The February 28, issue # 526, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefFeby28.html
Weather over the past month has created some extraordinary nutritional challenges for cattlemen . . . especially those with cows that are calving right now. This week, Rory Lewandowski offers some thoughts on nutritional considerations for early lactation.
Articles this week include:
* Early Lactation Considerations
* $4 Corn…What about Barley?
* Cattle Lice Thrive Through Winter; Plan Treatment
* Good Bull Buying Rests on Knowing Your Cattle
* Forage Focus: Beginners Managed Grazing School is Set
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report
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
Buchanan Named NDSU Animal Science Head
A North Dakota State University graduate will be following in his father’s footsteps when he returns home to serve as animal science head at NDSU.
David Buchanan will begin in July. He is a 1975 NDSU animal science graduate with honors. His father, M.L. “Buck” Buchanan, served on the department’s faculty 1945-1976. The younger Buchanan took animal genetics classes from his dad.
Black Ink—A Mind of Its Own
by: Steve Suther
The market gets what it wants. That is demand in action. As it wants more and better, it pays more, efficiently sorting and sending premium and discount messages.
But it’s not quite that simple. Sometimes an amazingly perfect item, or animal, sells for less than average price, a diamond in the rough. A delighted buyer comes back, willing to pay much more, but cannot find another at any price.
Many more, barely acceptable products—including cattle—enter the market every day. There are enough buyers to pay the clearing price up front, though they pay another price in later dissatisfaction. Those buyers won’t be back, but there will be other buyers, at least for a while.
Minnesota producer overwinters S.D. cows by feeding byproducts
By Wendy Sweeter, Editor
Tri State Neighbor
When the drought hit South Dakota pretty hard the summer of 2002, a Minnesota producer thought he could help some of his fellow South Dakota producers.
Jim Billmeier, a Morgan, Minn., sweet corn, peas and cow/calf producer, had the idea in 2002 to feed some cows for South Dakota cattle producers.
“I had a lot of feed left over,” he said. “We put an ad in the paper. Well, it hit the paper and the phone started ringing at 6 a.m., and the phone rang steady for almost a week.”
The cow whisperer
By Silvia Sanides
Peter-Christian Schön is an engineer with a heart – and an ear – for animals. While a postdoc at the Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals in Dummerstorf, Germany, his job was to automate animal care by making it possible to clean stables and feed their occupants with the push of a button.
After spending lots of time in the stable, however, Schön was distracted by the sounds animals make, and soon shifted his focus towards the conversations they have with one another. “They communicate much more than I expected with their grunts, oinks, moos, and bellows,” he says. He translated his interest in the grunts and oinks of pigs into research about reducing the stress of porkers, and found that they are quite sensitive to overcrowding at the feeding trough. Now, his receptive ear is tuned to cow moos and bellows, the basis of a novel research project about the estrous cycle of dairy cattle.
S.D. Stockgrowers renew affiliation with R-CALF USA
Tri State Neighbor
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) board of directors unanimously agreed Feb. 14 to renew their affiliation with R-CALF USA, the only national organization dedicated to representing strictly the United States live cattle industry.
According to SDSGA president Rick Fox, there was enthusiastic support among the directors, for the move to renew their affiliation.
“We’ve experienced great successes in the cattle industry since R-CALF was first created. We look forward to continued success as we work together to achieve fair trade policies and to prevent the United States from becoming a ‘dumping ground’ for the world’s poorest beef,” he said.
Cattle Identification: A Brief History
Livestock identification in the United States has been documented in large animal production industries dating back to the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Cattle ranchers, to indicate ownership and deter theft, first used hot iron branding. Swine producers for registration and record keeping purposes used ear notches for individual animal identification. These two methods are rapidly losing popularity due to concerns about humane treatment of animals and a decrease in product value.
APHIS and its predecessor agencies began using ear tags, back tags, tattoos and face brands in the early 1960′s. These identification methods were required by statutory regulations and successfully used to trace the movements of diseased animals during disease outbreaks and eradication programs. With this long history of contact with the field, APHIS has led the way in the development of national identification systems. The agency continues to place a high priority on livestock identification and database development.
Like other farming, beef cattle future is waning in mountains
by John Boyle
The boom in beef cattle prices is over.
The market has cooled like frozen hamburger meat over the past few months, leaving hundreds of small-time Western North Carolina cattle producers tightening their belts.
