The May 9, issue # 536, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at:
With calving season pretty much behind us in Ohio, a primary focus becomes getting them bred back for 2008. This week’s letter targets just that!
Articles this week include:
* HEIFER DEVELOPMENT: Rebreeding
* Length of Breeding Season Does Matter
* Estrus Synchronization and Artificial Insemination Alternatives for Beef Cattle
* New Eastern Corn Belt Weekly Returns Series for Cattle Finishing
* Forage Focus: Chemical Weed Control in Pastures
* Alfalfa Recovery from the Spring Frost
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
Pasture Fly Control topic of today’s of Herdcast
Today Dr. Ralph Williams, Entomology Department, Purdue University, continues his four part series on Fly control. Today’s topic is “Pasture Fly Control”
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NCBA: Animal Welfare Is Our Livelihood & Our Legacy
Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2007) – Paxton Ramsey is a Texas cattle producer and member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). In testifying on behalf of the American rancher before the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry, Ramsey reaffirms the importance of animal welfare to the cattle industry.
“As a rancher, the care and well-being of my livestock is top priority. Ranchers are the original proponents of animal care and welfare because we understand the moral obligation that comes with being a steward of our animals. We spend every day living off the land, working with our livestock – and it is our passion.
“This long-standing commitment to the health and welfare of our animals is probably not something we talk about enough in public, because it is not something that we have to make a conscious decision to pursue. Good care of our animals is second nature to us. It is not something we do because it is popular or newsworthy. We do it because these animals depend on us and we cannot fail them.
ID Can Help Supply Information Consumers Demand
by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS
In the last issue we began a discussion of factors concerning the Animal Identification programs currently being put in place. As discussed, the program in general has been a response to food safety and disease issues that have arisen here in the U. S. and around the world over the last few years. Much of this stems from a need to be able to track an affected animal back through the marketing channels it went through in an effort to determine where the animal may have contracted a disease or what other animals it may have come in contact with and potentially exposed. Additionally, the animal identification and related electronic and paper trail should make the tracking process fairly rapid thus reducing potential lag time in identifying affected animals. Given the transient nature of the beef industry in the U. S. a program of this nature, if properly administered, should be useful in accomplishing the set goals.
Cattlemen Need to Explore More Marketing Options
To combat these high corn prices, cattle producers need to explore several marketing and feeding options, says Darrell Mark, University of Nebraska-Lincoln livestock marketing specialist.
Corn prices have gone from almost $2 a bushel in September 2006 to $3.50 to $4 today, while soybean meal prices also have increased from $160 to $220 a ton. Alfalfa is averaging $90 to $100 compared to $60 per ton at this time last year.
“Drought and strong demand has brought all hay prices up, even baled cornstalks are running high,” he says.
The break-even prices are in the low to mid-$90 range, he explains. “With fairly high break-evens, can cattle producers make any money?”
Cattle producers also can lock in feed costs. “Corn prices will be up and down this year,” Mark says. “Everything from the weather and ethanol production will make them volatile. So, in order to remove that volatility, producers should lock in feed costs.”
There are several ways to do that. First, do long hedges in the corn markets. Coupling that with long feeder cattle hedges and short fed cattle hedges can protect the feeding margin.
Kentucky farmers donate cattle to hard-hit Louisiana
Louisville Courier Journal
In a nation of tragedies defined by headlines, voice-over videos and 10-second sound bites, hurricanes Katrina and Rita are now old news.
Another truckload of bulls, or hay, or horses, or fencing supplies leaving Kentucky for southwest Louisiana and southern Mississippi often goes unnoticed.
But the struggle by many farmers to stay on their farms and rebuild continues in regions hit hardest by the flooding and other devastation. A large number who lost their homes, equipment, barns, fences and crops were so overwhelmed by the losses that they had no resources to begin rebuilding their livestock herds.
“We lost an estimated 35,000 head of cattle,” said Bob Felknor of the Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association. “Everything in the media centered around New Orleans … but there were people outside that area that came back and there was nothing left. Everything was just gone.”
Japan tests fail to show BSE infection from young cattle
Brain matter carrying mad cow disease from the two youngest cattle confirmed with BSE in Japan has so far failed to infect mice in tests, a Health Ministry official said on Wednesday.
The test results could influence Japan’s trade talks with the United States, as Tokyo has restricted American beef imports to cattle aged 20 months or younger on grounds that the youngest case of the disease was found in a 21-month-old animal.
Washington is pressing Tokyo to raise the limit to up to 30 months, arguing this is in line with international standards.
Japanese scientists used brain matter from cattle aged 21 months and 23 months which had been diagnosed with mad cow disease in 2003 and were subsequently slaughtered.
Livestock producers warned about anthrax danger
Farm and Ranch Guide
The North Dakota state veterinarian says recent heavy rainfall in portions of North Dakota should prompt livestock producers to take measures to protect their animals from anthrax.
“Producers in areas that have had a recent history of anthrax should vaccinate their cattle and horses as soon as possible if they have not already done so,” said Dr, Susan Keller. “Producers in these areas and throughout the state should be monitoring their herds for unexpected deaths and reporting them to their veterinarians or to animal health authorities.”
Keller said the 2005 outbreak should serve as a warning about the danger of anthrax to grazing animals. More than 500 confirmed deaths from anthrax were reported that year, and total losses were estimated at more than 1,000 head, including cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk.
