Test Sale at the T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena-Cattle Complex near the Clemson University campus.

The auction will include 37 Angus, three Red Angus, four Simangus, two Simmental, seven Balancers and eight Gelbvieh bulls, according to Larry Olson, bull testing program coordinator.

These yearling bulls are an outstanding group of purebred herd sire prospects and commercial bulls, he said. There are several outstanding prospects in every breed for purebred breeders serious about improving their herds.


Meat Processor Considering a Buyout

Meat Processor Considering a Buyout

New York Times

Swift, the beef and pork producer, said yesterday that it was considering a possible buyout after receiving “unsolicited inquiries” during the last six months.

JPMorgan Chase has been hired to help review strategic and financial alternatives, including a sale, “a merger, strategic partnerships or refinancing,” Swift said in a statement.

Swift, which is based in Greeley, Colo., has had just one profitable quarter since November 2004 as beef exports have been slow to return after countries lifted bans on United States supplies after the appearance of mad-cow disease. Earlier this month, Swift reported a second-quarter loss of $12 million, and last week it said it would cut 70 jobs at its Greeley headquarters as part of a plan to reduce overhead costs.


Cattle farmers struggle

Cattle farmers struggle


COLUMBIA — A shortage of hay has Missouri cattle farmers struggling to feed their livestock. A summer drought combined with the recent winter storms has left many Missouri cattle without feed.

Officials with the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association told KRCG news that they hope Missouri beef producers can ship supplies of hay from other states to help with the shortage.


Smithfield shares rise with rumors

Smithfield shares rise with rumors

Wichita Eagle

Shares of Smithfield Foods Inc. soared the most in seven weeks on speculation that the world’s largest pork producer will buy some of the assets of rival Swift & Co. should that company be broken up and sold.

Smithfield, which owns the Farmland Foods plant in Wichita, rose 52 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $25.28 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the biggest one-day gain since Dec. 1. Shares of the Smithfield, Va.-based company have fallen 12 percent in the past year.

Cattle Buyers Weekly, a beef industry newsletter, said last week that Greeley, Colo.-based Swift’s owner, HM Capital Partners LLC, is discussing a sale and that Smithfield, the fifth-largest U.S. beef packer, could buy Swift beef plants in Hyrum, Utah, and Dumas, Texas, as well as a pork plant in Worthington, Minn.

Swift, the third-largest U.S. beef and pork producer, has apparently hired investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. to assist with a sale, the newsletter said, without saying where its information came from.


Initial Ethanol Push Challenges Beef Market

Initial Ethanol Push Challenges Beef Market

Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608,skledbetter@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Steve Amosson, 806-677-5600,samosson@ag.tamu.edu

Dr. Jim MacDonald, 806-677-5600,jcmacdonald@ag.tamu.edu

Ag News-TAMU

Like it or not, ethanol is coming, and beef producers must be prepared to weather the transitional phase and capitalize on the potentials in the future, said two speakers at the Southwest Beef Symposium in Amarillo.

“The short run is going to be tough, but in the long run, things will work out,” said Dr. Steve Amosson, Texas Cooperative Extension economist.

Feed prices are being driven up by predictions of 3 billion gallons of ethanol production capacity coming online in the next year. Ethanol would require almost an 8-million acre increase in corn acreage, which equates to an additional 1.1 billion bushels of corn, Amosson said.

“I feel the corn prices will range from $3 to $4.25 per bushel on the board for the next couple of years, and the differential between corn and sorghum will narrow,” he said.


Raising high-tech beef cattle is no bull for local breeder

Raising high-tech beef cattle is no bull for local breeder

Claremont couple says their beef is a cut above the rest


Hickory Record (NC)

CLAREMONT – Randy Sipe’s office is 50 acres of pasture and a barn. Sipe, 54, and his wife, Regina, raise 200 head of Angus cattle for the high-grade forage finished beef the cattle produces. The bulls are highly sought for siring future generations of quality cattle.

His work uses cutting-edge technology. A milk can-sized container sits in the corner of a room, containing samples of bull semen cryogenically frozen for future use. One slight temperature variation and the expensive samples are ruined.


