Daily Archives: August 4, 2006

Does human consumption trump animal rights?

Does human consumption trump animal rights?

Atlanta Journal and Constitution

Diane Glass, a left-leaning columnist, writes the commentary this week and Shaunti Feldhahn, a right-leaning columnist, responds.


High nitrates in drought-stressed corn can poison livestock

High nitrates in drought-stressed corn can poison livestock

Ag Professional

LINCOLN, Neb. — Dry conditions this summer have many producers turning to alternative methods of salvaging what’s left of heat damaged corn, a feed source that can be dangerously high in nitrates, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln forage specialist said.

Producers need to take special precautions when feeding corn forage and other annual grasses to livestock because of high nitrate levels. However, it is possible to safely feed livestock from such feed sources if producers are aware of proper harvesting and feeding techniques, said Bruce Anderson, forage specialist in the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“Nitrates in corn forage should be respected instead of feared,” Anderson said. “Considering the available testing and feeding options, most producers can safely feed corn if they are aware of how serious the problem is.”


What can you do on your beef operation to protect water quality?

What can you do on your beef operation to protect water quality?

Minnesota Farm Guide

Dr. MINDY SPIEHS, University of Minnesota Beef Team

Those of us who live in Minnesota know how lucky we are to live in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” It seems that clean, fresh water surrounds us.


A favorite fishing hole or good spot for water-skiing are just a few miles away. But, what would happen if the water you rely on for drinking and recreation was contaminated and considered unfit for human and animal use? The mere mention of contamination in our water supply is enough to make most of us uncomfortable. Yet, we often take our water supply for granted.


Livestock producers warned about poisonous plants

Livestock producers warned about poisonous plants

Farm & Ranch Guide

North Dakota livestock producers are urged to check their pastures for poisonous plants that could injure or kill their animals.

“Drought conditions are causing animals to consume plants they would otherwise avoid, including several poisonous species,” said Dr. Thomas Moss, North Dakota assistant state veterinarian. “Producers should inspect the areas in which their animals are grazing, as well as monitor the animals for signs of sickness.”

Some of the poisonous plants include houndstongue, spotted water hemlock (spotted cowbane), poison hemlock and common tansy.


Border rancher more concerned about disease from illegal crossers

Border rancher more concerned about disease from illegal crossers


SIERRA VISTA HERALD/Seattle Post Intelligencer

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — Back in the 1970s, it was a major event when a Mexican cow would wander on to the Palominas border-front ranch of Jack Ladd and his son, John.

But after tightened border security in San Diego and El Paso began to funnel illegal immigration through Arizona in the early 1990s, holes began to appear more regularly along the 10 miles of barbed-wire fence separating the ranch from Mexico.

The holes, cut by individual migrants or blasted out by fence-crashing vehicles, also created an easy passageway for cattle. So, in an effort to keep Mexican cows out and their own cows in, the Ladds would devote an entire day each week to repairing the breaches.


Fertilizing pastures may or may not bring a return

Fertilizing pastures may or may not bring a return

By Donna Farris, Special Midwest Messenger

Does fertilizing a pasture to get more forage production pay off? It depends, a study in Hamlin County, S.D., found.

It depends on whether or not the pasture is overgrazed and how much fertilizer is applied. Just seeing the response of a pasture greening up does not mean there will be an economic return, said Rick Smith of Hayti, S.D., a cooperator in the study.


Japan to Keep an eye on U.S. beef

Japan to Keep an eye on U.S. beef

Japan Times

The government has lifted its ban on imports of U.S. beef, but suspicions about the safety of American beef still linger in Japan. This sentiment is epitomized by a statement by health minister Jiro Kawasaki. He said that if risk materials — parts of the cow where prions, the infectious agents of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease, can exist — are found again in imported U.S. beef, all beef shipments from the United States would be halted and he would probably have to resign.

U.S. beef was first banned in December 2003 after a Canadian-born cow in Washington state tested positive for BSE. The ban was lifted in December 2005, but reinstated the following month after spinal material, a risk part, was discovered in a shipment of U.S. veal. The latest Japan-U.S. agreement includes the following conditions: cattle slaughtered for beef export to Japan must be less than 21 months old, BSE-risk parts such as brains and spinal cords must be removed and the beef must come from authorized meat-processing plants. The government says it will inspect all beef imports “for the time being.”


Managing pastures during and after drought

Managing pastures during and after drought

By SDSU Extension

Farm and Ranch Guide

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Reducing stocking rates is the key strategy livestock producers should keep in mind when managing native rangeland and tame pastures both during and after drought.

SDSU Extension Range Management Specialist Roger Gates said one resource to help producers is SDSU Extension Extra 2033, “Managing Pastures During and After Drought.” It’s available through county Extension offices. Or find it online at the SDSU Extension drought Web site, http://sdces.sdstate.edu/drought/ Click on “Forage/Feed” at the left side of the page.


Tyson Foods Cuts Beef Production

Tyson Foods Cuts Beef Production

By Kim Souza

The Morning News(AR)

Springdale-based Tyson Foods Inc. confirmed Thursday it has curtailed production at all nine of its U.S. beef processing plants.

Lack of demand and poor market conditions were cited as reasons for the action.

The world’s largest meat company suspended cattle slaughter Thursday at its plants in Finney County, Kansas; Denison, Iowa; and Dakota City, Nebraska.

“In terms of daily slaughter, today (Thursday) we will be running 35 percent of our normal slaughter. For the week we are running at reduced hours at all nine of our domestic plants,” said Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson.

Beef, while a large part of the company’s sales, has also proven to be a drag on earnings.


Is She Pregnant?

Is She Pregnant?

Hereford World

Adobe Acrobat File (PDF)

For years producers have been looking for an easy way to determine if a cow is pregnant as soon as possible after conception. BioTracking LLC, Moscow, Idaho, offers producers a fast, accurate, safe and economical pregnancy diagnostic result with BioPRYN™ — an acronym that stands for “Pregnant Ruminant Yes/No