The February 21, issue # 525, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefFeby21.html
After two full weeks of ground that was frozen even harder than it needed to be, we’re quickly heading back towards mud! This week, Rory Lewandowski offers timely considerations for the management of areas that we will need to be calling “pasture” once again this coming spring and summer.
Articles this week include:
* The Matter Is Margins – Not The Market
* Forage Focus: PASTURE RENOVATION – What’s the Plan?
* DDG’s for Ohio Cattlemen?
* Boehner Announces 2007 Eighth District Farm Forum
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
voice: 740.653.5419 ext. 24
Fairfield Co. OSU Extension – http://fairfield.osu.edu
OSU Beef Team – http://beef.osu.edu
Oat Hay Turns Heads
by Ann Behling
Hay and Forage
If you’re looking for a dependable cash crop, or are lean on forages for your own animals, try growing oats for hay.
Oat hay is a “very viable option” for farmers needing early season forages, says Gary Kilgore, Kansas State University extension crops and soils specialist. He has gotten a number of calls from farmers about oat hay this winter.
“I think that has everything to do about last summer’s drought,” says Kilgore. “They want to get a crop early, so if they need hay this summer, they’ll have something to feed.”
“I recommend that people take a look at oat hay if they’re short of forages,” concurs Tom Morgan of Morgan Consulting Group, Olathe, KS.
Cattle Preconditioning: How & When To Castrate
There are several good reasons for castrating bull calves. Steers are less aggressive in the feedlot than bulls and are less likely to injure one another.
Also, steers can be grouped with heifers without any danger of unwanted pregnancy in the heifers. However, the best reason for castrating bull calves is the increased value of the calf. Processors prefer steers over bulls, because at typical slaughter ages, steers have higher meat quality. Steers may grow a little slower than bulls, but the difference can be made up by implanting the steer calves with a growth promotant at the time of castration.
Cow to bull ratios for commercial herds
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
The three major goals of any breeding season should be to: get the cows settled as early in the breeding season as possible; get them bred to the bulls with the highest possible genetic worth; and achieve both as economically as possible, by getting the cows bred with the fewest possible bulls. Defining the optimum bull to female ratio is important to a successful breeding season. However, no one ratio is optimal for all ranches or small herd operations. The number of bulls required to adequately cover the breeding females is related to many factors
by Troy Smith
If you ask managers of grazing operations what their biggest challenges are, grazing distribution is likely to rank near the top of their lists. Greater utilization of available forage is accomplished when cattle graze all areas of pasture. Over time, it promotes better range and pasture health, it’s better for the cattle, and managers see better returns from their grazing resources.
But achieving optimum grazing distribution can be a mighty difficult task, particularly in big, rough country. The folks who manage cattle over relatively level or rolling terrain often have distribution problems, too, but they generally are more easily overcome.
Stocker Impacts From Ethanol
Beef Stocker Trends
“After years of shortening the stocker phase, cattle feeders will likely see more time between the cow-calf and feedlot segments as lower-cost weight gain systems are sought,” says Larry Corah of Certified Angus Beef® LLC (CAB). “We see a new price structure for corn, escalating land prices and cattle marketed on individual merit. All these factors impact the stocker industry dramatically.”
Besides the changing competitive dynamics for calves and grass, Corah emphasized to producers attending the recent National Cattlemen’s Beef Association meeting that potential for carcass and feedlot performance coming from the stocker segment of the industry will be magnified. Consequently, paying closer attention to some finer points of stocker production could pay more dividends.
For instance, Corah points to an Iowa Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity study showing that cattle treated once for bovine respiratory disease (BRD) had a mortality rate 3% higher than those never treated. Cattle with two treatments had nearly a 10% mortality rate.
Beef Ambassador wins D.C. internship
A former participant in the National Beef Ambassador Program has earned an internship in Washington D.C.
Amanda Nolz received the first national internship sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American National CattleWomen Inc., during the recent cattle industry convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
Nolz is a freshman majoring in agricultural communications/political science at South Dakota State University. She is also a former participant in the checkoff-funded National Beef Ambassador Program.
Nolz will spend the summer interning in various departments of the USDA’s AMS Livestock and Seed Program in Washington, D.C.
Scientists Find Method To Pick Noncompetitive Animals, Improve Production
A new statistical method of determining genetic traits that influence social interactions among animals may provide for more productive livestock.
All plants and animals compete for limited resources such as food, mates, sun and territory. William Muir, a Purdue geneticist, has found a quantitative method of determining inherited traits that affect social inactions. Using this information can help breed for less aggressive animals that will be more productive
Scientists from Purdue University, the Netherlands and England designed mathematical equations based on traits to choose animals that are more congenial in groups, said William Muir, a Purdue Department of Animal Sciences geneticist. The new method is a tool that may contribute both to animal well-being and to securing the world’s future food supply, including possibly permitting more animals to be domesticated, Muir said.
ISU economist says pork producers will have to decrease production
By Jeff DeYoung
Tri State Neighbor
As hog producers continue to compete with ethanol plants for corn, Dermot Hayes believes the industry could be the competitor to blink first.
