Application affects nitrogen loss
By Mike Surbrugg
“Nitrogen is a tricky, slippery thing to work with.”
That was the assessment from Peter Scharf, a University of Missouri plant scientist, during a recent meeting held in Mount Vernon where he talked about different sources of nitrogen fertilizer.
He focused of using urea or ammonium nitrate sources.
There is potential for nitrogen loss from any source, he said.
A lot of fertilizer in Missouri is broadcast on the surface of pastures and hay fields. “Grass is king in Southwest Missouri,” he said.
A lot of broadcast urea can be lost through volatilization, he said. The loss is greatly reduced when the urea can be knifed into the soil or by tilling it into the soil within four days of application.
BeefTalk: Animal Identification, a Reality or Simply a Perception
The latest bit of news regarding the questionable origin of cattle slaughtered last fall, but only noted this year, continues to call for some type of explanation.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
There is a point of frustration in the beef industry. The U.S. currently produces healthy, wholesome beef, ready for American consumption and export to the world. Yet, as an industry, we produce our own barriers and then commence to trip over them in a seemingly endless array of missed opportunities.
There always should be something substantial and factual to what we read or spend much time listening to. The future really needs to be guided by facts that substantiate reality and are clearly different than positioned perception.
Grass Tetany May Occur in Mature Cows on Wheat Pasture
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
Grass tetany, caused by magnesium deficiency does not seem to be a major problem in Oklahoma although occasional cases are reported. It typically occurs in beef cows during early lactation and is more prevalent in older cows. The reason is thought to be that older cows are less able to mobilize magnesium reserves from the bones than are younger cows. Grass tetany most frequently occurs when cattle are grazing lush immature grasses or small grains pastures and tends to be more prevalent during periods of cloudy weather. Symptoms include incoordination, salivation, excitability (aggressive behavior towards humans) and, in final stages, tetany, convulsions and death.
Harsh weather may have lingering effect on cattle herds
MANHATTAN, Kan. – This winter’s harsh weather will subside, but its effect on Plains-area cattle herds will linger long after the ice and snow have melted away, a Kansas State University veterinarian said.
“The weather this winter has certainly resulted in some death loss in cattle, but the real problems are going to be much harder to get our arms around,” said K-State Research and Extension veterinarian Larry Hollis.
Winter storms prompted Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to request federal assistance for 44 counties. In turn, President Bush declared a major disaster in Kansas, making federal funding available to state and local governments in those 44 western Kansas counties.
Hollis said that although the death loss already tallied from this year’s snow and ice storms could have been even worse, he is concerned about what he called “secondary losses” – weak calves at birth, cows that are in poorer condition than usual during calving season, and the possibility that cows’ poor condition at re-breeding time could impact fertility and, ultimately, conception rates.
Cold, rainy weather could spell danger for cattle
High Plains Journal
A cattle expert with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service urges cattle producers to take extra precautions for their herds during cold, wet weather.
“Cattle could be negatively impacted because they are used to the recent warm weather. Cold, wet weather can hurt the cows’ productivity,” said Dr. Tom Troxel, professor and associate department head of extension’s animal science section.
He said the bad weather could impact nearly a million cows in the state and hurt the bottom line for an estimated 27,000 beef cattle producers. Arkansas ranks 13th in the nation in beef cattle production.
Troxel urged cattle producers to make adjustments and try to protect their herds’ health.
Cattleman learn of a promising new vaccine
Daily News (CA)
SACRAMENTO – At their recent 90th annual convention, the California Cattlemen’s Association’s (CCA) Livestock Memorial Research Fund (LMRF) approved a contribution of $50,000 to the University of California, Davis to fund the development of a promising foothill abortion vaccine in cattle.
The LMRF has agreed to make an initial $50,000 contribution in 2007 and has set aside an additional $15,000 each year for the following two years to support research and funding at the UC Davis School of Veterinarian Medicine. This represents the largest funding commitment made by LMRF and reflects the importance of this research to California’s beef cattle industry.
Testing for bovine diarrhea offered
BILLINGS – A pilot project to screen Montana cattle for persistent infection of bovine viral diarrhea has become a permanent program, says Clint Peck, director of the Montana Beef Quality Assurance programs for Montana State University.
Ranchers and cattle feeders can sign up any time for the 2007 Montana BVD-PI Herd Screening Project, Peck said. The ranchers and feeders do the work themselves, but they’ll receive technical assistance and limited financial support through 2007. They’ll also receive a screening kit.
King of cattle
John King of Tiffin received the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Industry Excellence Award last weekend during the association’s annual awards banquet in Columbus.
The award is given to a beef cattle producer who has been an industry leader and demonstrated a strong commitment to the betterment of Ohio’s beef industry.
“Apparently, most of the rest of the world knew about this, but I did not,” King said Thursday. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been speechless before, but all I had in my mouth was cotton balls and nothing in my head to say.”
Too many cows for Wash cattle producers
PASCO, Wash. — High corn prices and not enough processing plants have produced an oversupply of cows, causing feedlot headaches for Pacific Northwest cattle producers.
When animals are fed corn in feedlots for even a few extra days, it can cost ranchers thousands of dollars. Then beef processors dock producers if their animals are even a few pounds too fat.
Cattle can gain three to five pounds a day in a feedlot and only bring about $20 a head in total profit, so they have to be sold quickly when they are ready
Feeding large bales this winter
The wide usage of large package, round bales for feeding beef herds has made hay feeding more labor-efficient, but may offer a number of management challenges to producers who wish to maintain superior hay quality and cattle performance.
Do not wait until you are running low on hay supplies in the winter to start looking for hay. Assess hay needs early so that additional hay can be located or cattle numbers be decreased, if necessary. The “cow unit” method is a quick way for assessing hay needs. Allow about 25 to 30 pounds of hay per cow unit.
Small-farm conference has organic production seminars
Palladium-Item (Richmond, IN)
The 207 Midwest Small Farm Conference will be Feb. 10 at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds.
Eight seminars focused on organic production methods will be offered, including restoring farmland with biodynamic agriculture, converting an old orchard to organic production, managing forages in a grazing system and making your own biodiesel.
Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The conference is from 8:25 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Drylot meetings set for next month
Aberdeen American News (SD)
The South Dakota State University Extension is hosting beef cow drylot meetings next month at six locations in northern South Dakota.
Marshall County Extension educator Tyler Melroe said in a press release the meetings will address management opportunities and challenges with transitioning into year-round drylotting of beef cows. Melroe said producers are interested in drylotting because of the lack of forage due to drought in portions of central and western South Dakota and because of the cost of pasture rental rates in eastern South Dakota.
FARM & RANCH: Building a better beef
By MIKE FERGUSON
Baker City Herald
Every five years cattle producers receive a report card on the quality of their product. The 2005 U.S. Beef Quality Audit, the most recent one available, “provides us a snapshot of how good a job we’re doing,” said Ryan Ruppert, director of quality assurance programs for the National Beef Cattlemen’s Association.
“If we don’t measure something, we can’t change it,” he told the crowd. “We surveyed management practices and genetics, but the focus is on end products.”