Bringing Home A Young Bull
Area Extension Agent (Livestock), Colorado State University Extension, Golden Plains Area
It is that time of year when ranchers are traveling the countryside trying to get the bull power that they will need for the upcoming breeding season. In scanning the bull catalogs and sitting through some sales over the past few weeks I have begun to ask myself a question. Are there more yearling bulls on the market these days? That has been a gradual trend for several years now and it only makes sense that with this year’s higher feed costs that bull producers might consider it more economical to sell yearling bulls as opposed to feeding them out to be two year olds.
What does that mean to you, as a yearling bull buyer? For starters, the yearling bull may be less expensive to purchase than an older bull. Secondly, the purchase of a younger bull gives you the potential opportunity to get an extra calf crop out of this sire before his breeding abilities begin to decline around 5 or 6 years of age.
On the other hand, you have just invested in an immature sire that is going to need some special attention between now and breeding season. For that matter, that special attention is going to need to continue for the next year.
Beef Ambassadors Host Video Contest
Where is your favorite place to enjoy delicious nutritious beef? How do you create your favorite burger or grill your favorite steak? Whether you enjoy beef at home, a friend’s house, or your favorite restaurant, the 2008 Beef Ambassadors want to enjoy it with you, so they’re launching a “More BEEF in More Places” video contest to bring out the best tips for beef lovers worldwide.
Beef scholarship ready for applicants
Applications are being accepted for the W.D. Farr Scholarship program, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced on Tuesday.
Sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, the two $12,000 graduate scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing graduate degrees in animal science, environmental science or agriculture. All applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2008.
What’s Behind The Buzz On Condition Scoring?
Everywhere you turn – magazines, Extension publications, web sites, even previous issues of this newsletter – the message is the same: use cow body condition scores (BCS) as your indicator of herd nutritional status, and as a tool to direct your feeding programs. Research comparing performance of cattle on different planes of nutrition repeatedly shows strong relationships between BCS and key production measures. Calf viability, preweaning weight gains, conception rate and calving interval are all tied to the amount of condition, or energy reserves, that a cow has been able to lay down. But why does this correlation exist?
Testing for TB
Deer with bovine disease puts 3,000 animals at risk
The Flint Journal
It was an unusual day, even for a family farm that’s seen plenty of memorable ones in nearly 150 years on the same 300-plus acres of rolling fields, pastures and barns.
Workers dressed in coveralls – armed with portable corrals, hand-held computers and medical test kits – descended on the Lee livestock feeding facility near Laingsburg this week to begin the first stage of testing for bovine tuberculosis. It’s the first time the farm has undergone the process.
The farm’s herd is one of nearly 160 livestock and dairy herds within a 10-mile radius declared a “Potential High-Risk Area” on Feb. 27 after a hunter’s deer tested positive for the serious bacterial disease. It is the southernmost location any Michigan deer has tested positive for bovine TB.
Storing & Feeding Colostrum
Milk produced within 72 to 96 hours after freshening cannot be marketed. During this period most dairy cows and heifers produce more milk than the calf needs. Frequently, 70 to 150 pounds of milk is available. If stored, it can be used to provide half or more of the milk needed to raise a heifer calf to weaning age.
Colostrum can be allowed to sour, stored for up to four weeks and fed to a calf after the calf has received several feedings of fresh colostrum from its dam. Success with this system depends on following some simple rules.
Weed management options in the spring
Abnormal dry weather conditions during the 2007 growing season and the wet fall and winter months have resulted in grazed pastures and grass hay fields with areas that have bare soil and thin vegetative cover.
Fields with thin stands of desirable pasture species are more likely to contain winter annual weeds such as chickweed, henbit, purple deadnettle and mustard species. As these cool-season weeds die back, warm-season weeds will emerge and take their place. Other weeds such as buttercup and musk thistle are also likely to be more prevalent this spring.
Oats, Teff & Other Stuff
As Vince Gill explained in the lyrics of one of his hits a few years ago, “Everybody’s ready for the next big thing!” Unfortunately, in the world of agriculture and Mother Nature, the next big thing is seldom what it seems at first glance. Depending on how quickly, how blindly, and how completely early adopters jump into that “next big thing” we’ve all been seeking, with regard to forage production this year, it’ll likely be either feast or famine. That being said, it brings me to the subject of oats, teff and other stuff!
With forage inventories in the Midwest depleted, and acres being attracted into more profitable row crops this spring, I’m hearing the next big thing in forages is oats, teff or even potentially a variety of other alternatives. This is where common sense, some basic practical management, and a logical look at our most immediate needs may result in a more profitable solution than simply accepting some of the sales pitches I’m hearing.
Grand Rapids-area farmer to lead beef producers’ group
A Grand Rapids-area farmer will lead the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 2009.
