Cattle Marketing Symposium – All Natural Beef: Mark McCully- CAB
By definition, niche production isn’t for everyone. But if you have a focus on quality and want to go the extra mile to meet this growing part of consumer demand, raising natural beef can be profitable. It’s about perceptions, so we must differentiate cattle produced with no implants, antibiotics or animal-derived feed—without casting aspersions on more conventionally-raised beef that remains the basis for consumer demand.
All product labeled as Certified Angus Beef (CAB) conforms to government food safety standards and as such, contains no harmful residues of antibiotics or growth promotants. However, to meet the growing demand in the natural beef marketplace, CAB developed a brand extension known as CAB brand Natural, licensing production at Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. and Niman Ranch.
Cow Calf: Flushing Beef Cattle
Flushing is a management term for providing high quality feeds, usually grains prior to the start of the breeding to increase reproductive performance. Flushing has been used in the swine industry to increase the number of ovulations in sows. Can this concept be applied to young beef females that calve in less than adequate body condition?
David Lalman at Oklahoma State University conducted research investigating the impact of changing body condition after calving on pregnancy rate in 1st-calf-cows. As expected, young females that calve in a body condition score of less than 5 and maintained BCS through 12 weeks post-calving had the lowest pregnancy rates. Heifers that calve in a BCS of less than 5 then fed increased energy post-calving, which would be somewhat like flushing the female because there is a substantial increase in weight gain in these heifers, achieve a pregnancy rate of 66%, which is well below and acceptable rebreeding rates for females during their second breeding season. Interesting in this data set is that heifer that calved in a BCS of greater than 5 and were fed extra energy after calving had only three percentage units higher pregnancy rate compared to heifers that calved in a similar BCS and did not loose weight post-calving (94% vs 91% pregnancy rate).
Research focuses on lowering input costs
Farm & Ranch Guide
Production input costs for cow-calf producers continue to rise, while the value of cull cows has clearly not risen as quickly, said a scientist at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory in Mandan.
Dr. Scott Kronberg, an ARS research range scientist with an animal focus, said his fall and winter grazing research project is looking at ways to reduce those input costs with longer grazing.
“If calf producers get less for their calves, they may still be able to produce them profitably if they can lower their calf production costs,” said Kronberg. “I think we will see a move into lower inputs in cattle production, and one major way to do this is to lower winter feed costs.
Bull fertility and culling decisions
By Bethany Lovaas,
University of Minnesota Beef Team
Minnesota Farm Guide
You’ve been using that same old bull, year after year, and he’s done a great job for you. His calves are born easy, they perform well, but you just don’t know how long the old guy is going to last.
Here are some things to take into consideration about your bulls continued breeding success, old and young.
If you’ve wintered over your bull or have a fall breeding season, one major issue you have to be aware of is cold injury. As is typical of northern U.S. winters, we experienced some severely cold weather. This has an especially significant impact on the bulls. If they don’t have adequate shelter or bedding, there is a good chance that they may have experienced some cold damage to their testicles.
Internal strife leaves cattle group vulnerable to opposition
Cattle producers have always been an independent lot, including when they’re trying to get together on public policy.
Still, the spectacle surrounding one of the industry’s biggest interest groups, R-CALF USA, has been something to behold.
Consider what’s happened since the beginning of the year at the organization, formally known as the Ranchers-Cattlemen Legal Action Fund, United Stockgrowers of America.
NCBA: Cattlemen Conclude Successful Legislative Conference
Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2007) - More than 200 cattle producers from across the nation are concluding a successful week in the nation’s capital today, as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) wraps up its annual Spring Legislative Conference.
The meeting was highlighted by an address from President George W. Bush on Wednesday, in which the President focused on the importance international trade and sound economic policy hold for the cattle industry and all of American agriculture. But NCBA members also heard from many other key policy makers throughout the week.
BeefTalk: Is Manure a Waste Problem or a Resource?
Our mindset determines to what extent we are open to change and if the possibility really exists.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist
NDSU Extension Service
Change really is a function of the mind. Our mindset determines to what extent we are open to change and if the possibility really exists. For all practical purposes, how we look at a problem will determine if we are willing to change.
The challenge that most beef producers are trying to decipher comes in the form of a question. Is the operation that I manage an animal feeding operation? Really, whether the answer is a yes or no, the question opens the door to a change. This change has significant impacts and ramifications. Ultimately, the objective is to channel those impacts toward a positive outcome for the operation.
