By Clint Peck Senior Editor, Beef Magazine
Put yourself in the shoes of a federal meat grader in a commercial packing plant. You have about 10 seconds to assign each beef carcass a yield and quality grade, as thousands will pass by your station during a shift.
At that pace, coupled with variation in the carcasses streaming by and the demanding conditions of a packing plant, is there any wonder you get blamed for inconsistencies and errors associated with subjective evaluation? And, you have cohorts in scores of other packing plants around the country doing the same work.
Schweitzer outlines possible solutions to brucellosis threat
By SHANNON BURKDOLL, The Prairie Star editor
MILES CITY, Mont. – Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer decided it’s time to do something about the brucellosis threat to the state’s cattle industry after receiving a letter of caution Western States Livestock Health Association.
Keeping selenium from insects could allow virus to infect them
By ANDREA JOHNSON, For The Prairie Star
Studies at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Columbia, Mo. indicate that viruses may affect insects that are short of selenium. Scientists are now wondering if this information could help them develop new products that could replace insecticides.
The scientific community has known for some time that selenium is an essential micronutrient for people and animals. They’ve also just learned that insects also need selenium.
Cattle Update: Summer Grazing Management
Summer temperatures and moisture conditions generally mean that our cool season grass pastures exhibit slower growth. This slower growth calls for a different management strategy than was used in spring and early summer. As pasture growth slows, the rotation through the paddocks must also slow because it will take a longer rest period for grass to grow back to grazing height. Remember that providing adequate rest periods is one of the key principles of rotational grazing. The challenge is in how to slow down the rotation without violating the other key grazing principle of take half leave half.
Aberdeen Land Re-Zoned For State’s Largest Beef Plant
South Dakota’s largest certified beef processing plant moved one step closer to reality. Land about one mile south of Aberdeen was rezoned Wednesday morning making way for a plant capable of processing about 15 hundred cattle per day.
The zoning meeting gave many a first glance at the plans for the new beef processing plant. Those behind it say the plant will benefit local producers.
Organizer Dennis Hellwig says, “Instead of taking our cattle from here and shipping them way down to Nebraska or Kansas to be processed I think we can do that right here in South Dakota.”
But others voiced concerns about odor, noise, and issues that could come along with filling the 500 new jobs.
Cattle Rustling a Growing Problem
Ashley Hayes, KSL.com
This story will take you back to the days when the West was wild. It sounds like an old western movie, but cattle rustling is very much a modern day crime and is becoming a major problem in Utah.
In an age where most Utahns’ cattle experience is limited to the car window, herds blend into pastoral landscapes, stretching hundreds of highway miles.
Cows look small as you’re driving by them, but each small speck on the horizon is a big dollar sign.
John Kimball, Livestock Theft Investigator: “Ya know, the average cattle thief gets more money than a bank robber.”
It seems like a scenario from an old western — a cowboy investigator, a sheriff and angry ranchers missing valuable livestock.
John Kimball: “I think there’s been cattle thieves as long as there’s been cattle.”
21 farms under quarantine after anthrax kills cattle
Officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have quarantined 21 Saskatchewan farms after an outbreak of anthrax near Melfort.
The agency says it has confirmed the disease killed cattle on two farms in the area and it is investigating as many as 65 suspicious cattle deaths.
Cattle and other livestock can become infected when they ingest the spores while feeding. It’s believed spring flooding in the northeast exposed the bacteria that causes the disease.
Farmers pick up pieces after storm
DICKINSON (AP) – Ron Anderson found himself helpless and “just kind of numb” as he watched a storm destroy his pole barn.
Anderson spent two days earlier this week looking for pieces of the pole barn and a Quonset that were scattered more than a mile during the storm last Friday.
“When I saw the roof go – you just can’t imagine what your feelings were. There’s nothing you can say. There’s nothing you can do,” said Anderson, whose farm is about nine miles southeast of Dickinson.
Crops were pounded in the ground and buildings were destroyed in an area spanning about two miles.
Tagging Livestock For Food Safety
The Government is trying to make it easier to trace the source of the meat you are eating. With recent outbreaks of diseases like Mad Cow,
federal officials want all meat to be traceable to its sources within 48 hours.
Farmer Phil Wyrick, also the head of the state’s Livestock and Poultry Commission, keeps 100 head of cattle in a field in Little Rock. All 100 would have to be chipped and their histories kept forever in a database accessible to the government.
Wyrick says, “people in America have a lot of confidence in the American food supply and farmers. This is another stage to enhance that confidence and to ensure the buying public we have disease under control.”
Unwelcome guests: Deer cost landowners thousands
By: Jason Ferguson, Custer County Chronicle
This is the third of a four-part series on the ever-increasing number of deer in the Southern Black Hills, and its effect on the land, the people, and the economy.
Dolly Evans has run out of ideas.
Each year, she, and many landowners like her, set out to fight the same losing battle, already knowing the outcome before they begin the fight. It can be a frustrating and expensive experience. But, when you’re battling deer in drought-ravaged land, it comes with the territory.
Evans is a rancher who owns 1,000 acres of land east of Pringle, 200 of which is used to grow alfalfa for her cattle. Unfortunately, there are years where deer ravage her alfalfa crop long before she can get it within sniffing distance of her cattle.