Gary Voogt will succeed Andy Groseta of Cottonwood, Ariz., as president.
Voogt is a retired engineering consultant with a ranch in Ottawa County’s Wright Township.
He was chosen president-elect at the cattle industry’s annual convention last month in Reno, Nev. He will become president at next year’s convention in Phoenix.
IMI Global Selected by Western Video Market Satellite Cattle Auctions as a Preferred Partner for Source and Age Verification
Integrated Management Information, Inc. (IMI Global) (OTCBB: INMG), a leading provider of verification and Internet solutions for the agricultural/livestock industry, today announced it has been selected by Western Video Market Satellite Cattle Auctions (WVM) as an option to provide age and source verification for eligible calves at WVM’s auctions. The new customer gives IMI Global the two largest satellite video auction companies in the nation, which together handle more than 75% of all video auction cattle.
WVM is the nation’s second largest provider of satellite video cattle auctions, selling nearly 500,000 head of cattle annually from 15 Western states. The largest provider has been an IMI Global customer since 2006. Together, these video auctions sell more than 2 million head of cattle annually via satellite auctions throughout the year.
One problem that can be encountered is storage of wet feeds. WDGS has been successfully bagged if no pressure is applied to the bagger. Bags tend to settle because of the weight of the WDGS, resulting in low height and expanded width. Modified wet distillers grains (45% DM) and WCGF bag well, even with pressure.
Adams et al. (2007) conducted two experiments to determine methods to store WDGS (34% DM), because WDGS will not store in silo bags under pressure or pack into a bunker.The first study evaluated three forage sources, as well as DDGS or WCGF mixed with WDGS. The products were mixed in feed trucks and placed into 9-ft. diameter silo bags.The bagger was set at a constant pressure of 300 psi. The height of the silo bag was a determining factor of storability. Inclusion levels of the feedstuffs were adjusted to improve the bag shape. The recommended levels of feedstuffs for bagging with WDGS (DM basis) are 15% grass hay, 22.5% alfalfa hay, 12.5% wheat straw, 50% DDGS, or 60% WCGF.
Research Could Reap ‘Residual’ Benefits for Beef Eaters and Beef Producers
Scientists hope to find a way to measure cattle performance
Texas AgriLife Research scientists hope to develop a means to select cattle that gain the same weight — or more – on less feed than cattle of the same bred-type and history.
At stake, literally, are steaks, as well as and hamburger and ribs. Eating less and gaining more means more efficient beef cattle operations, which could eventually mean a better product on grocery store shelves, said Dr. David Forbes, AgriLife Research animal nutritionist.
To Justice Dept: Brazil beef packer would harm U.S.
North Platte Bulletin
Seventy-two cattle-producer and other groups are concerned about a South American company’s plans to become the largest beef packer in the United States.
JBS South America wants to buy National Beef Packing and Smithfield Foods’ beef operations — two of the five largest beef companies in the United States. It has already bought the Swift company.
JBS SA, located in San Paulo, Brazil, also wants to buy the Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding, a 800,000-head company located in Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The 72 U.S. organizations wrote a multi-signatory letter March 25, urging U.S. justice officials to “scrutinize the merger, issue a second request (for more information from JBS), and strongly consider blocking the deal.”
Wet Corn Gluten Feed Storage Requirements
WCGF has distinct storage requirements but can be handled in a variety of ways. For best results, WCGF should be placed in a sealed structure to reduce spoilage. When stored in an open pile for a few days in warm weather, mold growth develops and spoilage is rapid. Texture of the wet product is similar to oatmeal, which restricts flow and makes handling difficult. Good results have been obtained by mixing the WCGF with other feedstuffs and blowing the mixture into an upright silo. Attempting to blow WCGF alone will plug the blower pipe. Adding corn, haylage, or other alternative feeds will generally keep the blower pipe clear. Mixing corn silage (one part on a wet basis) with WCGF (two parts) results in a mix that is high in energy and contains about 15% crude protein on a dry matter basis. A mixture of two parts haylage (40% dry matter) and one part WCGF yields about 68% TDN and 18% crude protein on a dry matter basis. Since these mixtures will pack tightly, check with the manufacturer to be sure that your storage unit and unloading system can handle the extra pressure.
Cattle Ranches Can Benefit from Small-Scale Biodiesel
Dr. Greg Lardy, a professor of animal science at North Dakota State University, has released a report that shows use of oilseed meal byproducts in beef cattle operations would be relatively easy. The study, Biodiesel Benefits for Cattle Producers: Feeding Byproducts of Biodiesel Production, was prepared for the Western Organization of Resource Councils and reviewed data regarding the nutritional value of biodiesel byproducts as feedstuffs for cattle.