Daily Archives: August 21, 2006

Cow Market Pressure Likely to Increase

Cow Market Pressure Likely to Increase

by Derrell S. Peel

Oklahoma State University

Cull slaughter and breeding cow prices are likely to come under more downward pressure in the coming weeks as drought forced sales continue. In the southern Plains it is not necessarily larger sales of cows that will increase the pressure on cow prices as increased cow culling has been the case all year. Region 6 beef cow slaughter is up 44 percent for the year to date. It is the additional of more cows from other regions combined with continued heavy cow sales in the Southern Plains that may push cull cow prices lower. Rapid deterioration of forage conditions in the central and northern plains and the southeast has added additional pressure to cull markets. On the positive side, the overall meat market situation is somewhat improved compared to the first half of the year, especially with respect to poultry supplies and that may firm up the hamburger market. Hopefully this will lessen the impact of additional supply pressure as a result of drought forced culling.

So far this year, beef cow slaughter in the region 6, that includes Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico has been 422,100 head which is equivalent to 4.49 percent of January 1 beef cow inventories in these states. In 2005, beef cow slaughter at this point in the year was 293,400 head, a rate of 3.13 percent of January 1 beef cow inventories. This represents an increase of 1.37 percent in culling or an additional 128,700 head. This does not include any beef cows that have been relocated outside the region due to drought. Decreases in beef cow numbers in this region combined with additional culling in some other areas could well result in a decrease in beef cow inventories come January.

On the Farm: Vesicular stomatitis can be managed

On the Farm: Vesicular stomatitis can be managed


Special to the Eagle

Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a zoonotic viral disease that affects cattle, horses and swine. Sheep and goats are rarely affected, and most cases are reported during the warm months along rivers and streams in the Southwest.


VS can be transmitted by insects, contaminated facilities and equipment or the movement of animals. Humans can become infected by skin contact or inhalation. Once it is introduced into a herd, the disease apparently spreads from animal to animal by exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured lesions. Biting gnats such as sand flies and black flies are known to be carriers of VS.


Drought maintains grip on the state

Drought maintains grip on the state

Bismarck Tribune


Maybe next year or the year after or two years after that – whenever the rain comes – Paul Andahl will be able to exhale.

The Burleigh County rancher, like many of his peers in this part of the state, is holding his breath through the extreme drought that has crippled many other farmers and ranchers.

They’ve had to face baked pastures, shriveled crops and, in Andahl’s case, dangerous fires. A cigarette butt flicked out the window of a car started a thousand-acre blaze just north of Bismarck a couple of weeks ago, torching part of the land where Andahl was raised.

Andahl and many other ranchers have had to sell cattle much earlier than normal this year, and on at least one farm in south-central North Dakota a cow has died from the heat.


Speakout: Ethanol demand will drain corn from food supply

Speakout: Ethanol demand will drain corn from food supply

By Chris Frasier

Rocky Mountain News (CO)

The author of Fast Food Nation recently took a jab at the beef industry while addressing a group of organic meat farmers in Colorado. Eric Schlosser believes that modern beef production wastes energy, while also serving the agents of globalization. But Schlosser misses a trend that will bring the greatest change to our diet in more than a generation: The rising demand for alternative fuels threatens to drain the corn from our food supply.

Our nation’s food and energy supplies have always been closely yoked. It takes a large amount of energy to grow and distribute food. Our lavish use of petroleum has provided us with a rich, diverse diet. Americans have become the most mobile society on Earth in large part because of our abundant food supply.

Not that long ago, the nation’s diet was fueled exclusively by solar energy. Denver was a cow town when the first beef arrived on the hoof, powered by range grass. All beef was organic and grass-fed then, though hardly gourmet. Farms were worked with teams of mules, and produce was delivered to market on horse-drawn wagons.


Prussic Acid and Ranch Horses

Prussic Acid and Ranch Horses

by Dave Sparks

Oklahoma State University

With this summer’s dry weather and shortage of forage, it might seem like you are doing your saddle horses a big favor by turning them into something green. If that new grazing, however, includes Johnson grass, sorghum – sudan hybrids or similar plants, it may be just the wrong thing to do. Ataxia is a condition resulting in the loss of control of muscle movement and unsteady, staggering gait. Cystitis is inflammation of the urinary bladder. Both of these conditions can result from nerve damage that follows horses grazing what some have called the big stem grasses.

The condition is closely related to prussic acid poisoning in cattle and is caused by the same agent, although the outcome is different. The cattle problem is usually seen as sudden death while horses typically have rear limb incoordination, urine dribbling and scalding inside the hind legs. The problem is typically not treatable because the nerve damage is permanent and irreversible. If pregnant mares graze these plants, they are susceptible to abortion or foal birth defects involving the limbs.

Johnson grass, sorghums, and sorghum – sudan hybrids accumulate cyanide which is usually bound to a sugar. In times of stress or rapid growth this accumulation is accelerated. When the plant tissue is crushed by chewing, an enzyme breaks up the molecule, releasing free cyanide and causing problems. If hay from these plants is well cured, it does not usually present a problem.

