Organic certification offers premiums
Western Livestock Journal
Changing the way you market your cattle is never an easy decision, but as ranchers continue to search for ways to stay profitable, adding value to the product remains one of the most effective strategies for staying competitive in a tough business.
Organic agriculture has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, as illustrated by growing consumer demand for foods grown or raised without pesticides or other chemicals. Shoppers often mix purchases of organic and non-organic foods, picking and choosing the products they spend their extra dollars on. Meats top the list of foods which consumers tend to be willing to pay extra for, partially reflecting the public’s changing perception towards animal agriculture and the way livestock are raised.
These are Not Your Grandfather’s Cows
Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University
Mature weight and milk production of MANY commercial beef cows are both greater than they were 30 to 40 years ago. Many ranchers have not recently weighed the adult cows in their herd to know what average mature weight to expect. Therefore most commercial ranchers would underestimate the mature size of their cows. To expect large, heavy-milking cows to be in moderate body condition at calving and maintain condition through breeding, they must receive more feed than smaller lighter-milking cows. The graph below uses the 1996 National Research Council’s guidelines to show the energy needs of two different body types and levels of milk production. These energy requirements would be representative for cows calving in February and March and weaned in October. The top line represents the energy needs of 1250 pound heavy-milking beef cows versus the lower line which represents the needs of 1100 pound moderate-milking beef cows. The values graphed are the megacalories per day required to maintain body weight throughout the year.
Angussource Announces Contest to Hit Target
Anyone who produces a crop of at least 38 calves from registered Angus bulls can again put them to the test in a national contest. The 2008 AngusSource Carcass Challenge (ASCC) opens in April as the latest in a long tradition of proving Angus genetics in the feedlot and packing plant.
Sara Moyer, Director of AngusSource for the American Angus Association®, said the contest will operate exclusively through Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB)-licensed feedlots. “Those who want to enter cattle for April or later harvest in CAB plants should contact their CAB feedlot,” Moyer said. “The feedlots may obtain entry forms through the CAB supply development office or AngusSource. There is no entry fee.”
Colostrum Is Vital Food For Newborn Calves
Colostrum intake is critical for the newborn calf, says Greg Lardy, a North Dakota State University Extension Service beef cattle specialist.
“At birth, a calf’s immune system is not fully developed,” he says. “The calf must rely on colostrum from the cow until its own immune system is totally functional (about 1 to 2 months of age).”
Colostrum contains antibodies or immunoglobulins necessary to provide the calf with protection from disease.
USDA puts key strategy from national animal ID business plan in place
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that it has implemented a key strategy from its Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability by providing National Animal Identification System compliant “840″ radio frequency eartags to animal health officials for use in the bovine tuberculosis control program.
NAIS-compliant “840″ tags provide for individual identification of livestock through a 15-digit number beginning with the U.S. country code. Through the use of radio frequency identification technology, the “840″ tags allow animal health officials to electronically identify an animal. This increases the efficiency of animal disease investigations that involve the tracing of exposed and potentially infected animals. RFID technology also increases the accuracy of recording the animal’s 15-digit animal identification number (AIN). USDA has purchased a total of 1.5 million “840″ RF animal identification tags to support animal disease control programs, including the bovine TB and brucellosis programs.
South Korea’s Lee could bring U.S. good news on beef
Doug Palmer and Arshad Mohammed
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak could bring President George W. Bush good news this week about a long-running beef spat that has held up a free trade pact between the two countries, a U.S. business leader and senior Bush administration official said on Tuesday.
“I fully expect they’re going to come with an announcement that shows positive direction on the beef issue,” said Myron Brilliant, president of the U.S.-Korea Business Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for Asia
What Is Heterosis?
Heterosis refers to the superiority of the crossbred animal relative to the average of its straight bred parents. Heterosis results from the increase in the heterozygosity of a crossbred animal’s genetic makeup. Heterozygosity refers to a state where an animal has two different forms of a gene. It is believed that heterosis is the result of gene dominance and the recovery from accumulated inbreeding depression of pure breeds. Heterosis is, therefore, dependant on an animal having two different copies of a gene. The level of heterozygosity an animal has depends on the random inheritance of copies of genes from its parents. In general, animals that are crosses of unrelated breeds, such as Angus and Brahman, exhibit higher levels of heterosis, due to more heterozygosity, than do crosses of more genetically similar breeds such as a cross of Angus and Hereford.
