Stockmen’s Survey: Calving time tips
On a cool, rainy day in early May, Terry Clements saddles up his horse in a muddy lot and heads out to move a group of 50 “heavy” cows to fresh pasture. “This is the kind of weather that used to cause a disaster with the calves,” he says.
In about an hour, Clements finishes a chore that has helped cut calf scours on his Loup County, Nebraska, ranch to nonexistent. The simple task of herding cattle is the beauty of the Sandhills Calving System. The method is designed to prevent calf scours by moving pregnant cows on a schedule, leaving the pairs grouped separately by age.
Before he began using the system a few years ago, Clements likely would be doctoring calves on a day like this. Scours was a constant battle.
“Treating sick calves would kill day after day while you were trying to get your spring fieldwork done,” he says.
Often, as many as 75% of his calves contracted scours, bringing 5% or more death losses. This year: No scours; no dead calves from diarrhea.
Scours and calf mortality are major issues for cow-calf and dairy producers, according to a Stockmen’s Survey” poll conducted by Successful Farming magazine and Agriculture Online® (www.agriculture.com).
Livestock producers rate calf mortality as the second most important health issue in their operations in terms of costs, labor, and reduced production. More than two thirds of producers say diarrhea is the most common calf disease in their operations.
Experts long have recommended a number of preventive treatments for calf health, including use of colostrum, nursing pastures, and heated huts.
The Nebraska system has been tested successfully in large Sandhills beef herds over the past five years, but its developers believe the concept can be adopted in other parts of the country and in smaller operations.
The system is similar to the way dairy producers use calf hutches to control disease – you prevent contact with scours “bugs” that are carried by other cattle and facilities.
Industrial livestock production near cities often damages the environment
Incentives for more environmentally-friendly production required
2 February 2006, Rome – Industrial livestock production in developing countries often causes severe environmental damages, especially when meat and dairy factories are crowded together around cities or close to water resources, FAO warned today. In a report entitled Livestock Policy Brief 02, Pollution from industrialized livestock production the UN agency urged governments to create incentives for more environmentally friendly dairy and meat production practices. Meat and dairy products have become more widely available and affordable in many developing countries. Between 1980 and 2004, meat production in developing countries tripled from around 50 million to 150 million tonnes.
Mexico to accept bone-in beef imports from young Canadian cattle
680 All News Radio Toronto
CALGARY (CP) – Almost three years after the mad cow crisis began in Canada, Mexico agreed Wednesday to accept bone-in cuts of young Canadian beef.
Until now, Mexico has permitted imports of boneless beef from animals under thirty months of age, which are believed to be at lower risk of developing bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.
Mexico’s decision to allow bone-in imports brings the embattled Canadian beef industry one step closer to resuming normal trade with its second-largest client.
“It also means improved value,” said Ted Haney of the Canada Beef Export Federation.
“It’s odd where you can leave a bone in a cut and get higher prices, but that’s how much Mexican consumers appreciate a bone-in product.”
The change is expected to mean some 5,000 to 8,000 additional tonnes of beef shipments to Mexico, worth between $20 million and $30 million.
“That’s not chump change,” said Haney.
The mad cow crisis has cost Canada’s cattle producers more than $7 billion since BSE was discovered in Alberta in May 2003.
The key U.S. market reopened its border to some beef products late in 2003 and to young Canadian cattle last July.
Japanese officials agreed to allow beef from North America back into stores in late December, provided the meat came from animals under 21 months.
Beef demand slipped in ’05
by Pete Hisey on 2/2/2006 for Meatingplace.com
Consumer demand for beef slipped last year, by 3.6 percent, reversing a recent upward trend in Americans’ increasing taste for beef, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said Wednesday.
Part of the blame rests on the surge in beef demand in 2004 of nearly 8 percent, said Al Svajgr, chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention, being held in Denver this week. “We had such a stellar growth year for demand in 2004 that we didn’t top that mark in 2005 even though we continued to enjoy terrific strength in the market,” Svajgr said.
The Beef Demand Index has increased 20 percentage points since 1998, when a long slide in beef eating was reversed. Most of that increase has taken place since 2001.
AMI files brief in Montana
From Drovers Journal
The American Meat Institute, together with four other meat-industry organizations, submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in Montana this week in support of the USDA’s rule allowing cattle and beef imports from Canada. The brief urges the continuation of cattle and beef trade with Canada, noting that none of the opposition’s dire predictions about reopening the border have come true. The organizations argue that the rule opening the Canadian border was working well, and that predictions of an influx of Canadian cattle adversely affecting domestic cattle prices are “not borne out by economic data.” The brief also notes that, despite R-CALF arguments that restoring trade with Canada would stymie efforts to reopen lost international markets, a number of countries have restarted U.S. beef trade. For more information, follow this link.
Ag groups applaud Bush’s State of the Union address
From Drovers Journal
President Bush emphasized the importance of renewable fuels as a component of achieving energy independence during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address. That brought praise from several ag groups, including the 25 x ’25 Energy Work Group, composed of farmers, ranchers, foresters and agribusiness leaders. “We believe that farms, forests and ranches can provide 25 percent of the nation’s energy supply by 2025 while still providing food, feed and fiber,” explains co-chairman Read Smith, who farms near St. John, Wash. American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman also praised Bush’s remarks on tax, energy and immigration issues. “All of these matters profoundly affect the U.S. agriculture sector, and we applaud the president for bringing attention to the significance of their impact on farmers and ranchers.
Ohio Beef Newsletter available
The February 1, issue # 472, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now postedto the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefFeb1.html
FYI: The registration form and agenda for the Ohio Beef Heifer DevelopmentShort Course in march may be found in PDF format at:http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/HeifDev.pdf
Articles this week include:
* Reality Hits Hard
* Consumer Preference for Size of Beef Cuts
* Cattle Prospects Still Look Favorable Despite Concerns
* “Extended Grazing” Pasture Walk February 8 near Lancaster
* Free 2006 MWPS Catalog Now Available
* Stock Dog Trials!Stan———-
Stan SmithProgram Assistant,
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130
voice: 740.653.5419 ext. 24
Visit:Fairfield Co. OSU Extension – http://fairfield.osu.edu
OSU Beef Team – http://beef.osu.edu
Ohio Bull Test – http://bulltest.osu.edu