Health Management of Newly-Arrived Beef Cattle into a Backgrounding/Stocker Operation
E.J. Richey & D.L. Prichard2
University of Florida
Backgrounding (a stocker operation) describes a management system where recently weaned calves or yearling cattle are grazed for a period of time before they are placed in the feed yard. After they reach a desired size, or at the end of the “grazing” season, they are sorted into uniform loads or pen-size lots and placed in a feedlot. Sounds rather simple, but in reality, the successful management of a backgrounding operation can be rather complex. Backgrounding is a part of the cattle industry that most cow/calf operators and veterinarians are not comfortable with, especially when dealing with the problems of health management in backgrounding cattle.
Ethanol’s uncertain future
—Studies begin to question sustainability of the ethanol industry.
Western Livestock Journal
The ethanol industry, the focus of much attention after corn prices skyrocketed last year, has been experiencing a massive slowdown in recent months. Reports of delayed construction or expansion have caused concern among investors and the industry’s usage of corn may not reach projected levels this year, according to some industry experts.
In 2006, approximately 14 percent of the corn crop went toward the production of ethanol, compared with just 11 percent in 2002. Although there is much debate on the matter, this year, ethanol production could use as much as 20 percent of the total expected crop of 13.3 billion bushels, according to current USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates. In fact, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) says that by 2015, as much as 30 percent of all feed corn grown—a total as high as 5.5 billion bushels—will be allocated for ethanol. The Department of Energy already has set a goal which states that 30 percent of the fuel used as automobile fuel will be ethanol by 2030. To further that mandate, The House of Representatives recently passed legislation requiring 25 percent use by 2025.
Al Gore: A recipient not worthy
High Plains Journal
I had been out of the country for a few days. My international flight landed in Atlanta. As I walked to my connecting flight’s gate I see Al Gore’s face plastered on CNN.
Scrolling across the bottom of the screen it says that Al Gore had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
I stood there and laughed at the screen. Maybe I had been gone longer than I thought. Maybe the earth had shifted on its axis.
What could be happening? But it was true.
Along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Al Gore shares the prize, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such a change.”
Pioneering Harris Ranch Leader Wins Knowlton Award
CHICAGO — When he was only 12 years of age, an age at which many young boys are more apt to be trading baseball cards, David E. Wood convinced his grandfather to secure a loan to buy 20 head of cattle, an investment that would eventually pay for his college education.
It’s that same type of forethought that made Wood, chairman of Harris Ranch Beef Co., a deserving winner of the 2008 Richard L. Knowlton Award, an honor Meatingplace magazine bestows annually on an industry innovator. The publication cited Wood’s pioneering work in value-added branded beef, vertical integration and all-natural processing.
ASA Marketing Grid Rewards Marbling and Muscling
by: Dr. Jerry Lipsey, Executive Vice President, American Simmental Assoc.
All the fence building, hay baling, calf weaning and hundreds of other production tasks would be for nothing if the beef consumers of this nation disregarded our products. Beef Industry Leaders have focused on beef product demand and the results have been encouraging. Near record cattle and beef prices are partly the result of attentive action toward beef eating quality and consumer satisfaction, and we salute NCBA as the driving force enhancing beef demand.
Consumers choose beef because we like the taste. Even though the science and physiology of taste are complicated, every beef lover understands the attributes of tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
Red Angus: Teamwork Earns Recognition For Superior Carcass Quality
The Red Angus Association of America (RAAA) recently handed out its GridMaster Awards at the 2007 National RAAA Convention held in Dodge City, Kan., September 26 – 29. The recipients received the awards their superior cattle’s carcass qualities had earned them at the historic Dodge House Hotel and Convention Center. One set of cattle whose superior carcass quality earned GridMaster Award status resulted from teamwork and customer service between a seedstock producer and their commercial bull customers. Joe and Connie Mushrush of Strong City Kan., fed a set of cattle they purchased from producers Jerry Clarkson of Waverly, Kan. and Lee Broyles of Baldwin City, Kan.
Cryptospordiosis Appearing More in Beef Herds
by: Heather Smith Thomas
Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by a protozoan, creating diarrhea in young calves. Originally a problem in dairy cattle, this problem is now appearing with increasing frequency in beef herds. Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, diplomate ACVS, Associate Professor of Surgery at North Carolina State University, has worked on cryptosporidiosis research for many years.
Some of the research was aimed at ways to treat the diarrhea more effectively. “In many instances these calves have mixed infections. They have Cryptosporidium and other organisms, too, like rotavirus. This becomes much more serious. Cryptosporidiosis is usually endemic on a certain farm, and the parasite is difficult to get rid of. You keep seeing it again and again in the calves,” says Blikslager.
