Beef Study Tour Visits Cactus Argentina
The day began with an early morning flight from Buenos Aires west to the city of Mendoza, a city of 1 million inhabitants located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains near Chile. Mendoza was founded in 1561 and is a budding gambling destination. It contains three casinos with four more on the way.
It’s our jump-off point for our four-hour bus ride back toward the east to Villa Mercedes in San Luis Province, home of the nine-year-old Cactus Argentina feedlot, a Texas-style cattle feeding venture between Tyson Foods, Cactus Feeders and Cresud – an Argentine agricultural conglomerate.
USDA Choice OR USDA Select Beef. NOT both!
Michael Fisher, Area Extension Agent (Livestock), Colorado State University Extension Golden Plains Area
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Those of you who know me are probably aware of the fact that I have an annoying habit of letting minute little details get under my skin and work me into a frenzy. It is a whimsical characteristic that can be both an endearing quirk and a petulant nuisance at the same time. The worst part of being the victimized host of this condition is the fact that the only relief from the suffering is to express my viewpoint of the offending detail. So here it goes:
BeefTalk: Bull-buying Basics – Get to Know the Numbers and Performance Will Follow
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist, NDSU Extension Service
Average EPD Values of Spring 2008 Angus Average EPD Values of Spring 2008 Angus
The reality is that bull buying can be simple.
A few words on bull buying: Keep it simple. Each year, as the bull-buying season gets under way, the process needs to be thought through. There are many reasons for attending bull sales, but buying bulls is not always the No. 1 reason.
Many times the sale is an annual event that gives us an opportunity to gather with family, friends and breed enthusiasts. There also will be that opportunity for a new buyer to stop by. However, regardless of how much socializing there is, by the end of the day, many bulls, if not all, will have new ownership.
Ravaged Macon farms’ recovery will take years
Post-tornado efforts will cost millions
Ten days ago, Marty Coley’s farm was a profitable business, providing tobacco seedlings to more than 70 area farmers.
Now, it looks like a war zone.
Coley’s farm was one of more than 170 in Macon County damaged by last week’s deadly tornado, which drew a milewide, 20-mile-long line of destruction across the rural countryside. At least 13 Macon residents died, along with 18 people elsewhere in Tennessee.
About 1 in 10 Macon County farms was affected, especially cattle, tobacco and timber operations. Preliminary estimates place county farm damage at $29 million.
Meat Depletes Resources
Editor’s note: Stories of this ilk are included in the blog to inform those in our industry how agriculture is being presented to and perceived by the public.
If you would do something for the environment and your own health, eat less meat.
Global demand has pushed the world’s meat supply from 71 million tons in 1961 to an estimated 284 million tons today, according to a recent essay by columnist Mark Bittman titled “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler” in The New York Times. He reports that the meat surge has been nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations.
“These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soybeans and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests,” Mr. Bittman writes.
Jack Dillard: Cattle shortage is expected to worsen
Nothing tastes better than a good steak cut thick, choice grade and cooked medium. That is difficult to find in restaurants and will get worse.
America is running short of cattle, and there are a number of reasons. Included in the reasons are the drought that has hit all cattlemen nationwide, cost of doing business, more acreage to corn and soybeans and, in the Ark-La-Tex, the planting of pastures to pines.
Lots of livestock auction barns have gone out of business. But in the month of January, cattle receipts at the 10 barns in Louisiana showed there were only 13,663 head of cattle sold, and 82 percent of those selling were feeder cattle. That is an average weekly run of 342 head per barn. This is not a local or state happening. It is across the country.
Animal ID ban dead this year
State vet pleased, but stockgrowers hope to revive issue next year.
Rapid City Journal
A proposal to prevent the state from taking part in a national animal identification system for livestock is apparently dead in the 2008 South Dakota Legislature.
The state House defeated the bill 40-29 on Tuesday. A similar bill was killed in committee in the 2007 legislative session.
Rep. Mark DeVries, R-Belvidere, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the issue is done for this year, but he would probably revisit it in the 2009 Legislature.
