Daily Archives: May 18, 2007

Recommendations to Prevent Unintended Self-Injection, Other Risks from Animal Antibiotic Micotil 300

Recommendations to Prevent Unintended Self-Injection, Other Risks from Animal Antibiotic Micotil 300

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued recommendations for safe practices to protect livestock producers, veterinarians, and other workers from unintended self-injections and other hazardous occupational exposures to an animal antibiotic, tilmicosin phosphate, sold as Micotil 300®. NIOSH made the recommendations in Workplace Solutions: Preventing Worker Deaths and Injuries When Handling Micotil 300®. NIOSH noted two incidents in Nebraska in which one cattle rancher died after an unintended self-injection and another was treated in an intensive care unit.

Micotil 300® is used to treat a bovine and ovine respiratory disease known as “shipping fever.” In the U.S., veterinarians may give the antibiotic to animals or prescribe it for their clients to use on their cattle and sheep. In reported cases in which exposure occurred from unintended injections, the exposure resulted in cardiotoxic effects, ranging from rapid heart beat to reducing the heart’s ability to contract, resulting in effects serious enough to cause death. In the Nebraska cases, the ranchers unintentionally injected themselves when they were jostled while trying to administer the antibiotic to their livestock.


Ropes Used to Detect E. coli O157:H7 Bacteria in Feedlot Cattle

Ropes Used to Detect E. coli O157:H7 Bacteria in Feedlot Cattle

Ropin’ the Web

Food safety division scientists have found that hanging pieces of rope in feedlot cattle pens is an inexpensive, fast and convenient way to detect and potentially manage the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in animals before slaughter.

“We’re trying to get a handle on and keep track of the contamination levels of E. coli O157:H7 in livestock to prevent outbreaks that have happened in other parts of the country,” says Margaret McFall, a food safety division (FSD) laboratory scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Food. FSD conducts similar studies regularly to support industry’s commitment to improving food safety.

The study involved hanging ropes in feedlot pens the night before the cattle were slaughtered. “The ropes were used as sampling devices,” says McFall. “When you put something strange in a pen, the animals are attracted to it and rub and chew on it, and the E. coli O157:H7 in their mouth can be transferred to the rope.”


Know the Cull Cow Grades Before You Sell

Know the Cull Cow Grades Before You Sell

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. The Beef Audits have generally shown that cull cows, bulls, and cull dairy cows make up about 20% of the beef available for consumption in the United States. About half of this group (or 10% of the beef supply) comes from cull beef cows.

In a drought-plagued year, the percentage of some herds that are being culled goes even higher than the survey estimates of 20% of each cow herd. Whether we are culling because of drought or to improve the productivity of the herd, it is important to understand the values placed on cull cows intended for slaughter.


Breeding soundness examinations

Breeding soundness examinations

by Bob Larson, professor of production medicine, Kansas State University

Angus Journal

In order for cow-calf operations to be successful, a high percentage of cows must become pregnant in a confined breeding season, and almost all of those successful matings must occur within the first 35-40 days of the breeding season. In order to accomplish this goal, the cows must be cycling at the start of the breeding season. The bulls must be able to detect each cow in heat, mount her and deliver fertile semen to her reproductive tract. Failure of bulls to successfully accomplish mating results in very poor reproductive efficiency.


Nebraska Cattlemen applauds proposed CAFO rule extension

Nebraska Cattlemen applauds proposed CAFO rule extension

Midwest Messenger

Lincoln, Neb. – Nebraska Cattlemen is applauding the Environmental

Protection Agency for proposing to extend the July 31 deadline by which newly defined concentrated animal feeding operations are to seek a national Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Similarly, the deadline would be extended for CAFOs which already have a NPDES permit to develop and implement nutrient management plans.

Nebraska Cattlemen has also thanked Rep. Adrian Smith for his support in requesting that EPA propose the extensions to Feb. 27, 2009, which are needed because EPA has not finalized court ordered revisions to 2003 CAFO NPDES and Effluent Limitations Guideline regulations.


Tiny, portable biosensor to be a big gun in the fight against food contamination

Tiny, portable biosensor to be a big gun in the fight against food contamination


As more and more chemical assistance becomes available to farmers, it becomes more and more important to be able to accurately measure if these chemicals make it through into our food and drink. And while pesticides and herbicides can have an immediate or accumulative harmful effect on our bodies, the accidental ingestion of small amounts of antibiotics through animal meat can contribute to the strengthening of bacterial resistance to antibiotics – a potentially more serious side-effect. Testing for contaminants has typically been slow, expensive and limited by laboratory location – but this tiny, portable and cheap biosensor developed in Spain makes it much quicker and easier to test a range of agricultural products on the spot.