CAFO Moratorium “invalid and void” according to judge
KMVT, Jerome, Idaho
Last night we informed you of a court decision to overturn Jerome counties moratorium on confined feeding operations.
Jerome County Commissioner Charlie Howell says, “Obviously as a board we do not like to loose any of our rulings and proceedings. we feel like we’re following our procedures the way we get instructed to follow them and when we get told we’ve done the wrong, that disturbs the board to a great deal.”
Early graze to control weeds in pastures
Have you noticed any green-up in your pastures? This usually is a good sign, except when the green is weeds in warm-season grasses.
If that early green is weeds, they should be controlled in warm-season grass pastures. Weeds remove moisture that could be used for grass growth later on and they remove valuable nutrients from the soil. Early weeds also can develop so much growth that they can shade, smother, and reduce early growth of your pasture grasses, says University of Nebraska Extension specialist Bruce Anderson.
Marbling scores are determined by the amount and distribution of the flecks of fat within the lean of the ribeye. The marbling scores, from lowest to highest, are: practically devoid, traces, slight, small, modest, moderate, slightly abundant, moderately abundant, and abundant.
Marbling is considered to be an indicator of palatability, with higher scores indicating better eating quality. Therefore, higher marbling scores result in higher quality grades (USDA Prime and Choice) than lower marbling scores (USDA Select and Standard) (Figure 8-2). Marbling scores are further subdivided into degrees ranging from 0 to 100, which is necessary for determining the final quality grade.
Poison caused death of 35 cows in Clinch
It’s still uncertain whether the poisoning was deliberate.
Thirty-five cows that died recently at a Clinch County farm were poisoned, but state investigators haven’t determined if it was deliberate or accidental.
The beef cattle, worth about $50,000, died after eating feed contaminated with the insecticide aldicarb, which is sold under the brand name Temik, according to an investigation by Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and state Department of Agriculture officials.
Aldicarb is used on many crops, state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said.
“We conducted tests on three of the dead cattle and found aldicarb in their rumen,” Irvin said. “We tested feed from the trough where the cattle had eaten and also found aldicarb.”
Buy me some peanuts and… grass-fed beef
JANET RAUSA FULLER
Chicago Sun Times
Cub and Sox fans might never relate when it comes to the win-loss records of their beloved teams, but they at least can find common ground in this: the two-foot-long sandwich.
Both ballparks have added mammoth sandwiches to their menus for the 2008 season.
At Wrigley Field, a two-foot-long Italian beef feeds two to four people and costs $18. Fans can find it at the Italian Hot Spot concession stand in the left field concourse.
Research headed by K-State vets leading tools for managing bovine respiratory disease complex, a costly ailment
High Plains Journal
Bovine respiratory disease complex has multiple causes. It’s sometimes hard to classify and predict. It also costs the beef industry more than any other disease–an estimated $690 million in 2006, according to one report.
That’s why a team of Kansas State University researchers is stepping in. Using a three-year, $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the team is analyzing data from feedlots to develop decision-making tools that will make it easier for producers to manage the health of their cattle.
Beef cattle producers lose thousands of dollars annually because they do not dehorn or castrate calves, or have them processed in a timely manner. Why should you dehorn and castrate calves? When and how should you do it? This project guide answers these important questions.
Caution: Do not try to dehorn or castrate animals until you have been taught and are guided by someone experienced in the proper techniques.
Dehorning. Some breeds of cattle are polled (without horns), and some breeds grow horns, which have no practical use to commercial beef cattle. Horned cattle can be dehorned by means of surgery, heat, or chemicals.
DDGS: Steady Supplies or Stockpiles?
Large surpluses of Distillers Grains in the United States have been forecast due to the rapidly expanding corn based ethanol production movement.
Most of the distillers grains currently being produced are consumed by the domestic livestock and poultry industries, especially the beef industry.
A recent study by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development projects that the U.S. ethanol industry could produce between 40 million and 88 million metric tons of distillers grains (dry matter basis) per year by 2011. The proportion of these distillers grains that would need to be consumed by the beef industry to prevent surpluses poses questions about how much distillers grains can be included in beef rations, the effects of feeding distillers grains on beef quality, and how current consumption patterns are likely to change as production of distillers grains increases.