Expanded Dose Range for Rumensin ® Now Approved

Expanded Dose Range for Rumensin ® Now Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an expanded dose range approval for Rumensin for improvement in feed efficiency and coccidiosis prevention and control in feedlot cattle. The approval increases the upper end of the dose range to 40 grams per ton, on a 90 percent dry matter basis.

“This newly expanded dose range for Rumensin allows nutritionists and producers more flexibility as they design feeding programs that optimize cattle performance,” says Todd Ripberger, marketing associate, Elanco Animal Health. “We recommend beef producers visit with their nutritionist to identify specific opportunities for fine-tuning the Rumensin dose to create added efficiencies in their operation.”

As you know, cattle feeders rely on Rumensin – an ionophore used as a feed additive – from start to finish to prevent and control coccidiosis and to improve feed efficiency by providing more energy from the ration1. By controlling disease and increasing the efficiency of rumen fermentation, Rumensin reduces feed intake variation2- thus improving rumen function and gastrointestinal health.

With the approval, the maximum dose increases to 480 mg/hd/d for feed efficiency for feedlot cattle. For the prevention and control of coccidiosis, the maximum Rumensin dose also increases to 480 mg/hd/d for feedlot cattle.

“Elanco pursued this claim based on requests from nutritionists and producers, who asked for additional flexibility in the dose range so they could have another tool to optimize cattle health and performance as well as profitability,” says Ripberger.

Elanco will be seeking combination approvals with Tylan ®, Optaflexx® and melengestrol acetate.

What’s that smell? Lots of cash and manure, cattle farmers say

What’s that smell? Lots of cash and manure, cattle farmers say

Ethanol plants powered by methane gas catching on across U.S.

Winston Salem Journal

Ranchers have long been fond of saying that cattle manure smells like money.

Now, folks in the business of making ethanol are smelling dollars, too – in the methane gas emitted by manure at large cattle feedlots and dairies.

Across the country, ethanol plants powered by methane instead of costly natural gas or coal are on the drawing board – a movement that could be a win-win situation for the environment and the industry.

“We’ll produce ethanol much more efficiently and do it in an environmentally friendly way,” said Dennis Langley, the chief executive of E3 BioFuels in Kansas.


Cattle Raisers ‘disappointed’ that horse slaughter ruled illegal in Texas

Cattle Raisers ‘disappointed’ that horse slaughter ruled illegal in Texas

By Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association

North Texas E-News

Leaders of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association expressed disappointment in a federal court ruling declaring horse processing illegal in Texas, but vowed to continue the fight for the basic right of livestock owners to manage their animals in a humane and legal manner.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans issued a ruling Jan. 19 that overturned a lower court decision on a Texas law that banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The law had been on the books since 1949, but had never been enforced.


Cattle in the Cold

Cattle in the Cold


Costs of hay and feed are up and they may not go down for a while. A couple of ranchers say it is bad, and it is only going to get worse.

Cattle still sell well at the Callaway livestock center. But due to the hay shortage, their business isn’t as good. “We’re making the best of it,” said John Harrison. “We haven’t got any over supply, but I don’t know of anybody or any cattle that really been treated bad”, said John Harrison.

They may not treated bad but it does affect them financially.

“So, what’s happened is that people who normally buy hay for $20 or $25 a bale for this time of year, it’s $30, $40… I hear $50 a bale”, said David Fenton.


Beef Agribition Gives Producers Up-Close Look at Potential Cattle, Cost Share Purchases

Beef Agribition Gives Producers Up-Close Look at Potential Cattle, Cost Share Purchases

Murfreesboro Post

“Tennessee Beef Agribition is more than the state’s largest combined show and sale,” according to Margie Hunter, livestock marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “It’s also the best place all year for cattle producers to find out the latest in information and technology for their industry.

“This year, that includes the latest opportunities to receive cost share funds for equipment you need through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Cattle Improvement Initiative.”

Tennessee Beef Agribition will be held in Murfreesboro, Mar. 9-11 at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Livestock Center. The annual three day cattle show and sale event traditionally features one of the largest cattle trade shows in the Southeast, giving producers a look at new products and the direction of the industry. The trade show portion of the event will be conducted Mar. 9-10.