The Michigan State Fair

The Michigan State Fair

By Jenny Nolan

The Detroit News

In 1839 a handful of Michigan pioneers planned a state fair, the first in the country. It was a disaster. And it probably explains why fair historians rarely if ever refer to the event, and instead start counting the fairs from 1849.

      The 1839 Ann Arbor fiasco had only two exhibitors and not many more visitors. The official explanation was that “Exhibitors forgot it was opening.” Agricultural eminences conveniently forgot about the fair for 10 years until the idea came up again in 1849.

      Even counting the successful 1849 fair as the first, the Michigan State Fair is the oldest in the country, but that fair was almost derailed by political squabbling. One of the foremost advocates of an annual fair was the Democratic governor of the state, Ephradatus Ransom. He also was president of the Michigan Agricultural Society, and some of the other officers of the society were members of his administration.


Study: Ethanol raises food costs

Study: Ethanol raises food costs

Report, partly funded by livestock industry, sees increase since July.


CHICAGO (Reuters) — Booming ethanol production may help lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but it has already increased the grocery bill for the average American by $47 since July, according to a study from Iowa State University.

U.S. ethanol is made primarily from corn, which is a major source of feed for chickens, hogs and cattle. As a result prices for both meat and eggs will rise, according to the study from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, which was partly funded by the livestock industry and released May 11.

“We are going to end up paying more for food domestically because we have an ethanol policy that is basically tying the price of corn and feed and the resulting food to the price of imported oil,” said J. Patrick Boyle, chief executive of the American Meat Institute, one of the organizations which helped fund the study.


Japan Rejects Request To End Beef Imports Age Limit

Japan Rejects Request To End Beef Imports Age Limit

Wisconsin Ag Connection

Japanese agriculture minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka rejected a U.S. request to eliminate a cattle age limit on beef imports from the U.S. at a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Mike Johanns. Dow Jones News reports that when resuming U.S. beef imports last year after a ban over mad-cow disease fears, Japan limited imports to those from cattle aged 20 months or less.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Johanns asked Matsuoka to accept an expected decision by the World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, to allow the U.S. to export beef irrespective of cattle age, the officials said a Kyodo News report.


Future Is Close: In 10 Years Brazil Will Be Planet’s Main Food Warehouse

Future Is Close: In 10 Years Brazil Will Be Planet’s Main Food Warehouse 

Written by Cláudia Abreu and Joel dos Santos Guimarães  

Brazzil Magazine

The adjectives are many and voiced loudly all around: Brazil is the world’s warehouse; it is the world’s source of food. Up to a little while ago, these words were just said, not taken seriously. Now, however, a scenery with ballast, anchored to solid bases, is being drawn for Brazilian agribusiness.

The picture has the support of institutions like the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the World Bank and the United Nations (UN) itself.


Packer ownership ban would hinder marketing system

Packer ownership ban would hinder marketing system

By Greg Henderson


“The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.” — Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, 1912–2006.

A staunch proponent of a free market system, Milton Friedman stressed the advantages of the marketplace and the disadvantages of government intervention. His adamant support for capitalism suggests he would likely be critical of proposals that are being considered for the 2007 Farm Bill. Specifically, debate is underway regarding the Competition Title of the new farm bill, which could have a dramatic impact on alternative marketing arrangements.

Five years ago during debate on the 2002 Farm Bill, a proposal was offered that would have banned packers from owning, feeding or controlling livestock more than 14 days prior to slaughter.

A proponent of banning packer ownership, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley says, “Outlawing packer ownership of livestock would make sure the forces of the marketplace would work for the benefit of the farmer just as much as it does for the slaughterhouse. You could even say that packer ownership of livestock frustrates and compromises the marketplace, so the farmer doesn’t get a fair price.”


State court rules bovines have right of passage

State court rules bovines have right of passage


Yuma Sun

If you have any doubt that the Wild West is still alive in Arizona, a new court ruling could change that.