Alternative By-product Commodities for Growing Replacement Heifers
Dr. Glen Selk, Oklahoma State University
Because of the limited forage resources, many producers may be planning on growing fewer than usual (if any at all) replacement heifers. Nonetheless, the replacement heifers that are in the future plans for Oklahoma cow herds must be fed adequately to be grown completely and ready for the next breeding season. In most instances, heifers need to gain 1 to 1.5 pounds per day from weaning to the start of the breeding season. Standing forage could be in extremely short supply and harvested hays lacking in both quality and quantity. Therefore, producers may find themselves looking for alternative feeds that can be purchased that will provide both energy and protein and yet be comparatively safe to feed in pasture or drylot situations.
If grain prices remain at comparatively low levels, mixing grains and alfalfa may provide ration programs
Puck Falls Prey to Misdirection from Activist Groups
Animal Agriculture Alliance
Late last week, succumbing to three years of protests from the extremist group Farm Sanctuary, well-known chef Wolfgang Puck announced that his company will stop serving foie gras at his restaurants. He also announced that he had teamed with the vegan-driven Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to adopt its proposed farm animal care agenda. This change will stop his company from serving meat, eggs and other products from animals that aren’t raised to standards approved by animal rights groups—groups that believe we shouldn’t eat any animal products at all.
Physiology of the Normal Estrous Cycle
Ropin’ the Web
This section describes the series of hormonal and physiological changes which occur during the cow’s normal estrous cycle. The estrous cycle in the cow averages 21 days in length, but can vary between 17 and 24 days and still be considered normal. The length of the estrous cycle is measured as the time between two consecutive estrus or heat periods. The physiological and hormonal changes which occur in the female over the estrous cycle prepare the reproductive tract for estrus (the period of sexual receptivity), ovulation (release of the egg) and implantation (attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterus).
Biosecurity has become a hot topic
The Leaf Chronicle (TN)
Biosecurity is a hot topic on the farm and across the nation. Everyone wants to ensure high-quality, safe food products are available to consumers, and but another aspect of biosecurity for beef producers is maintaining herd health.
Biosecurity incorporates those management practices aimed at keeping new diseases off the farm and keeping diseases from spreading from group to group on the farm. According to agricultural experts biosecurity is the cheapest and most effective method of disease control, since vaccinations cannot eliminate disease and treatment can only reduce losses.
Cattle producers facing a hard economic reality
High Plains Journal
Corn farmers are enjoying the high prices corn is bringing as ethanol production continues to siphon off a sizeable chunk of the U.S. corn crop, but cattle producers are taking an economic hit, said Dr. Tom Troxel, professor/beef cattle specialist University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
“Their costs are really increasing,” Troxel said of beef and dairy producers. “The high cost of corn is cutting into their profits.”
Rebecca Thomas, Grant County extension staff chair, said producers have been clobbered from several directions.
Fully integrated ethanol-producing, cattle feeding facility possible
By SHANNON RUCKMAN,
The Prairie Star
GLASGOW, Mont. – It is possible to produce ethanol with virtually no waste, fully integrating the entire system with the ethanol plant, livestock feedyard, manure management and crop fields.
Dave Hallberg, chief executive officer of PRIME BioSolutions in Omaha, Neb., knows it is possible because his company has done it.
“The goal was to strip the fossil fuels out of the production,” he said of his fully integrated system and bio-refinery during the Ethanol Producers And Consumers workshop on March 20 in Glasgow, Mont. “We strive to get everything but the squeal out.”
Japan Says Science Will Determine Fate Of U.S. Beef
Wisconsin Ag Connection
Japan Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yoshio Kobayashi said Thursday that accurate scientific data, not pressure from Washington, should be the determining factor in whether his country decides to remove current restrictions on U.S. beef.
“It is important that the issue of food safety be resolved based on scientific evidence,” Kobayashi said, responding to President Bush’s remarks Wednesday to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in which he indicated that Tokyo should fully open its market to U.S. beef, an issue Bush said he would broach when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits in April.
Livestock conference to look at ethanol’s effect on beef industry
BOZEMAN – The growing demand for ethanol and corn is having a big effect on the U.S. cattle industry, say organizers of this year’s Montana Livestock Forum and Nutrition Conference to be held April 10 and 11 in Bozeman.
“The change that the entire beef industry is talking about is the explosive growth of the ethanol industry and its effects on the price of corn for livestock,” said John Paterson, Montana State University Extension beef specialist. “As the price of corn has increased, so has the price of other feedstuffs. It is becoming more difficult for producers to stay on top of the variety of issues.”