Proper Bull Management Vital to Bull’s Longevity
Matt Hersom and Todd Thrift
University of Florida
Bulls, purchased or home raised, are large capital investments that need to guarantee a return on the investment. However, the bull is often the nutritionally forgotten or most marginalized component of the beef cattle enterprise. This is unfortunate because proper bull management, particularly nutrition, is vital to ensure the long term viability of the beef cattle enterprise.
The bull contributes one half of the genetics to each calf crop; without a functional bull that contribution and an adequate calf crop is not realized. Therefore, proper and adequate nutritional management of the herd bulls is paramount to the breeding season success and economic viability of the beef enterprise.
General public is more and more removed from production agriculture
According to a couple recent statistics, a little less than 2 percent of the U.S. population is involved in production agriculture.
Genetics, nutrition, horticulture, marketing, chemistry, biology, marketing, economics and more are all critical parts of food, agricultural and environmental sciences. Those who are involved in contributing to the world’s food supply and educating the public about their efforts constantly strive to inform those who are not involved in raising crops and livestock about their efforts in ensuring a safe, secure, nutritious supply of food for the rest of the world. This happens locally and across the globe.
Study Suggests Gene Mutation Underlies Some Mad Cow Disease
U.S. researchers reported on Friday that a rare genetic mutation may underlie some cases of mad cow disease in cattle and its discovery may help shed light on where the epidemic started.
They believe BSE may sometimes arise spontaneously in cattle, as the mutation, in an Alabama cow that tested positive in 2006 for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is identical to one that causes a related brain-wasting disease in humans.
Board of Livestock adds cattle origin to sale bill
The Prairie Star
The Montana Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) has been successful in requesting the Board of Livestock add language to their Bill of Sale form to allow producers to identify the origin of their cattle.
The form will allow producers to verify the origin of their cattle by simply checking a box. The option is completely voluntary.
Area research farm to celebrate milestone
By Mark C. Johnson
Sioux City Journal
Iowa State University and the Newell Historical Society will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Iowa State University Allee Research and Demonstration Farm just outside Newell on Sept. 16 The day’s events will be free and open to the public.
At his death in 1958, George Allee donated the 160-acre farm and the family home to Iowa State University.
Our island’s natural, forage-raised beef is tops
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Big Isle pastures are made up of much more than backyard grass
The wonderful pasture lands of our island produce some of the healthiest beef around — all natural, forage-raised beef.
It begins with the grass itself and, in fact, you could say our best cattle ranchers are really the best grass farmers around. From the road, you’d never know that those pasture lands are not just plain backyard grass. Different varieties of grass offer different nutrients to cattle and nutrient quality in grasses differ from mauka to makai. While green pastures may have been the norm in the past throughout the island, climate changes are affecting grass replenishment as beef cattle are moved from pasture to pasture. Optimizing the amount of grass available for their herd is a primary responsibility for ranchers.
Couple raises high-quality beef
When some think of Kobe beef, they may think of pampered cows, drinking beer and getting daily massages.
They may also think about the price of the meat, prized for its marbling, texture and taste, which can run about $300 a steak.
When Bill and Judi Carrier think about Kobe beef, their thoughts go straight to the more than 300-acre farm in Windber where they are raising American Kobe cattle.
No More Filet with a Side of CO2
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.
It is not often that meat-and-potatoes issues are actually about meat or potatoes, but, if we would like to live more sustainably and reverse the effects of climate change, the choice between meat and potatoes, to put it simply, should be just as important as the choice between a Hummer and a Prius. That is to say, meat and potatoes should become a meat-and-potatoes issue.
A variety of recent studies has concluded that livestock is a major contributor to climate change and environmental degradation. In fact, livestock and the various processes that contribute to their production account for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a greater percentage than transportation. While removing beef from our diets immediately and completely would be unreasonable, the scope and severity of the environmental effects of livestock should give us pause before we order our next tenderloin.
Opportunities for livestock producers
There are two excellent opportunities for local livestock producers to learn more about the innovations and changes to the industry and implement many of those changes into their own livestock operations.
The first is the 2008 Beef Stocker Field Day in Manhattan on Oct. 2, 2008. This field day, hosted at the KSU Beef Stock Unit, presents the latest practical information to help producers adapt to the recent significant changes in the beef industry. The general session presentations include “New Realities of Conducting Business in the Stocker Segment” and “Current Concepts in Medicated Feed Additives.”
Interesting beef facts abound
Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Let me start my column this week with my apologies to Helena Hattendorf for omitting her from the State 4-H Horse Show information in last week’s column.
Helena placed third in Western Gelding Halter and ninth in Western Junior High Poles. Congratulations on your winnings, Helena.
Beef Production, Nutrition
Let’s look now at some interesting beef production and nutrition information.
Kentucky schedules ‘Beef Bash’ for Sept. 23
Southeast Farm Press
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association will offer the inaugural Beef Bash, a unique field day for Kentucky beef cattle producers, on Sept. 23 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton.
Kentucky has the largest inventory of beef cattle east of the Mississippi River, and small commercial cow-calf operations can be found in almost every rural area in the state. Research and outreach efforts such as the Beef Bash are an important means of providing up-to-date information to cattle producers, said Roy Burris, extension beef specialist.
“With the Beef Bash, we hope to offer a different type of field day that features more hands-on opportunities and more live cattle exhibits than the typical field day,” Burris said.
Epidemiology Of BVD In Beef Herds
When a cow herd is first exposed to a BVD virus, the effects on reproduction can be devastating with 10% or greater open cows, abortions or weak, non-viable calves. This is known as the epidemic form of BVD (3). There are two possible outcomes to a BVD epidemic. If no PI calves are born following infection, then the virus infection will not continue in the herd. If, however, one or more PI calves are born and remain in the herd through the summer, then they can serve as a continuing source of infection for susceptible cows. When this cycle of fetal infection is perpetuated, then the herd has entered a state of endemic BVD (3).
Ranchers enter hunt for hay
Drought conditions lead to lack of rangeland grazing
Ranchers who choose to hold on to their cattle herds will have to find something to feed them until rainfall restores rangeland grazing.
Tight alfalfa and forage hay supplies in California might make for a tough hunt.
Normally, when there is high demand – and high prices – for a crop, growers respond by producing more. That has not been the case for alfalfa growers in California over the past two years. Even with record yields in 2007, prices have remained high.
Growers have other crop options that are more attractive or are unsure if they will have enough water for the crop, said Dan Putnam, a University of California forage specialist.
All about hay: storing it and sharing it
The Daily Graphic
Storage losses occur under the best conditions with any type of hay. However, losses are greatest for large round bales stored unprotected outside. Weathering losses are generally limited to the outer four-eight inches for hay stored outside. In a five-foot-diameter bale, approximately one-third of the bale’s volume is in the outer four inches, and more than half of the volume is in the outer eight inches.
‘Follow the Cattle’ tour: Montanans gain perspective on cattle, ethanol connection
The Prairie Star
Fifty Montanans recently gained a fresh perspective on the U.S. cattle and ethanol relationship when they followed Montana cattle to the Midwest on the Montana Stockgrowers Association’s bi-annual Follow the Cattle Tour.
“The Montana Stockgrowers Associa-tion’s Follow the Cattle Tour – an intensive four-day educational tour of various segments of the beef industry – was a great success this year,” said Ariel Overstreet, MSGA communications manager. “The tour, held every other year, is designed to expand the knowledge of participants in the beef industry beyond the fences of Montana ranches.”