Cattle Preconditioning Forum: Pasture Practices For Reducing Parasitism
Pasture management and anthelmintics (dewormers) are two methods now used to control internal parasites. Pasture management practices may reduce the parasite burden in cattle; however, this method alone will not guarantee parasite eradication.
As discussed earlier, part of the nematode life cycle is on pasture. Pasture management methods designed to reduce third-stage larva populations include the following:
Move more susceptible younger cattle to a safe pasture. Safe pastures include pastures that were not grazed during the last 12 months as well as small grain pastures developed from a prepared seedbed. When a pasture lies untilled and is plowed, contamination can drop quickly. Always deworm cattle prior to placement on a safe pasture; otherwise, the pasture can immediately become contaminated.
Colorado’s new gold rush
Farmers in the state plan a record corn crop this year, hoping to cash in on demand for ethanol
By DEBBIE KELLEY
THE GAZETTE (CO)
Corn is becoming the new cash cow for farmers.
Statewide and nationwide, farmers plan to plant more corn this year than ever to meet demand for the gasoline additive ethanol.
Corn planted in Colorado this spring will increase by 25 percent over last year, to 1.5 million acres, estimates Bernie Lange, spokesman for the Colorado Corn Growers Association.
“That’s probably the largest planting season since 1930,” he said.
Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects a record 90.5 million acres of corn to be planted, a 15 percent increase over 2006.
Producers Urge Congress to Retain Marketing Choices
America’s cattle producers say the government should help grow the U.S. beef industry and not limit or remove choices in the marketing of cattle. This message was at the heart of testimony given by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry held a hearing on Market Structure of the Livestock Industry. NCBA President and North Carolina cattle producer John Queen told the subcommittee, “When it comes to market structure and competition issues, NCBA’s position is simple – we ask that the government not tell us how we can or cannot market our cattle.”
Horse slaughtering, values clash in Illinois
By Erik Potter
St. Louis POST-DISPATCH
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Legislature is close to shutting the door on the last horse-slaughtering plant in the United States, casting in moral terms the ending of America’s supply of horse meat to countries where it is considered a delicacy.
Most states, including Illinois and Missouri, have outlawed the human consumption of horse meat. But Illinois still allows horses to be slaughtered for consumption overseas — primarily in France, Belgium and Japan.
Banning horse slaughter has become a perennial issue in Illinois, which now finds itself as the only horse-slaughtering state in the nation after a federal court closed two plants in Texas earlier this year.
Stocker Cattle Forum: Treating Enteric (Intestinal) Diseases
Stocker cattle may experience some enteric problems. This is usually evidenced by a change in the character of the stools, from slightly loose to watery. There are many reasons why an animal will develop diarrhea. It is important to characterize the consistency and the color of the feces when deciding how to treat the problem.
Infection with coccidia is a common cause of bloody diarrhea. These animals will have watery, bloody diarrhea. It is important to note that almost all stocker cattle will have some level of coccidia infection but may not be showing any signs of the disease. The stress of shipping, dietary changes, processing and mingling with new animals may be enough to bring on clinical coccidiosis (bloody diarrhea). A coccidiostat should be incorporated into the receiving ration. It may be necessary to treat individual animals that are showing severe signs. Sulfa drugs (oral drench or injectable) are effective for treating coccidiosis. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.
Heavy roundworm infestation may also result in diarrhea. The diarrhea can be slightly loose to watery and is usually normal color. This condition is handled easily during processing by using an effective deworming agent. It may be necessary, however, to repeat the treatment depending on the directions of the dewormer.
Seed producers affected by decision on Roundup Ready alfalfa
Seeds can be harvested, segregated but not sold
By JIM GRANSBERY
The Billings Gazette
A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct an environmental impact study on Roundup Ready alfalfa.
Until that study is completed, no Roundup Ready alfalfa seed can be sold or planted. However, the judge allowed that forage fields in place can be harvested, and the hay can be sold and fed to livestock. Seed producers can maintain their current fields and harvest their seed, but it must be segregated and cannot be sold.
Western griller? Ranch steak? Meet the new meat cuts
By Lisa Singhania
It’s no secret that grocery stores are adding coffee bars, mouth-watering boulangeries, even sushi bars in hopes of wooing increasingly discerning consumers who want high-quality food without hours of preparation.
The same is true in the butcher case, where a combination of improved butchering techniques and marketing magic have generated new, attractively-named cuts of meat designed to appeal to flavor- and time-conscious cooks.
And now these cutting-edge cuts — which include the flatiron, the Western griller, ranch steak and petite tender, to name a few — even are showing up on restaurant menus.
Swan helps lead Minnesota beef industry
BALATON, Minn. — If you have ever been to an event in southwest Minnesota that has to do with cattle, then you have probably seen Dennis Swan.
Swan has volunteered for cattle boards, church boards, school boards, elevator boards and township boards. All of those hours add up to years of volunteer time, and have produced a lifetime of achievement.
Swan has been a member of the Minnesota Beef Council for 16 years, and has been chairman for six. He was also very involved with setting up the first cattle associations in Minnesota. All of that work has meant time away from his family, but because of the meetings Swan has gained an enormous group of friends that he sometimes sees only once a year.