Cooperative Extension : NC Cattle Referendum
All cattle producers are encouraged to vote at their local extension office on Wednesday, November 14 on this proposed $1 per head assessment. If approved this will be a new $1 per head assessment in addition to the $1 beef checkoff that is already in place.
The NC Cattlemen’s Association has said that the referendum language will be to assess all cattle for the purposes of promoting the cattle industry in North Carolina. The funds will be used for producer education- regarding beef production topics, beef production research, youth education and leadership events, NCCA administration, promotion and marketing of North Carolina cattle and promoting the interests of the cattle industry. Current beef checkoff funds cannot be used for any of these purposes.
Senate Farm Bill Amendment Would Ban Packer Livestock Ownership
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday passed an amendment to its version of the 2007 farm bill that would prohibit packers from owning livestock for more than 14 days before slaughter.
Under the proposed amendment to the Packers and Stockyards Act, packers could not, “own or feed livestock directly, through a subsidiary, or through an arrangement that gives the packer operational, managerial, or supervisory control over the livestock, or over the farming operation that produces the livestock.”
The amendment was one of several passed without debate. The full text of the “en bloc amendment” can be found on the Senate Agriculture Committee Web site.
Mad cattlemen seek compensation for BSE
A University of Calgary professor is fighting on behalf of a group of Canadian cattlemen who were adversely affected by the closure of the American border to Canadian beef following a case of BSE on an Alberta ranch May 2003. U of C faculty of law professor Todd Grierson-Weiler, is a leading expert on the North American Free Trade Agreement and international arbitration, is among a team of lawyers who are attempting to use the NAFTA as a mechanism to compensate a group of 120 cattlemen to the tune of no less than $300 million.
Purdue University Extension Marketing Specialist Says Cattle Prices Set New Records This Year, But Expectations Lowered For Next Year
While finished cattle prices will set new records this year, those lofty expectations have been lowered a bit in recent weeks, said a Purdue University Extension marketing specialist.
“Finished cattle prices will end up averaging about $92 this year compared with the previous annual high around $87 in 2005,” said Chris Hurt.
“Price expectations for the final quarter had been excessive as cash prices reached $95 in early September.
“However, prices have moderated to near $90 and averages in the final quarter now appear likely to be in the low to mid-$90s rather than the higher $90s as anticipated at the end of the summer.”
Be on the lookout for aflatoxin contamination in corn fields
The Prairie Star
Little or no rain in July could be causing problems for some producers as they combine the corn crop this fall.
Cooperative Extension Service personnel in northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota have been hearing reports of aflatoxin showing up in area fields.
Iowa State University Extension crops field specialist Joel DeJong, who is based in Le Mars, Iowa, says he is getting calls about the disease from northwest Iowa and Union County in South Dakota.
Tips are coming for winter feeding
By GARY TILGHMAN
Glasgow Daily Times
GLASGOW — Folks, don’t forget that we have a Winter Cattle Feeding Meeting scheduled next Monday night, Oct. 29, beginning at 6 p.m. It will be at the Farmers Livestock Market, west of Glasgow on Highway 68/80. A “light supper” will be provided.
Dr. Roy Burris and Kevin Laurant, UK Extension Beef Cattle Specialists, are our guests. They will discuss some ways to feed your cattle this winter, with a short hay supply.
Bovine TB found in northern Minn. cattle herd
BY TOM WEBB
Minnesota suffered a setback in its campaign to eradicate a livestock disease called bovine tuberculosis, when state officials said today that another infected cattle herd has been found.
The new infection, in a northwest Minnesota beef herd, is the 8th confirmed case discovered since bovine TB resurfaced in the state in 2005, after a 34-year absence. Because it’s the first infection found in a year, the discovery also frustrates state efforts for Minnesota to regain its TB-free status.
Bovine TB is an infectious disease mostly affecting cattle, deer and goats, but in very rare cases, the infection can also be passed to humans. Minnesota is one of just three U.S. states not to be accredited as bovine TB-free, which adds extra costs, delays and complications for the state’s livestock producers.
High tech genetics on Ranburne farm
The Cleburne News
When he removes the lid from a pressurized drum containing frozen, calf embryos, the liquid nitrogen rolls out in a mysterious fog bringing thoughts of a mad scientist to mind. Wendell Gibbs of Ranburne, certainly isn’t a mad scientist. Instead, he considers himself a happy cattle farmer who happens to own a successful Simmental-Angus beef cattle operation that begins with genetics and embryology and ends with marketing and auction sales.