Don’t Poison Your Cattle
by Ed Haag
In the garden the delphinium is an innocuous flowering perennial, but on the range as larkspur, it is one deadly customer. Consider the following: A beef producer leases a pasture in southern Idaho and, ignorant of the consequences of grazing larkspur, he releases more than 200 animals onto the site.
“In four days he lost 54 head, including several bulls,” says James Pfister, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research rangeland management specialist and an authority on toxic plants that kill livestock.
Evaluating Silage Quality
Ensiling does not improve the quality of a forage. The quality of the feed that is taken out of the silo can be no better than the quality of the feed that was put into the silo.
Obtaining Samples for Quality Examination
It is extremely important that a representative sample of silage be obtained for quality determinations. How useful the analysis of silage will be is determined in large measure by analysis of silage as a whole. It how well the sample taken represents the silage is of little value to do quality evaluation of a silage sample that does not represent the silage being fed.
Forage samples for analysis should be taken as the silo is being filled. Sample each field and crop type separately. Take small sample of each load brought to the silo. As soon as possible after a load is sampled the forage should be placed in an airtight container and in a cool place such as a refrigerator or freezer. Individual samples from one field or crop type should be well mixed and a subsample taken for analysis. Enough forage to fill a container the size of a bread bag is more than adequate for laboratory analyses. The container used should be sealed to avoid moisture loss and frozen until it is submitted or mailed to a laboratory.
Value Added Management Can Improve Values
by: Clifford Mitchell
Cattlemen have often been accused of being slow to adapt to new husbandry practices, alternative feed sources or to even new vaccines that are just a tick better than the old ones. When he gets caught in this quandary, it often reminds us of the Cuba Gooding Jr. character from the movie Jerry McQuire and he’ll say “Show me the money”!
Adding value is nothing new to the beef industry. It would surprise most on how long it has actually been part of the cattleman’s vocabulary. Most programs prove their worth up and down the chain. Due to differences in supply, feed and transportation costs, it is sometimes hard to put an exact value on what these different forms of value-added management return to the producer.
Fast rising input costs, often changing overnight, leave most producers searching for answers. Since no single protocol fits every operation in the beef business, there is no simple solution to bringing home the most dollars for the calf crop in a given year. Making changes to combat narrow margins are often confined to management practices because changes to genetics take a long time.
Angus Association Signs Cooperative Agreement with USDA
St. Joseph, Mo, August 8, 2007—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has signed a cooperative agreement with the American Angus AssociationSM. A ceremonial signing was held to recognize the cooperative efforts of both groups in the education of the premise registration process and enrollments.
In recent years, biosecurity issues around the world have prompted action in the United States to avoid similar outbreaks potentially threatening our food supply. It also sparked an overall effort to educate those in production agriculture on the risks and preventative measures associated with biosecurity issues. Traceability, through premise registration, has been identified as one key preventative component in this effort.
Wisconsin Web Site Helps Locate Forages
Hay and Forage Grower
Hay and forage buyers may be able to connect with local sellers — and save on transportation costs — using a Web site developed by the University of Wisconsin Extension Grains Team. So says Mike Ballweg, UW ag agent from Sheboygan County. The Farmer-to-Farmer site, searchable by county, is currently designed for Wisconsin growers. But out-of-state hay buyers and sellers can also list on it.
Management software is e-business boost for farmers
Management software is e-business boost for farmers
Up to 250 beef farmers in the West Midlands region can look forward to enhancing their business competitiveness when they enroll on a £1 million comprehensive e-commerce course.
The innovative Farm Connections scheme is aimed at integrating beef producers into the professional supply chain with a package which includes the provision of laptops, beef enterprise software and full support and software training.
Farm Connections, which will also run in the South West and Wales, was developed out of a partnership between Sainsbury’s, major meat processor Anglo Beef Processors (ABP), and the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF), an organization set up to help the British red meat industry recapture and maintain a leading position in the marketplace.
Experts speak on supplementing cattle feed with co-products
The Rural Review
As grain prices rise and hay is in short supply, beef cattle producers may look at co-products to fill the void in their cow-calf and feeding operations, said a University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator.
“To answer some of the questions such producers might have, a conference will be held Nov. 28 at the U of I Extension building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds,” said Dave Seibert. “A wide range of topics related to feeding co-products will be covered by expert speakers from three states.” The conference begins with registration at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 4:45 p.m.
Consumers Union Urges Governor Schwarzenegger to Pass Bill Requiring Labeling of Cloned Milk and Meat
Sacramento, Calif.–Consumers Union today urged Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign into law legislation requiring the labeling of cloned milk and meat. California Senate Bill 63, requiring labeling of cloned milk and meat, passed the Legislature and is being sent to the Governor for a signature.
“Foods from cloned animals will likely be in supermarkets, unlabeled, before the end of this year,” said Elisa Odabashian, Director of Consumers Union’s West Coast office. “Americans want to know whether the food they buy and eat is coming from cloned animals because they are concerned about this untried and untested technology. The Governor should sign this legislation to require food manufacturers to label food derived from cloned animals so consumers can avoid them if they choose to and so that the government can track any future negative health impacts.”