In a unanimous decision, the state Court of Appeals concluded that if you hit a bull or a cow crossing the road, it’s pretty much your fault. Put another way, cattle are presumed to have the right of way.

Charles B. “Doc” Lane, lobbyist for the Arizona Cattle Growers Association, said the ruling should come as no surprise.  


Cattle nutrition in era of expensive inputs

Cattle nutrition in era of expensive inputs

Delta Farm Press

Ideally, cattle producers would like to graze their herds as much as possible. Cutting out hay cheapens the whole operation.

“Cows were put out here as late as Jan. 30,” said John Jennings, Arkansas Extension forage specialist, at one of his test fields at the recent field day at the Livestock and Forestry Branch Station in Batesville, Ark. “The last weight was taken in early April. There’s a 71-day period we’re measuring.”

In all four cow groups tested, the cows lost weight. One reason was the weather was warm through January and then turned cold and stayed cold into March. Then it got very warm before turning cold again. “There was a lot of stress on the cows.”

The cows that grazed early pastures had calves that gained, on average, an extra 0.3 pound per head, per day. That’s compared to the cows that were fed hay. Per cow, that equals an extra 49 cents per day in value.

The cows that were grazing ate half as much hay as those fed full hay while on dormant bermudagrass pasture. “If we put a cost on that at current prices ($50 per round bale), that’s $1.16 per head, per day for the cows fed full hay.


How to Boost Agricultural Research

How to Boost Agricultural Research

US land-grant universities need a radical rethink of their priorities.

The Scientist

The United States is at a crossroads in agricultural research. For 120 years, our land-grant universities and their associated agricultural experiment stations and extension services have succeeded because their collective mission links research, teaching, and outreach. There are cracks in the foundation, however: In 1993, a former land-grant university dean, Harry Kunkel, suggested that knowledge gathered through scholarship was being integrated inadequately. Despite advances in genomics that could be used to identify genetic markers for desired production traits, as well as resistance of plants and animals to parasites, disease, and harsh environments, these failures are even truer today.


Interns Gear up for Summer at American Hereford Association

Interns Gear up for Summer at American Hereford Association

The American Hereford Association (AHA), Hereford Publications Inc. (HPI) and Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC, Kansas City, Mo., have hired three interns who are gearing up for an action-packed summer.

 “Interning with a beef cattle association familiarizes you with the day-to-day challenges of the beef industry from a different perspective than you would learn in a classroom setting,” says Chris Stephens, AHA director of youth activities. “Primarily, the interns learn the inner working between breeders and the Association staff working to achieve the goals of a large group with diversified backgrounds.”

The AHA offers a wide variety of learning opportunities through the summer internship program. “My experience interning with the Association and serving on the junior board greatly prepared me for my job,” Stephens says. “I would not have pursued this position if I had not been able to see the opportunities available through this Association.”

Amber Jones, Belen, N.M., is serving as the CHB LLC communications intern. Jones is dual majoring in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry at Kansas State University (K-State) with plans to graduate this December.

She served as advertising manager for the Kansas State Agriculturalist this spring. In this role, Jones oversaw eight students and coordinated sales, layout and design of advertisements for the magazine.

Jones’ background has kept her involved in the beef industry. Her experience in FFA and 4-H has given her prime knowledge of beef production through showing and raising cattle. She will showcase her talents this summer with various tasks, such as designing newsletters, writing articles and developing advertisements.

Tosha Powell, Amber, Okla., has joined the AHA/HPI communication   team as an intern. She is a senior studying agricultural communications with a minor in agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Powell plans to graduate in December.

At OSU, Powell has served as a member and secretary for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She is also a member of the Collegiate Farm Bureau, Collegiate FFA and Collegiate 4-H.

This summer, Powell will assist with editorial content for the Hereford World magazine, as well as various communication projects related to the Junior National Hereford Expo and other AHA events..

Crystal Young, Breton, Alta., Canada, will assist the junior department as the 2007 youth activities intern. Young is a senior at K-State with dual majors in agricultural communications and journalism and animal sciences and industry.

Young found her way to America through her skill of livestock judging. She first attended Butler County Community College as a member of the livestock judging team. She then joined the K-State team under livestock judging coach Scott Schaake.

Active on campus, Young is involved in several organizations. She serves as president of the Collegiate Cattlewomen’s Association, a member of Block & Bridle and organizes K-State’s annual breast cancer awareness campaign — Tough Enough to Wear Pink.