Although any conditions that stress these types of plants can cause a build up of cyanide compounds, they are most deadly in times of rapid growth such as when a shower follows a dry spell and new growth quickly emerges. The Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Stillwater can test for toxicity, but since the contents of the plants can change within a few days, levels can vary over time and within the field. These are usually nontreatable and permanent problems so the safest policy is to avoid grazing these types of grasses with horses.

August Best Time To Seed Grasses

August Best Time To Seed Grasses


Seeding grasses as early as possible during August in the Midwest will produce the best results for next year’s yields, reports Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin forage agronomist.

Undersander reports they seeded six forage grasses at several late-summer and fall dates at three sites in Wisconsin (River Falls, Arlington and Lancaster) over three years. Seeding dates were spaced approximately every two to three weeks from about Aug. 1 to late November.

Species included orchardgrass, smooth bromegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. All of the grasses seeded by mid- to late September produced stands with visible plants before a killing frost most years, and these plants usually survived the winter. Later seedings did not produce visible plants until spring, if at all.


Vet Advice: Seven herd management strategies for fall

Vet Advice: Seven herd management strategies for fall

By W. Mark Hilton,

special to BEEF magazine

As autumn approaches, it’s time to lay the groundwork for a successful calving season next spring. That’s right, what you do with your herd this fall can greatly influence your calving success, weaning rate and rebreeding rate next year. Here are seven strategies to implement:

  1. Preg-check your cows. The most cost-effective measure you can do this fall is to be sure you’re only feeding pregnant cows through the winter months.


Drought Puts Halt to Cowherd Expansion

Drought Puts Halt to Cowherd Expansion

Clint Peck, Cow Calf Weekly

The impact of the 2006 drought is reverberating through the beef industry. One significant sign of its impact is cow-harvest rates have picked-up dramatically. This means that nationwide cowherd expansion has essentially stopped, say analysts at the Denver, CO-based Livestock Marketing Information Center.

In fact, they say if recent trends continue, the Jan. 1, 2007 U.S. beef cow inventory could be slightly below 2006’s. The lack of moisture combined with concerns for tight forage supplies this winter have resulted in a larger number of cull-beef cows in the harvest mix than under more normal circumstances. At the same time, dairy-cow harvest has also increased in the past weeks, not only due to tighter supplies of quality forage but also lower milk prices.


2006 State Of Industry Report Available

2006 State Of Industry Report Available

BEEF magazine’s “2006 State Of The Industry Report” is available at: beef-mag.com/advertisers/research/. Compiled for BEEF magazine by Iowa State University Extension economists John Lawrence and Shane Ellis, the 15-page report provides a concise, one-page overview of the U.S. beef industry, with easy-to-absorb, supporting graphics on demand, inventory, production segments (seedstock, cow-calf, stocker and feedlot), prices and profitability, and industry structure. Print it out for a handy office reference.

Completed Genome Set To Transform The Cow

Completed Genome Set To Transform The Cow

Science Daily

The ability of scientists to improve health and disease management of cattle and enhance the nutritional value of beef and dairy products has received a major boost with the release this week of the most complete sequence of the cow genome ever assembled.


Comparing Prussic Acid and Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Operations

Comparing Prussic Acid and Nitrate Toxicity in Cattle Operations

Glen Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Reproduction Specialist

Much confusion exists among cattle producers about the two major toxins that are deadly or costly because of production loss to cattle owners. Both prussic acid and nitrates become health concerns during heat and drought stress on hay or pasture crops. Below is a comparative list of the major differences that producers need to keep in mind about these two problems. Prussic acid and nitrates are capable of happening together or separately in any given drought-stressed situation.

Prussic Acid Nitrate Toxicity

Caused by hydrocyanic acid Caused by excess nitrate – excess nitrite

Primarily in leaves Primarily in stems

Kills very quickly Kills in a few hours

Blood is bright cherry red Blood is chocolate brown

Not found in pearl millets Often higher in stressed pearl millets

Most dissipates when hay is cut and cured Stays in hay indefinitely

Most occurs in grazing cattle Occurs in both grazing and hay feeding

Drought stress OR re-growth after frost Drought stress and/or high fertility

No products to reduce risk Patented producta (BovaProTM) available

Field testing is less available Screen test available through OCES*

Accurate test requires fresh, moist sample Testing can be done on fresh or dry forage

Laboratory test at OADDL + (call ahead) Quantitative laboratory test through OCES* offices

and OSU Soil, Water and Forage Testing Laboratory

More info at OSU Fact Sheet F-2903

Treatment of sick animals must be done immediately by veterinarian!

aProduct of Lallemand Animal Nutrition (Milwaukee, WI 53218) and Agtech Products, Inc., Waukesha, WI.: 1-800-999-3899

*Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service County Offices

+Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Source: Glenn Selk, OSU Extension Cattle Reproduction Specialist