Daily Archives: June 12, 2006

Worrisome Picture

Worrisome Picture

By Joe Roybal Editor, Beef Magazine

BEEF magazine readers appear more optimistic about the longer-term prospects of the U.S. beef industry than the short-term picture, according to a May survey. That’s probably not surprising given the industry’s move toward the downside of the cattle-price cycle after two years of record calf prices, as well as rising prices for energy.

In conducting its annual state of the industry survey, BEEF editors electronically polled more than 14,000 readers on their thoughts to 13 questions regarding their attitudes about the U.S. beef industry in general, and selected industry issues. A total of 628 completed surveys were returned, for an effective response rate of 4.3%.

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Scientists develop rapid diagnostic test for foot-and-mouth and six other livestock diseases

Scientists develop rapid diagnostic test for foot-and-mouth and six other livestock diseases

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists, in partnership with the federal Homeland Security and Agriculture departments and the University of California, Davis, have developed a rapid diagnostic test that simultaneously tests for foot-and-mouth disease and six other look-alike diseases in livestock.

The new candidate test, which is still undergoing the process of validation, reduces the period for diagnosing all seven diseases from days to hours, and could significantly reduce costs.

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Grazing Management Key to Profitable Use of Rangeland

Grazing Management Key to Profitable Use of Rangeland

By Donald Stotts
Angus Journal

STILLWATER, Okla. — Proper use of rangeland resources can help producers overcome the potentially costly struggle of turning investment into profit.

“In order to achieve the highest net return, efficient use of rangeland requires appropriate management of stocking rate,” said Terry Bidwell, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension rangeland ecology specialist.

Bidwell said grazing management should be the first consideration in all programs. Determining the carrying capacity for a ranch is the initial step.

“The carrying capacity is the stocking rate that is sustainable over time which maintains the rangeland ecosystem without unnatural soil erosion or loss of biological diversity,” Bidwell said.

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Understand And Avoid Heat Stress In Cattle

Understand And Avoid Heat Stress In Cattle

Cattlenetwork.com

Understanding and avoiding heat stress in cattle can be a valuable management tool for summertime in Oklahoma. Most areas of Oklahoma have 10 or more days each year above 100 degrees and 70 or more days with high temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (Source: 1997 Oklahoma Climatological Survey). This means that most cow calf operations will be working cattle on days when heat stress to cattle is likely. Cattle have an upper critical temperature approximately 20 degrees cooler than humans. When humans are uncomfortable at 80 degrees and feel hot at 90 degrees, cattle may well be in the danger zone for extreme heat stress. Humidity is an additional stressor that intensifies the heat by making body heat dissipation more difficult.

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Bryan Doherty: Cattle prices respond to economic changes

Bryan Doherty: Cattle prices respond to economic changes

By Bryan Doherty
Successful Farming

The recent rebound in cattle prices has been somewhat of a surprise, considering big inventory numbers for the May/June time window were expected to keep prices suppressed.

However, when analyzing cattle prices over the last three months, the basic laws of economics seem to have once again prevailed.

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Best manure policy is to find new uses

Best manure policy is to find new uses

Lincoln (NE) Journal Star

Most Nebraskans will understand why the Nebraska Cattlemen want legislation to exclude manure under the Superfund law.

The Superfund law brings to mind major environmental disasters such as Love Canal and Three Mile Island.

The Nebraska cattle industry doesn’t want its operations to get lumped in with problems of that magnitude.

But a victory on that point isn’t going to make the issue go away. Fact is that manure in massive quantities actually is a hazard to the environment.

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Study: 4-H really is good for kids

Study: 4-H really is good for kids

Summer camps give children the chance to develop life skills during a few days of fun.

By John Brayfield
FOR THE NEWS-LEADER (Springfield, MO)

BUFFALO — Gary Naylor, Dallas County-based livestock specialist for the University of Missouri Extension, has known for years that 4-H camps are good for kids, but only from the evidence of his own eyes.

Now a university research project has proven him right.

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Farmers meet demand for grass-fed beef

Farmers meet demand for grass-fed beef

By Philip Brasher
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
News-leader.com (Springfield, MO)

WASHINGTON — Tom German of Holstein, La., stopped growing corn and soybeans seven years ago, seeded his land to grass and did something that’s a near-sacrilege in the heart of the Corn Belt.

He started raising and fattening beef cattle without feeding them a kernel of corn. German’s cattle eat nothing but grass.

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Experts: Mad cow cases could be spontaneous

Experts: Mad cow cases could be spontaneous
Infections in Texas and Alabama may have come from mysterious strain

MSNBC
Updated: 1:19 p.m. ET June 11, 2006

WASHINGTON – Two cases of mad cow disease in Texas and Alabama seem to have resulted from a mysterious strain that could appear spontaneously in cattle, researchers say.

Government officials are trying to play down differences between the two U.S. cases and the mad cow epidemic that has led to the slaughter of thousands of cattle in Britain since the 1980s.

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Heat Stress Can Reduce Pregnancy Rates

Heat Stress Can Reduce Pregnancy Rates

Cattlenetwork.com

The effects of heat stress on reproductive performance of beef cows has been discussed by many animal scientists in a variety of ways. After reviewing the scientific literature available up to 1979, one scientist wrote that the most serious seasonal variation in reproductive performance was associated with high ambient temperatures and humidity. He further pointed out that pregnancy rates and subsequent calving rates were reduced substantially in cows bred in July through September.

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