Video Feature: Forage and cattle genetics
Forage Specialist, Clemson University
With proper management and improved forages beef cattle can find something to eat in Southeastern pastures twelve months out of the year, that’s a real advantage for Southeastern beef producers.
A week of glee, leavened
. . . The EPA ended public comment on its request for input in how—or whether—to use the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases.
USDA, in arguing against using the act against agriculture, said that requiring Title V compliance like that required of big feedlots, from all operations that fell within the Act’s 100-tons-per-year emissions threshold, would apply to dairies over 25 cows, beef cattle operations of over 50 cattle, swine operations with over 200 hogs, and farms with over 500 acres of corn.
“It is neither efficient nor practical to require permitting and reporting of GHG emissions from farms of this size,” the comment suggested, adding, “The only means of controlling such emissions would be through limiting production, which would result in decreased food supply and radical changes in human diets. “
Fuel for the Fire: Livestock Inputs and GHG Emissions
The livestock industry has come under a lot of criticism in the media for having an intensive rate of greenhouse gas emissions in comparison with other food sectors. It has become apparent that this is not an issue that can be avoided and the industry will be forced to work together to reduce the current impact.
Body Condition Scoring For The Spring Calving Season
Cows need to be at a condition where extra energy reserves can be used to help overcome the stress at calving and aid in reproductive tract repair.
As the spring calving season begins, efficiency comes to mind. Stress at calving, ample lactation and reproductive performance are key factors that can affect cow herd efficiency and ultimately affect your bottom line. Body condition scoring at calving is an evaluation tool that can be utilized by farmers and ranchers to assess the level of fat reserves of cows.
Baxter Black:COOL SQUARED
COOL. Country of Origin Labeling.
In the grocery store this new law now means that you will be allowed to purchase beef (and other meat) that is guaranteed to be born and raised in the United States.
Proper winter feeding crucial
Marshall News Messenger
The dollars spent on wintering cows often make the difference in profit or loss in a beef herd. Wintering costs represent 35 to 45 percent of the annual expense for keeping a cow. Proper feeding exerts a tremendous influence on a cow’s fertility and calf weight at weaning. Beef cattle producers must plan their winter feeding strategy to meet the cow’s nutritional requirements and do it as cheaply as possible.
Thebatt.com/ Texas A&M
A cow with a large hole in its side is an interesting sight to behold. It is interesting to experience the sensation of having one’s hand placed inside this hole, feeling the body warmth of the animal and smelling the odor diffusing from the cavity. Although it may seem odd, the hole is imperative to Texas A&M University scientific research on cattle nutrition.
Precautions For Grazing Frost-Damaged Forages
With the onset of colder weather, the potential for animal death due to grazing frost-damaged forages increases. Careful attention to local pasture and environmental conditions will greatly reduce this risk.
“The major concern is the risk of prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) poisoning of animals that are grazing sorghum, sudangrass, or sorghum-sudan forages,” explains Robert Bellm, crop systems educator with University of Illinois Extension. “When sorghum or sudangrass is damaged by frost, large amounts of prussic acid are rapidly released. So, avoid grazing these pastures for at least five days to allow the plant to dry and prussic acid to dissipate from plant tissues.”
Mega meat processors make local beef production difficult
Getting locally produced beef from an area dotted with cattle farms doesn’t seem like it’d be difficult. In fact, Baldwin County alone is home to some 25,000 cattle this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
But Alabama is an exporter of cattle, meaning that it generally ships out live animals, not meat, said Perry Mobley, a commodities director with the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Is She Good For Another Year?
At cow culling time, producers often face some tough decisions. Optimum culling of the herd seems to require a sharp crystal ball that could see into the future. Will she keep enough body condition through the winter to rebreed next year? How old is the cow? Is her mouth sound so that she can harvest forage and be nutritionally strong enough to reproduce and raise a big calf? At what age do cows usually start to become less productive? Obviously there is no one set rule to determine when a cow is culled. Nonetheless, understanding “average trends” for cows can serve as guidelines and help cow calf producers cull the herd in a timely and effective manner.
It Is a Tough Call Predicting Beef Prices for Next Year
Economy is the wild card in beef cattle price forecasts.
Most sectors of the nation’s beef industry are losing money, which has caused production forecasts for next year to be reduced. Usually a decrease in production would provide a boost of cattle prices for producers and feedlot operators, but USDA livestock analyst Shayle Shagam says while that might happen, it might not due to offsetting factors including the economy.
Beef Exports Look Strong for the Future
Limited credit availability, volatile currency exchange rates and global economic uncertainty will create an uphill climb for U.S. beef and pork exports in many foreign markets for the remainder of the year. This was common theme provided by directors of the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) international offices at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Tucson, Ariz. Despite these obstacles, however, both products have performed extremely well in 2008, and are well-positioned for continued long-term strength.
Are Argentina’s Cows Happy Eating Grain?
Wall Street Journal
Argentina’s fame as a home for happy cows wandering the lush pastures of the Pampas is being challenged as an increasing number of cattle are being crowded into feedlots for the last months of their lives before being served at the table.
While feedlots are common in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Argentina has built up a strong brand as the land of purely grass-fed steak, with flocks of tourists lauding the lean, flavorful steaks served up in Buenos Aires’ ubiquitous steakhouses.
Corn Silage May Not Measure Up This Winter
Some producers are finding they have poor-quality corn silage this winter, according to a North Dakota State University dairy cattle expert.
“Properly ensiled, corn silage should have a light, pleasant smell with only a slight vinegar odor,” says NDSU Extension Service dairy specialist J.W. Schroeder. “It should be slightly brown to dark green. If it is dark brown or has an odor that is fruity, yeasty, burned or rancid, excessive heating or improper fermentation has occurred.”
Farmers Panic About a ‘Cow Tax’
New York Times
The comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s exploration of greenhouse gas regulation ended last Friday, with farmers lobbying furiously against the notion of a “cow tax” on methane, a potent greenhouse gas emitted by livestock.