Daily Archives: June 19, 2006

Vitamin A Can Be Deficient in a Drought

Vitamin A Can Be Deficient in a Drought


Vitamin A is rarely a concern in range cattle nutritional programs because it is readily synthesized from carotene that is common in green growing plants. However, in drought situations where plants become dead or dormant, the carotene content becomes practically devoid and may lead to a deficiency of the precursor to vitamin A. Carotene is very low in mature, weathered forages, grains and many crop residues. Carotene will be lost in stored hay crops over extended periods of time. Therefore, feeding hay that has been stored a year or more, may be low in carotene. The vitamin A content will be considerably less than when that forage was originally harvested. In addition some scientists have suggested that high nitrate forages common in drought years can exaggerate vitamin A deficiencies.




by: Steve Suther

Beef production is a natural system, but management means not leaving it to the whims of nature.

Everything in the cattle business begins with conception, so reproductive physiology has become a key area of study aimed at improving efficiency and beef quality.

That means understanding the points where intervention can result in better performance, and developing strategies that work.

Calves begin producing hormones as young as six weeks, but puberty usually waits until 10 to 12 months of age. Still, a few heifers are “precocious,” which is one of several reasons to make bull calves into steers early on. When weaning is very late or intact bulls penned with heifers after weaning, unplanned but not surprising pregnancies occur. These are often disastrous, and feedlots that buy mixed heifers deal with most of the results.


Area livestock producers invited to pasture walks

Area livestock producers invited to pasture walks

Salem Times Commoner (IL)
Harold G. Hunzicker
Marion County Extension Unit Leader

Grazing enthusiasts have the opportunity to attend two pasture walks in Madison and Clinton counties on Thursday, June 29.

The first pasture walk will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Elmer and Terry Becherer Farm, located at 2116 Rocky Ford Road, Trenton. The Becherer Farm is part of a C-FAR sponsored project entitled I-LIFT that evaluates forage growth, quality and grazing system economics.

Elmer and Terry Becherer will guide a walking tour of their commercial sheep farm that lambs five times each year. The operation features a year-round grazing program based on perennial cool-season grasses, as well as summer and winter annual forages. They seeded a forage plot on Wednesday, May 24, to demonstrate different summer annual forage options. These forages include several turnip, sorghum sudangrass, sudangrass, pearl millet and chicory varieties.


Farmers grapple with choice to get big or get out

Farmers grapple with choice to get big or get out


Eli Lucero/Associated Press Brandon Anderson feeds his calfs at the family’s dairy farm in College Ward, Utah. When Brandon Anderson thinks of his future, he sees a big, black hole that could someday swallow his family’s century-old dairy farm.

LOGAN, Utah ­–When Brandon Anderson thinks of his future, he sees a big, black hole. A hole that could someday swallow his hobby, his livelihood and the century-old dairy farm that he’s worked on since he was 9.

“It’s just a big black hole gaping at me,” Anderson said. “The smaller dairies such as my own are going to just drop off like flies.”

That is, if fuel and machinery prices continue to rise and the price he receives for selling his milk continues to plummet, according to Anderson. Yet the 32-year-old College Ward farmer continues to toil 10-hour days on his father’s 100-cow dairy and hopes to purchase it soon. The hard work builds character, he said, and his kids will gain valuable attributes while they labor among the cows.


Out West, cattle are still being stalked by rustlers

Out West, cattle are still being stalked by rustlers

St. Petersburg Times
Published June 18, 2006

PERRY, Okla. – The truck raced down the lonesome dirt road, poking its headlights into the predawn darkness and spewing blinding clouds of dust. The deputy, who was watching nearby, smelled trouble.

Todd Culp saw the mysterious truck barrel through a stop sign at 80 mph and wondered where it was rushing to at 5 a.m. The off-duty deputy gunned the engine of his unmarked green pickup in pursuit.


Tissue test can discover cattle disease

Tissue test can discover cattle disease

Springfield News-Leader
A cow infected with bovine virus diarrhea can spread it through the rest of the herd.

Bovine virus diarrhea, BVD, is an old disease in the cattle industry that has taken on a new twist with the discovery of the persistently infected, or PI, condition.

According to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist, University of Missouri Extension, PI-BVD is a hot topic now with the discovery of a new testing procedure of animals for the condition.


Ranchers do what come naturally

Ranchers do what come naturally

Published Sunday, June 18th, 2006
By Mary Hopkin, Tri City (WA) Herald staff writer

BOARDMAN — Cattle ranchers Dave and Shelly Riekkola no longer worry when they see the price of market steers rise or fall.

Dave, a fourth-generation cattle rancher, doesn’t ride the beef commodity rollercoaster anymore.

“In every 10-year cycle, you get three good years and seven bad,” he said.

Instead, he’s collecting a steady paycheck as part of Country Natural Beef, an Oregon-based co-op that provides natural beef to such customers as Whole Food markets and Burgerville restaurants.


Auctioneer championship walks the talk

Auctioneer championship walks the talk
Rapid-fire sale chants fill up Escalon market during annual contest


Finalist Martin Machado of Winton said the key to auctioneering is to stay calm. “The whole deal is to have your own style,” he said Saturday.

Modesto Bee Staff Writer

ESCALON — As he stood and tipped his hat to the crowd, auctioneer Trent Stewart said, “Thank you very much, loved being here.”

Finally, he was speaking slowly enough to be quoted. For 10 minutes before that, he used a rapid-fire chant as he competed Saturday in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship.

The 43rd annual event drew 31professional auctioneers from the United States and Canada to the Escalon Livestock Market.

They showed off the time-honored skill of encouraging bids with chants that might make no sense to a novice but are everyday sounds in the livestock business.


New strain of mad cow disease not tied to feed

New strain of mad cow disease not tied to feed

Updated 6/18/2006 10:19 PM ET
By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

The discovery of a new strain of mad cow disease that may strike spontaneously rather than through contaminated feed could mean that it will be impossible to completely stamp out the brain-destroying illness in cattle.

The only two cases of mad cow in U.S.-born cattle, found in Texas and Alabama, were a different form of the disease than the strain commonly found in Europe, French prion researcher Thierry Baron told scientists at a meeting in London in May.

Baron believes it is likely that the two U.S. cases — and at least five others found in France, Italy and Germany — occurred in a way that is strongly reminiscent of the most common human form of the disease, which is also not blamed on a contaminant. More research is necessary to know for certain, Baron said in an e-mail sent last week to USA TODAY.


Local teen shows her skill in the ring

Local teen shows her skill in the ring

Beverly Harvey / Opelika-Auburn News

Baily Anderson has a knack for taking a ho-hum calf and turning it into a junior cattle show contender.

The 16-year-old spends hours of quality time with her show calves every day on her family’s 8-acre farm just outside the city limits of Opelika – and it shows in the show ring.

Baily currently holds the title of Angus Queen of Alabama and has finished first in the showmanship division of her age group for three consecutive years at the annual Alabama Steer and Heifer Show held in Montgomery.


Forget about asking Jeeves, ask Extension

Forget about asking Jeeves, ask Extension

University of Missouri Extension staff offers wide range of services
By PAULA BARR\Daily Journal Staff Writer, Columbia Missouri

Ask the University of Missouri Extension staff any questions and chances are, they already have the answer. If they don’t, they know where to find it.

They also offer university and general interest classes, research-based programs for all audiences and quality programs for youth. Extension uses cutting edge technology to help the community develop skills and improve their lives.

The St. Francois County staff, located at the St. Francois County Courthouse in Farmington, includes specialists in livestock, community development, youth and housing and environmental issues. Most of their services and programs are free or include only a materials charge.