Dr. Sam Holland, the state veterinarian and head of the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, said the bill was soundly defeated and would have forced the state to drop important animal-disease safeguards currently in place.
International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare at K-State
Kansas City infoZine
Animal welfare is one of the fastest growing concerns among consumers throughout the country, according to Dr. Dan Thomson, a Kansas State University veterinarian and expert on the impact of beef cattle production practices on cattle well-being and health.
The Beef Cattle Institute at K-State will conduct an International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare, May 28-30, on the K-State campus.
No room at the pen
The Denver Post
Slim wallets and an end to U.S. slaughterhouses flood rescue centers with horses and few options for dealing with them.
A dying dog is 40 pounds of family sadness.
A dying horse is a physics problem, and 1,000 pounds of emotional debate over what we should do with the iconic Western companion at the end of its useful life.
“The bottom line is there are more horses than there are people with properties who can adequately care for them,” said Keith Roehr, a veterinarian with the state of Colorado.
Overbreeding has saturated the horse market, driving down values, while feed-grain prices have tripled. At the same time, changing ethical standards have shut off a generations-old relief valve for ranchers — slaughtering horses for meat to be consumed in foreign countries.
Your Steak, Sir — Medium, Rare or Cloned?
Last month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the sale of cloned meat in the U.S., having determined that products from cloned cattle, pigs and goats are as safe to eat as meat from their naturally reproduced brethren. That makes advocates happy: Cloning enables the livestock industry to do in a fraction of the time what breeders have been doing throughout history, narrowing the gene pool to its most desirable genes. Beyond that, say cloners, future benefits include production of genetically engineered animals that could offer a variety of benefits — more nutrient-rich milk, for example, for people without adequate access to food
Cattle producers oppose beef tax increase (checkoff)
The Prairie Star
SCENIC, S.D. n Joyce Jobgen, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Agriculture Movement (AAM), expressed her organization’s opposition to a 100-percent increase, or any increase, in the Beef Checkoff Program until the program is amended to allow producers the right of refund.
“This past week leaders of the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board again discussed a 100-percent increase in the federally mandated $1-per head beef assessment,” stated Jobgen. “As a family cattle producer and a fiscal conservative, I oppose the increase because it is a 100-percent tax increase on everyone that sells beef in the United States. It is a tax because it is mandated to be paid at every point of sale for every animal, beef and dairy, and there are no provisions to allow producers the right to refund.”
Schafer Initiates Biggest Beef Recall Ever
The federal government announced today what it calls the largest beef recall ever in the united states. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is recalling 143 million pounds of frozen beef. Video from an undercover investigation at Westland-Hallmark Meat Packing Company by the Humane Society.
John Dhuyvetter, Area Extension Livestock Specialist, North Dakota State University
Backgrounding refers to the confined feeding of calves following weaning to prepare them to be put on a finishing ration in the feedlot.
Calves can be and are backgrounded in a variety of facilities depending on situation and numbers, from the seasonal use of existing calving facilities to specifically designed feeding yards for growing calves.
Backgrounding facilities should provide for animal comfort (protection from wind, dust, and wetness), ease of handling, and access to feed and water.
Beef cattle drylot training seminar set
The Mitchell Daily Republic
A beef cattle drylot training seminar will be at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Bon Homme County Fairgrounds, Tyndall.
The seminar, presented by Extension livestock educators from five counties, will cost $20 to cover materials and handouts.
Three Keys to Planning the Spring Breeding Season
Three key management concepts can help commercial cow calf operations improve the productivity of their cow herds. However, planning and preparation must take place well in advance of the spring breeding season. The key areas to consider include: 1) assess the bull power; 2) immunize the replacement heifers properly; and 3) breed the replacement heifers ahead of the cows.
Lets examine each one briefly in more detail.
Do you have enough bulls to meet the needs of the cow herd? Very young, 12 month to 15 month old bulls should be placed with 10 – 15 females. Two year-old bulls can be placed with 18 – 24 females and experienced bulls should be able to breed 25 – 30 females or even a few more if in small breeding pastures. Have the bulls recently passed a breeding soundness examination? Arrange with your veterinarian a time to check the bulls for breeding soundness.