CSU meat scientist says traceability is key to global beef markets
By SHANNON BURKDOLL,
For Farm & Ranch GuideThursday, January 19, 2006 10:00 AM CST
BOZEMAN, Mont. – As the beef industry becomes more concentrated with fewer people involved, traceability becomes more essential to global markets, according to a Colorado meat scientist.Dr. Gary Smith, meat science professor at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., has traveled to 63 countries and explored each country’s agriculture industry, including cattle feeders, packing plants, merchandising operations and beef sales businesses. In his travels, Smith found the United States in unique in its cattle and beef industries in two ways.
Neospora caninum is heartbreaker for cow/calf operators
By ANDREA JOHNSON, Assistant EditorThursday, January 19, 2006 10:01 AM CST
A protozoan parasite that causes spontaneous abortions, stillborn calves and premature births in cattle is a growing concern in northern Minnesota.Neospora caninum (ka-ni-num) can enter a cowherd when wolves, coyotes, fox or dogs feed on placenta, dead calves or deer that contain the parasite. When the canines defecate, the parasite egg is transferred to pasture, hay or water, where grazing gestating cattle consume the parasite. The protozoa travel to the uterus where it infects the placenta. As soon as the placenta is compromised enough, the calf is aborted.
SDSU beef reproduction research: GnRH injections
By SDSU Extension
Thursday, January 19, 2006 10:00 AM CST
BROOKINGS, S.D. – A hormone that induces ovulation in cows does nothing to improve pregnancy rates if administered when cows already show signs of being ready to be bred.
That’s the conclusion in a South Dakota State University study that can save ranchers who were using the hormone in such cases about $2 a head.
SDSU Extension Beef Reproduction Management Specialist George Perry did the study with the help of cooperating livestock producers this year after ranchers and veterinarians asked him for more information about Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH.
“Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH, will actually induce ovulation in cattle. So most fixed-timed insemination protocols use GnRH to induce ovulation at the time you inseminate,” Perry explained. GnRH is an important tool in managing fertility in dairy herds, for example.
South Dakota beef producers asked Perry whether GnRH could also make a difference in synchronized artificial insemination programs, which don’t inseminate cattle on a fixed schedule. Producers using synchronized AI programs typically monitor livestock to detect standing estrus – in other words, changes in animal behavior that are associated with a cow or heifer standing to be bred.
“The question was asked, ‘Is it worthwhile to give GnRH to these animals? Even though they’ve been seen in standing estrus, can it help pregnancy rates?’” Perry said.
Biosecurity Web site available
From Drovers’ Alert
The National Biosecurity Resource Center for Animal Health Emergencies’ new and improved Web site is up and running. The site offers information on carcass disposal and state regulations for reporting of animal diseases. It also offers a searchable database for information on disinfectants, as well as informational papers on current issues, like avian influenza or bird flu. The site is located at: www.biosecuritycenter.org
MFB supports mandatory electronic ID of Michigan cattle
By Drovers news source
(Wednesday, January 18, 2006)
In an attempt to better track animal movement, the Michigan Agriculture Commission voted Monday to mandate electronic identification of all Michigan cattle beginning in 2007. Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) policy supports “swift implementation of a mandatory identification system for Michigan’s livestock industry.”
“Mandatory animal identification, if implemented properly and with continued producer input, will be a valuable tool in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak,” said Ernie Birchmeier, MFB Livestock and Dairy Specialist. “Animal identification will also greatly enhance our marketing opportunities if source verification and age requirements are demanded by our national and international sales markets.”
Birchmeier said the Commission’s plan to role out the mandate to the cattle industry first makes sense given the state’s current efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis and prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Michigan cattle herds.
“We’ll expect to gradually see the inclusion of the entire Michigan livestock industry,” he said.