“We’ve seen a real crunch over the last 100 days in Western North Carolina — they’re taking off somewhere between $100 to $125 a head for every 500-pound feeder calf,” said John Queen, a Haywood County cattleman who was recently elected as the president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Farmers haul water, gas up generators to keep livestock alive
By Deirdre Cox Baker
QCtimes.com (Quad Cities)
BLUE GRASS, Iowa — Cattle owned by Brian Ehlers normally drink water from heated troughs on the farm in western Scott County. But for the last four days, Ehlers has hauled 1,000 gallons of water three miles to the farm and poured it in big buckets for the cross-bred Angus stock.
The earth-bermed house on the property, owned by Robert Geurink, is a little frosty inside but Geurink copes by staying in a room with a fireplace. While his wife moved into town to wait out the chill, he keeps an eye on his nephew’s cattle, which are normally held in bounds by an electrified fence.
Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Coccidiosis – A Common & Costly Disease
Nearly all beef and dairy cattle are exposed to coccidia — but many do not show signs of a clinical coccidiosis outbreak. This is partly why bovine coccidiosis is one of the most economically important intestinal diseases in cattle.
“It is estimated that coccidiosis costs U.S. beef and dairy producers more than $100 million annually,”(6) says Dr. Joe Dedrickson, Director of Merial Veterinary Professional Services.
“Even this estimate is conservative, because it doesn’t factor in all the losses caused by 95% of coccidiosis infections that are subclinical and never diagnosed as coccidiosis.”
Nebraska gaining in cattle-feeding comparison
By ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star
Nebraska, already a $6.5 billion force in annual cattle sales, is asserting itself in early 2007 in its battle for market share with Texas and Kansas.
As high corn prices take their toll, Texas and Kansas producers cut their January feedlot placements by more than 35 percent from a year ago. Nebraska, the other member of the big three of beef production, held virtually steady.
Analysts Darrell Mark, John Harrington and Jeff Stolle agree that Nebraska’s relative stability connects to its booming ethanol sector and to the ready availability of ethanol byproducts as a cheaper feed source.
Cow Calf: Early Lactation Considerations
The early lactation period is the time of highest nutrient requirements for the beef cow. Providing the nutrients needed is crucial to enable the cow to nurse the calf as well as stay in the body condition needed to be able to rebreed within 80 to 85 days after calving. According to the National Research Council (NRC) 1996 edition recommendations, a 1200 lb cow producing about 15 pounds of milk per day at peak lactation will require a diet containing about 9.5% crude protein (CP) and about 58% total digestible nutrients (TDN). First calf heifers have an even higher nutritional plane, they need a diet with about 10.5% CP and 62% TDN.
Remember that there is a biological priority for nutrients, or a hierarchy of nutrient use. Body maintenance requirements will always be met first. If there are sufficient nutrients beyond that then growth is the next priority. This explains the higher nutrient requirements for those first calf heifers because they are still growing. After growth needs have been met, nutrients in the diet are allocated for milk production. Last, after all other nutrient needs have been met, is the requirement for reproduction. Since rebreeding is a management consideration within the early lactation period, the cow-calf producer can’t afford to be short on nutrients during this period.
Marbling and Muscling in Beef Cattle
Southwest Nebraska News
Marbling and muscling in beef cattle are important to producers’ bottom lines. Marbling, or intramuscular fat, determines USDA quality grades, while muscling determines yield grades. Having an acceptable balance between both traits can increase the value of the beef carcass.
Creating a balance between marbling and muscling can be challenging. Ultrasound technology has become a popular way to measure intramuscular fat and muscling in live animals. This is important in helping producers identify ways to improve the traits. Prior to the technology, this information was only available after harvesting cattle. USDA quality graders measured carcass marbling with a visual score, while yield graders used a grid to measure ribeye size, an indication of muscling.
Stocker Cattle Forum: Dale Blasi – What Effect Will Ethanol Have On The Cattle Industry?
Many respected thought leaders in our industry have already weighed in on the short and long term economic implications of distillers grains to the cattle feeding complex. I believe that the Stocker segment can contribute to lower cost systems under these new marketing conditions by capitalizing on the availability of distillers grains, a byproduct of the ethanol fuel industry for use as a supplemental protein and/or energy source on grass.
Veterinarian Helps Ranchers With Livestock Tracking Program
University of California at Davis
A UC Davis veterinarian is helping California cattle producers learn the ropes of a new nationwide livestock tracking system that would help them avoid catastrophic losses in the event of a major animal disease outbreak.
John Maas, a Cooperative Extension veterinarian specializing in beef health and food safety at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, has been part of three groups that have presented more than 100 meetings on the new tracking system in California and throughout the United States.
The system was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state agricultural agencies and livestock producers after the 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic in the United Kingdom. It is designed to help producers and animal-health officials respond quickly to an animal disease outbreak.