Cattle Herd Bull Procurement: Planning For Purchasing
No matter what the source, knowledgeable bull procurement requires prior planning. Stay informed of upcoming sale dates, times, and locations by monitoring industry publications and websites. Make sure that catalog and mailing list addition requests are made in a timely manner. Take time to scan through bull sale catalogs in advance of sales where potential herd sires will be purchased.
Bull registration numbers are typically listed in sale catalogs. They can be obtained directly from breeders as well. Registration numbers allow bull buyers to “do their homework” behind the scenes. Breed association websites have search tools that not only allow for individual bulls to be researched, but also relatives including progeny (calves) out of the bulls or out of the bulls’ parents. Calving intervals of dams, performance ratios, current expected progeny differences (EPDs), pedigrees, and birth dates are some examples of data that are easily accessible on the Internet for many breeds. Sometimes after sale catalogs are printed, EPDs are updated prior to the sale. Looking up current EPDs on sale lots of interest can provide more reliable information about the sale offering in this case.
Farms and Ranches Risk Nitrate Poisoning in Drought Stressed Forages.
By: Ron F. Meyer
Colorado State Univesity
Don’t graze or feed drought injured crops with cattle or other ruminant livestock unless they have been tested for Nitrates. Five thousand parts per million is considered the upper safe limit for nitrate nitrogen in livestock forage.
It should be noted that the nitrates will not affect the corn grain on the ear for either sweet corn, or corn used for human consumption (corn meal, corn flakes, etc.), or livestock feeds and other corn grain products. Nitrates will concentrated in plant stems and to a lesser degree in the leaves of plants when normal growth has been stunted and grain production has been severely reduced or stopped. This situation can be caused by drought, frost, or hail damage. Finally, nitrate poisoning from forages primarily affects cattle, sheep, goats, and other ruminant animals. Crop and livestock producers should take these warnings very seriously because nitrate poisoning can kill cattle and other livestock very quickly. Nitrate concentrations can vary across small areas of a field or pasture so that forages that may be good in one area may be toxic just a few feet away.
S. Korea finds more banned bones in beef shipment
Rocky Mountain News
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea found banned bones in a U.S. beef shipment for third time this month and plans to send the entire shipment back to the United States, an official said today.
South Korea’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry said it found rib bones earlier in the day in one box of a 17.8-ton shipment that arrived in South Korea on Aug. 5, the ministry official said. He asked not to be named, citing the agency’s policy.
The official declined to identify the U.S. facility that processed the beef.
But he said Seoul had already suspended the facility from shipping meat bound for South Korea and revoked its import approval needed for export to South Korea because of similar violations in recent months.
Last year, South Korea agreed to import only boneless U.S. meat from cattle under 30 months old, lifting an almost three-year ban imposed on American beef after mad cow disease was discovered in the U.S.
Foot and mouth ban shuts Queen’s estate
By Greig Box Turnbull and Rosa Princ
The Daily Mirror
The Royal family were hit by the latest foot and mouth outbreak yesterday.
They had to ban the public from the Windsor Castle estate when the disease was confirmed nearby.
Aides closed the deer park and Long Walk and banned dog walking and horse riding in Windsor Great Park. Disinfectant pads were put at the estate entrance, which has two dairy and beef farms.
This weekend’s National Carriage Driving contest was cancelled and the Guards Polo Club, where Princes William and Harry play, ceased all operations.
The estate is within a six mile surveillance zone imposed after the disease was found five miles away on a farm at Egham, Surrey.
Hunting is Now a Major Economic Force in Rural America
by: Eric Grant
As a third-generation Texas rancher, Richard Nunley knows the value of raising quality cattle.
But he’s also come to realize the importance of managing his ranch more holistically, and understands that preserving and protecting wildlife habitat not only is good for his cows, but also for his bottom line.
The bulk of Nunley Brothers Ranches, which is owned and managed by Richard and his brother Bob, is located in the Texas brush country about 60 miles west of San Antonio. It’s known for trophy whitetail bucks, quail and wild hogs, which make his property highly coveted by hunters.
Good Genetics Are Worth The Price
Do you buy a bull only to breed your cows or do you select a bull to improve the efficiency and profitability of your operation?
Your answer to this question determines what you might pay for a bull. An assumption will be made that you are looking at the bottom line, profit, and the bull(s) you purchase will assist you in attaining that goal.
Cattlemen often ask the wrong question. They want to know what breed or breeds are best? Cattlemen should be concerned with choosing the “right” bull within the breed of choice. Yes, we want young bulls to be well-developed and heavy for their age.
Missouri Agriculture Lunch series visits the Barnitz farm
The Rolla Daily News
Kristen Jump, Staff Writer
George, Elizabeth, Frank and Lisa Barnitz opened up their farm, Barnitz Farms, Inc., for a Missouri Agriculture Lunch and Learn Series event Friday.
The goal of the event is to highlight the importance of agriculture, especially the beef industry, to Missouri’s economy. Representatives from Missouri’s cattle, soybean and corn industries were present to share facts and insights while participants enjoyed a delicious, home-cooked lunch.