Daily Archives: September 25, 2007

Good Fertilizer Management Begets Good Grass Production

Good Fertilizer Management Begets Good Grass Production

Beef Magazine

As the weather turns cooler, cool-season grass pastures enter their most productive period of the year. For optimum production, producers need to apply sufficient fertilizer to these grasses at the right time of year, says Dale Leikam, Kansas State University (KSU) Extension nutrient management specialist.

“Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and sulfur are the nutrients which most commonly limit cool-season grass production in Kansas,” he says.

If cool-season grass pastures have not been sampled yet for soil-test analysis, the KSU agronomist says, it should be done at once. “Cool-season grasses may need more than just N. Balanced fertility is essential to optimum yield and high quality hay. For example, adding N won’t produce optimum yields if the soil P or K levels are low,” Leikam says.


Baxter Black: Garlic Mania

Baxter Black:  Garlic Mania

As we pulled off of California Highway 101 into Gilroy, I was assailed by the pungent odor of garlic. When I rolled down the window my eyes began to water and my nose tingled. A blind man driving down the road wouldn’t need a sign to tell him he had arrived at the Annual Garlic Festival!

If there were any secular or religious worshipers of garlic, Gilroy would serve as their Mecca. Yet it is not alone in its oleic appeal. I flew into Wenatchee, WA one summer. As we deboarded the airplane, the pleasant aroma of the apple orchards filled the air. I began to salivate. Another time I saw a bumper sticker on a fertilizer salesman’s truck in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley near Bakersfield. It read, “I luv Ammonia”. To each his own.


Hay Quality Impacted by Five Factors

Hay Quality Impacted by Five Factors

by: Chuck Coffey, Noble Foundation

Cattle Today

Of all the feedstuffs livestock consume, hay is probably one of the most variable in terms of quality. Hay can look good and still be low quality, or look bad and be good quality. The best way to know for sure is to have it tested. However, many people never take the time to send off a sample for analysis.

What are the factors affecting the quality of hay?

Stage of Maturity: This refers to the growth stage of the plant at the time of harvest. Stage of maturity is by far the most important factor influencing quality. The younger the plant, the higher the quality. I’ve actually seen common bermudagrass test greater than 20 percent crude protein on a dry matter basis. If you want to harvest or purchase good quality hay, pay particular attention to maturity. In southern Oklahoma, we can expect to harvest decent quality bermudagrass if it’s cut prior to mid June. If you delay much beyond that time, quality rapidly begins declining with the first cutting.


Under Exploited Double Crop Opportunities

Under Exploited Double Crop Opportunities

Dr. Keith Johnson

Purdue University Department of Agronomy


The objective of this paper is to create awareness among Indiana forage producers about under-exploited crops that could fit into double-crop forage systems.

The Midwest USA has distinct seasons that create unique double-crop opportunities for livestock producers. There are many diverse annual crops that grow best in particular seasons of the year that can help improve the efficiency of the farming enterprise when utilized as a double crop. I want to make it clear, however, that I prefer using high quality perennial forages as the base of a livestock producer’s forage program. Annual crops can create more “headaches” for producers than perennial crops; annual crops have to be found and purchased each year, seeded in a timely fashion each year (sometimes Mother Nature does not let that occur), and there is risk associated in getting a good stand established each year.


Send Parasites Packing This Fall

Send Parasites Packing This Fall


If producers and parasitologists agree on one thing, it is the importance of fall parasite control. It’s a convenient time of the year to treat, and it is high on the producer’s priority list because of parasites like liver flukes, lice and mange.  It also is an ideal time to clean cattle of Ostertagia ostertagi (brown stomach worms) before winter.


rograms To Help Pay Hay-Hauling Costs

Programs To Help Pay Hay-Hauling Costs

Hay and Forage Grower

Drought-stricken North Carolina will help finance the costs of getting hay hauled to its livestock producers, announced Steve Troxler, state ag commissioner. Two programs are in the works: the Golden Hay Relief Program, designed to finance some of the costs to move hay and alternative forages within the state, and the Ag Partners Hay Relief Program, which will help pay to bring in out-of-state hay.

“The drought has caused an estimated $80 million in losses of hay, pasture and forage in our state,” Troxler says. “We are working feverishly to cope with this hay emergency and prevent a mass exodus of livestock farmers.”


Beef-forage systems shortcourse planned

Beef-forage systems shortcourse planned


LINCOLN—Registrations are being accepted for the 2007-08 Integrated Beef-Forage Systems shortcourse from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

The three-session, four-day course offers hands-on education designed to improve the management of beef production and forage resources in southern Nebraska. It integrates management of grassland, crop residues, irrigated pastures and harvested forages into a year-round grazing system.

Sessions are scheduled Nov. 19-20 in North Platte; Jan. 23 in Lexington, or Jan. 24 in Grant; and April 2 in Kearney or April 3 in Ogallala.


Getting ‘Bullosophical:’ Texas A&M Students ‘Steer’ Toward Ranching

Getting ‘Bullosophical:’ Texas A&M Students ‘Steer’ Toward Ranching

Guaranteed jobs after graduation make managing land and livestock attractive.



KINGSVILLE, Texas | From a laptop computer in a university classroom beams a long list of letters and numbers – an equation, Les Nunn tells his colleagues in cowboy hats, for getting the most beef out of your pastures’ grass.