“We’re going to have to get used to $4 per bushel corn,” Hayes, an ag economist at Iowa State University, said during the recent annual meeting of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. “It’s not a temporary thing unless foreign energy prices plummet for some reason.
“We can grow up to 16 billion bushels of corn by having larger yields and fewer soybeans. We need to get used to continuous corn,” he said.
What a Feedlot Wants
Information and cooperation should begin before calves enter the yards.
Story by Melissa Leander
Angus Beef Bulletin
More producers are looking at performance after weaning. Whether you retain or share ownership, or sell to a cooperative cattle feeder, you want your cattle to live up to their potential. That means a two-way sharing of information, and it starts before your cattle leave the farm or ranch.
“The number one thing I’m interested in is if the calves have been vaccinated,” Ryan Loseke says. The veterinarian and manager of Loseke Feedyards, near Columbus, Neb., is also interested in the specific products used.
Cattle Update: Stocker Health Record Management
There are several pertinent questions that need to be looked before a new set of stocker calves steps off the truck. Should I use mass medication on these new calves? What treatment is the most effective for pneumonia? How can I reduce treatment expenses and maintain optimum health in my calves? These are very common questions and the answers are important as they greatly affect the profitability of the stocker operation. The challenge is that correct solutions to these issues vary depending upon the farm, management circumstances and individual groups of cattle. Maintenance of cattle health is a continuous process – treatments and procedures that work today may not work as well in the future because the disease causing agents, environmental conditions, and nature of illnesses changes over time. Farm health records are an invaluable tool for generating specific answers to create and maintain the best animal health program.
Livestock judging team wins Iowa Beef Expo
By: Michelle Haney
At the Iowa Beef Expo in Des Moines, the livestock judging team brought back a win for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Animal Science Department.
The Iowa Beef Expo is a competition for eleven university teams to see who can judge cattle the best. The UNL livestock judging team hasn’t won this contest for a number of years, but this year they ranked first in placings, first in reasons and first overall.
During the placings portion of the competition, everyone ranks the animals from best to worst for a particular scenario, said Bryan Reiling, associate professor for animal science and faculty adviser for the team. Then, competitors explain their decisions in two minutes or less, he said.
The team has nine members who judge cattle, swine, sheep and goats. There are nine competitions that started earlier this semester and end in the fall. The team competed in three competitions prior to the Iowa Beef Expo, including the National Western Stock Show in Denver where the team ranked eighth overall, the best UNL had done in that competition in more than 22 years before their showing at the Iowa Beef Expo.
Digital Angel Signs Multi-Year Agreement With Schering-Plough
SO. ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Angel Corporation (AMEX: DOC) has signed a multi-year exclusive distribution agreement with Schering-Plough Home Again LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP), to provide electronic identification microchips and scanners as part of the HomeAgain™ Proactive Pet Recovery Network, Digital Angel announced today. Schering-Plough’s new network, which markets the complete Digital Angel electronic pet identification system under the brand name HomeAgain™, is the nation’s first comprehensive system to assist in the search for lost pets.
Cattle sales suffer in wake of snows
La Junta sale barn saw number of cattle drop to 9,000 in January compared to 24,000 a year ago.
By ANTHONY A. MESTAS
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
LA JUNTA – Cattle sales are dwindling because ranchers are having trouble getting to markets and the cattle are stressed in the aftermath of back-to-back blizzards that pounded Southeastern Colorado, a livestock auctioneer said Tuesday.
The storms, which left the region a disaster area, hit during the Christmas and New Year’s weekends.
John Campbell, an auctioneer at La Junta’s Winter Livestock Commission, said that January usually is a big month for area sale barns, but this year sales are down.
eMerge Interactive To Be Delisted By Nasdaq
eMerge Interactive, Inc. (NASDAQ:EMRG) (the “Company”) today announced that it received a letter dated February 16, 2007, from The Nasdaq Stock Market, LLC’s (“Nasdaq”) Listing Qualifications Department informing the Company that, in light of the Company’s filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on February 14, 2007, the Company’s common stock will be delisted from The Nasdaq Capital Market at the opening of business on February 27, 2007, pursuant to Marketplace Rules 4300 and IM-4300. The Company does not intend to appeal the delisting determination.
The letter from Nasdaq further indicated that if the Company’s common stock is delisted from the Nasdaq’s Capital Market, the Company’s common stock will not be immediately eligible to trade on the OTC Bulletin Board or in the “Pink Sheets.” The Company’s common stock may become eligible to so trade only if a market maker makes application to register in and quote the Company’s common stock in accordance with SEC Rule 15c2-11 and such application (a “Form 211″) is cleared. Only a market maker, not the Company, may file a Form 211.
U.S. farm group has new beef with Canada
Toronto Globe and Mail
WASHINGTON — A Washington cattle group says hundreds of cows from Canada are entering the United States each week without required health papers or identification tags.
The group said that raises concerns about more cases of mad cow disease south of the border.
The Cattle Producers of Washington obtained documents suggesting that state officials are having problems tracking cattle that arrive from Canada.
All cows are supposed to have ear tags for electronic identification and health certificates to confirm that they are younger than 30 months old, because younger cattle are thought to be at less risk for contracting mad cow.