Daily Archives: August 27, 2008

Sort young cows from mature cows

Dr. Glenn Selk, Extension Cattle Specialist, Oklahoma State University

      First calf heifers have historically been the toughest females on the ranch to get rebred.  They are being asked to continue to grow, produce milk, repair the reproductive tract, and have enough stored body energy (fat) to return to heat cycles in a short time frame.  Two-year old cows must fill all of these energy demands at a time when their mouth is going through the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth.

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Creep Feeding Beef Calves

Dan E. Eversole, Extension Animal Scientist; Virginia Tech

Creep feeding is the managerial practice of supplying supplemental feed (usually concentrates) to the nursing calf. Feed is provided in a creep feeder or some type of physical barrier, which prevents cows from having access to the supplemental feed (Figure 1). Milk from a lactating beef cow furnishes only about 50 percent of the nutrients that a 3-4 month-old calf needs for maximum growth. The remaining nutrients must come from elsewhere if the calf is to realize its genetic potential for growth.

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8 Guidelines to Economical Ingredient Selections

BEEF Magazine

With volatile feed costs, it is an increasing challenge for producers to manage their bottom line. Selecting the right ingredients has always been essential in providing animals with proper nutrition. Now, making the correct ingredient decisions is even more critical for operations to stay as efficient as possible. By making well-informed ingredient decisions, producers are able to keep their animals healthy and garner more dollars down the road.

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Q&A: Raising breeding bulls, what should their daily diet consist of as far as protein and what amounts as far as grain fed bulls?

Dr. Rick Rasby, Professor of Animal Science, Animal Science, University of Nebraska

A:   There are a number of different way to manage yearling bulls. Bulls will reach puberty when they are 12 to 14 months of age, which is determined by their ability to produce viable sperm. Depending on breed, bulls will weigh between 1150 to 1300 pounds at first breeding they will loose as much as 200 pounds during the first breeding season and will need to achieve about 75% of their mature weight by their second birth date.

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Feedlot Numbers Continue to Shrink

Hoosier AG Today

  The USDA’s new count on the number of cattle and calves in feedlots shows that the cattle industry may be shrinking more than thought.

Agriculture Department livestock analyst Joel Greene says that August feedlot numbers were down 4 percent from a year ago and a full 9 percent from two years ago and that the number of cattle placed in feedlots in July, about 1.6 million, was the second lowest July number on record

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Basic Requirements

Matt Hersom

Angus Journal

Meeting the basic nutrient requirements of beef cows is a key component of meeting cow herd production and profitability goals for the beef cattle enterprise. Adequate nutrition is vital for adequate cow reproduction, cow and calf health, and growth of all classes of cattle. Nutrient requirements of cattle change throughout the year based upon stage of the production cycle, age, sex, breed, level of activity, pest load and environment.

All of these factors have an additive effect on the nutrient requirements of cattle. In all cases, specific adjustments to the standard nutrient requirements may be warranted. Therefore, it is imperative that cattle producers have an adequate understanding of the basic nutrient requirements of the cow herd to make informed and effective nutrition-related decisions.

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Video Feature: Virginia Farm Bureau – Record Cattle in Va.

Many would be surprised to find out that Virginia’s beef cattle industry has increased significantly this year. Norm Hyde explains why this trend is going on in Virginia. More at www.vafb.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKk5xOfFiI4

 

Early Calf Weaning Could Be Cost-Control Strategy

Angus E-List

High fuel and feed costs are pressuring beef producers’ bottom lines, but there are options to help relieve the financial pressure, a Kansas State University (K-State) researcher told producers at K-State’s Beef Conference Aug. 7-8 in Manhattan, Kan.

“Early weaning is a cost-control strategy that beef producers might consider,” said cow-calf nutrition specialist K.C. Olson. Producers may think of early weaning as a last resort, Olson said, but a better approach is to consider the strategy before the situation is dire.

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AMI: FSIS Issues HIKE Scenario On Cattle In Chute & Drive Alleys

cattlenetwork.com

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued Humane Interactive Knowledge Exchange (HIKE) Scenario 04-08: Cattle in Chute and Drive Alleys.

This scenario gives advice and instruction on how inspectors should verify that cattle in drive alleys are being treated humanely.

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$87.5 Million Aids Producers Protecting Convervation Uses After Floods and Drought

Cattle Today

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announced that farmers and ranchers will receive USDA funding to repair land damage created by natural disasters in 34 states since September 2007.

Producers will use the $87.5 million in Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) funding for removal of farmland debris, restoring fences and repairing conservation structures which were caused or damaged by floods, and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in response to severe drought.

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Would You Be On Your Industry’s Medal Stand?

Troy Marshall

Beef Magazine

I haven’t gotten the chance to watch much of the Olympics, but I did watch several of Michael Phelps’ swimming races. I also saw the "Jamaican Lightning Bolt" win both of his gold medals on Internet replays.

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Fall Forage Harvest Options

Hay and Forage Grower

Mike Hutjens, University of Illinois extension dairy specialist, suggests three scenarios for fall forage harvesting.

“We have plenty of late-planted corn and soybeans, which could be nipped by an early frost,” says Mike Hutjens. “It is important that dairy producers understand the alternatives and strategies should this occur.”

One scenario involves late-harvesting corn silage, weighing differences between yield (tons of dry matter per acre) and starch content.

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Smithfield swings to loss as feed-grain costs rise

Matt Andrejczak

MarketWatch

Smithfield Foods Inc. swung to a fiscal first-quarter loss Tuesday as rising pork exports weren’t enough to counter higher costs to raise hogs.

Smithfield said it lost $12.6 million, or 9 cents a share, in the first quarter, hurt by hedging losses on feed-grain and live hog contracts and asset disposals from a joint venture in Spain. A year ago, the pork producer earned $54.6 million, or 41 cents a share. Wall Street had expected Smithfield to earn 1 cent a share, according to the average consensus in a FactSet Research analyst survey.

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Cattle Study: Effect Of Pre-Shipping Management On Stress & Performance Of Steers

cattlenetwork.com

Over two years, a total of 96 steers (7 months of age) were allocated to one of four weaning management strategies: 1) control: weaned on the day of shipping; 2) creep-fed: allowed free-choice access to concentrate before weaning and shipping; 3) pre-weaned: weaned and provided supplemental concentrate on pasture before shipping; and 4) early-weaned: weaned at 70 to 90 days of age and kept on pasture.

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U.S Beef Exports to Russia Strengthen

Kim Souza

THE MORNING NEWS

Russians have rediscovered a taste for U.S. beef in recent months after going without it for almost four years.

Russia ordered 24.7 million pounds of U.S. beef in the first half of the year, with another 15 million pounds in outstanding orders, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

The value of those 2008 orders totaled $25 million, outpacing the values achieved prior to the 2003 beef ban related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease. The uptick in demand is a welcome sight for U.S. cattlemen and beef processors.

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