It’s noon Friday at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s nascent Institute for Ranch Management, time for brown bag lunches and “bullosophy.” Nunn’s PowerPoint presentation, “Searching for the Economic Optimum Stocking Ratio,” follows another student’s profit-loss analysis of a government incentive program for land conservation and another’s stab at formulas for sharing land between hunting lessees and livestock.

University officials tout the institute as the world’s first master’s degree program in ranch management, the equivalent of a Harvard Business School for those who would take a “systems” approach to the Wild West. In addition to graduate-level business courses, students are schooled in rangeland specialties, including animal nutrition and wildlife management.

It’s an exclusive club, coming with the promise of a job after graduation. The first graduating class had two students; the current class has four, with seven students enrolled in the program this year. Twenty students applied for a slot.


USDA To Examine Health Management In Beef Industry

USDA To Examine Health Management In Beef Industry


Austin, Texas. . . . . The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking an in-depth look at priority health and management issues facing U.S. beef operations in an effort to help further the understanding of potential disease threats.

Conducted through USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), the Beef 2007-08 Study marks the third time NAHMS has focused on cow-calf operations, an important segment of the beef industry. From October through November, representatives from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey selected large beef operations in 24 states including Texas.

 “The Beef 2007-08 Study is a grass-roots effort to gather health data on America’s beef farms,” said David Abbe, director of the NASS Texas Field Office. “In order to continue to be highly productive, the U.S. beef industry relies on this objective, science-based information regarding successful management practices.”


Farm groups: USDA opens doors to mad cows from Canada

Farm groups: USDA opens doors to mad cows from Canada

by George Lauby

North Platte Bulletin

 Farm and ranch groups are battling the USDA over beef shipments from Canada. Again, it’s about mad cow disease, a mysterious disease carried by livestock for which there is no known cure.

There have been nine confirmed cases of mad cow disease in Canada. The disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Shipment of older cows that might carry the disease, will be allowed without inspection, according to the proposal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Graze To Keep Grass Healthy

Graze To Keep Grass Healthy


One way to reduce weeds in a pasture is to graze hard enough so cattle will eat them since there is nothing else to eat. While many weeds can provide satisfactory protein and energy for cattle when eaten, controlling weeds with heavy grazing pressure might not be healthy for the pasture. Every pasture has millions of weed seeds in the soil and the potential to become weedy. Since some pastures stay relatively clean while other pastures become weedy, other factors undoubtedly influence the weed population. Simply grazing or controlling weeds by spraying or cutting does little to prevent weeds from coming back again unless these other factors are changed to better support desirable plants.


E. coli 0157:H7 used in commercial cattle for first time

E. coli 0157:H7 used in commercial cattle for first time

Ag Professional

BELLEVILLE, Ontario — Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. today announced that its vaccine against E. coli O157:H7 in cattle has been used for the first time by a commercial beef producer.

Top Meadow Farms, an Ontario-based producer of premium beef, integrated use of the E. coli O157:H7 vaccine into its Top in Field(TM) cattle rearing standards, under the auspices of Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations governing the sale of the vaccine in Canada.

“Top Meadow is committed to producing beef that is of the best possible taste and healthfulness,” stated Kym Anthony, owner of Top Meadow Farms. “The Bioniche vaccine provides an important pre-harvest intervention against E. coli O157:H7 that we are very pleased to add to our CFIA-audited Top in Field(TM) feed and husbandry protocols.”


Test for tender gene discovered

Test for tender gene discovered

By Ahmed ElAmin


9/24/2007 – French scientists have developed a genetic test that could help processors chose cattle they say will result in the tenderest meat possible.

Scientists at the France’s government-funded agricultural research institute (INRA) said they have discovered a relationship between the expression of a gene (DNAJA1) and meat toughness.

The tenderness of beef, its flavour and its taste, depend not only on slaughter conditions and the ageing of meat, but also on the biological characteristics of muscle, which in turn are linked to the genetic traits of the animal, its rearing conditions and particularly its diet.


Recently Published Paper Highlights Bovine Genome

Recently Published Paper Highlights Bovine Genome Work


COLLEGE STATION – A group of researchers – including Texas Agricultural Experiment Station scientists – have used gene fragments from Hereford, Holstein and Angus animals to create an artificial chromosome map. The artificial chromosome map will be used to study disease resistance or immunological response to vaccination, feed efficiency and reproductive efficiency in beef animals, said Dr. Clare Gill, Experiment Station associate professor.

The work was recently published in Genome Biology. It is significant for several reasons, said Gill, one of the authors.

“The result of the project is the densest marker map for cattle because it combines all of the marker resources in the public domain,” she said. Markers are short sequences that are inherited and have similar sequences between animals within the same species.

The project also provided order for the bacterial artificial chromosomes used in the sequence assembly process. The bacterial artificial chromosomes were fingerprinted to identify which ones would overlap, Gill said. The ones that overlapped were arranged in order from one end of a chromosome to the other.


Texas adopts new anti-tuberculosis cattle regulations

Texas adopts new anti-tuberculosis cattle regulations

Catherine Merlo


New regulations aimed at protecting Texas cattle from tuberculosis (TB) will go into effect Oct. 13.

Texas livestock health officials adopted the new regulations after recent findings of cattle TB infection in two New Mexico dairies, a Colorado bucking bull herd, and an Oklahoma beef herd.

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) hopes its new entry, testing and movement regulations will continue to keep the state’s cattle industry TB-free.

Texas was designated TB-free in 2006 after a rigorous program to detect the contagious bacterial disease that can cause lesions on an animal’s lungs, lymph nodes and other internal organs.