Daily Archives: August 23, 2006

Canada confirms new case of BSE

Canada confirms new case of BSE
by Pete Hisey on 8/23/2006 for Meatingplace.com
Canadian authorities have confirmed the country’s 8th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, this one in an animal believed to be between eight and 20 years old, meaning that it was probably born before the country’s feed ban went into effect.

The beef cow was discovered in Alberta, a little more than a month after the 7th case, an animal only 50 months old and born after the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban was put in place in Canada in 1997. That case was discovered July 13.

Officials at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that no part of the animal entered the human or animal food supply.

Ohio Beef Newsletter now available

The August 23, issue # 501, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at: http://fairfield.osu.edu/ag/beef/beefAgst23.html

Even though the problem may have been brewing for weeks, this is the time of year when we seem most to notice the results of our summer long fly control efforts. This week, Steve Boyles discusses the basics of a good fly control program.

Articles this week include:
* What Does Value-Added Beef Production Mean for the Cow/Calf Producer?
* Forage Focus: New insurance tools for pasture and forage
* Fly Control Around Concentrated Animal Facilities
* Beef Producers Program Set for August 24
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

Stan Smith
Program Assistant, Agriculture
OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Ave., Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

e-mail: smith.263@cfaes.osu.edu
voice: 740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax: 740.687.7010
Fairfield Co. OSU Extension – http://fairfield.osu.edu
OSU Beef Team – http://beef.osu.edu

Gambling on a Change

Gambling on a Change

Story by Janet Mayer

Angus Beef Bulletin

“You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run,” sings Kenny Rogers in a song about a gambler. He could well be singing about the cattle business, as watching the bottom line is often like playing a game of chance. If it doesn’t come up in the black, showing a profit, then there is a very good reason to either fold or change hands to a new avenue of operating your business.

This was true for the Hempt family of central Pennsylvania when they made the decision to cease operation of their feedlot after being in the feeding business for more than 40 years.


USAIO: Key Agreements Advance National Animal Movement Database

USAIO: Key Agreements Advance National Animal Movement Database


(August 22, 2006) – The board of directors of the United States Animal Identification Organization, Inc. (USAIO) announced today that it has completed agreements with two leading manufacturers of ISO RIFD devices in the United States: Allflex USA of Dallas, Texas, and Destron Fearing (Digital Angel) of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The agreements advance USAIO’s objective of funding a national animal movement database in a manner that will minimize cost to industry participants. Under this funding plan, producers’ share of the system costs will be rolled into the purchase price of the ear tag. The tag creates a lifetime record on the animal, with the ability to add information to this record at no additional cost.

“USAIO is committed to funding the system in such a way as to spread the cost across all segments of the industry,” says Charles Miller, chairman of the USAIO board. “We continue to work on funding mechanisms that will draw support for the animal movement database from every sector that will benefit from it.”


Chinese scientists aim to produce "super animals" through bio-engineering

Chinese scientists aim to produce “super animals” through bio-engineering

People’s Daily Online

After great breakthroughs in developing “super rice”, hybrid high-yield rice strains, Chinese scientists now plan to produce “super animals” to increase stockbreeding output.

China’s animal husbandry output can double with the same input, provided the fruits of the country’s genome project are adopted in time, said Li Ning, top scientist on the genetic breeding and cloning of agricultural animals research project.

Li, from the state key laboratory of agricultural bio-technology under China’s University of Agriculture, said the research project is currently focusing on producing “super pigs” and “super chickens”.


Cows with regional accents? Pull the udder one

Cows with regional accents? Pull the udder one


Daily Mail (UK)

They have one word in their vocabulary and it’s a single syllable at that.

But farmers claim cows appear to ‘moo’ in regional accents, despite their limited conversational skills.

Herds in the West Country have been heard lowing with a distinctive Somerset twang – prompting some to claim the sound is more ‘moo-arr’ than moo.


US food supply ‘vulnerable to attack’

US food supply ‘vulnerable to attack’

By Simon Cox

BBC Radio 4

Professor Larry Wein warned that milk could be an easy target

When Tommy Thompson stood down as US health secretary in 2004, he delivered a stark warning.

“I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do,” he said.

Why was he so worried? Is “agro-terrorism” – attacking farming or the food supply – really so easy?

The only reported case in the US happened more than two decades ago in 1984, when a cult poisoned salad bars at a number of restaurants in Oregon. Forty people were taken to hospital, no-one died.


US eartags to include price of livestock tracking

US eartags to include price of livestock tracking


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. makers of high-tech ear tags for livestock will sell models that include the cost to producers of enrolling their herds in a nationwide tracking system to combat mad cow disease, officials said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Animal Identification Organization (USAIO) said the agreements with ear tag makers Allflex USA of Dallas and Destron Fearing of Minneapolis would help spread the cost of the tracking system throughout the meat industry.

After the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in December 2003, the Agriculture Department said it would expedite development of a tracking system for food animals. Its goal is to locate the home farm and herdmates of suspect livestock within 48 hours of a disease outbreak.

Due to concerns about confidentiality, U.S. officials have decided to rely on voluntary participation in the tracking system and to let private databases hold the information. Several databases might be formed along with USAIO.


Grain-Feeding Cows In A Drought

Grain-Feeding Cows In A Drought

American Cowman

If drought is playing out your pasture, Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska beef specialist, offers the following feeding and supplementation advice for those looking to feed corn:

In limit-feeding corn to cattle in drylot, be sure to allow plenty of bunk space to ensure all cattle have the opportunity to feed (24-36 in./head, perhaps more with bigger cows).

The following ration recommendations are based on feeding situations where no pasture is available. The concentrate part of the ration supplies the energy and protein needs, while a low-quality forage ensures that rumen health isn’t compromised.

If using a low-quality hay for the forage source, Rasby recommends including a supplement with an ionophore calibrated to deliver 200-250 mg/head/ day to each cow. The ionophore will help reduce digestive problems and increase feed efficiency.


USDA Attache: Chinese Demand For US Beef Seen Growing

USDA Attache: Chinese Demand For US Beef Seen Growing


Although U.S. beef has been restricted from the Chinese market, it has never disappeared entirely. Demand remains strong, and U.S. beef enters through diverse channels. The market potential, once restrictions are lifted, is very good, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report posted Tuesday on the Foreign Agricultural Services Web site.


Although China has banned imports of U.S. beef since December 25, 2003, U.S. beef continues to filter into the market through various means. Currently, U.S. beef Enters China via one of two channels: smuggled via South China; and U.S. beef relabeled to show a different country of origin (especially Canada).

Confusing matters further, some distributors re-label domestic Chinese grain-fed beef as originating in the U.S. While making it virtually impossible to know exactly how much U.S. beef is actually entering the market, this phenomenon certainly demonstrates the popularity of U.S. beef and the potential demand once the market is re-opened. The following brief examines markets for beef in Shanghai and the surrounding region.


Bill would require minimum-care standards for food animals

Bill would require minimum-care standards for food animals

Marlys Miller



Earlier this month, two congressmen – Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Peter DeFazio D-Ore., introduced a bill called “the Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act (HR-5557).” It requires producers who supply meat, dairy products and eggs to federal programs such as the military, federal prisons, school lunches and others to comply with “moderate” animal-welfare standards.

What is “moderate” you may ask? The bill outlines basic animal-welfare standards as providing “farm” animals with adequate shelter, space, daily access to food and water, and adequate veterinary care. That all seems logical, fair and certainly agreeable. However, interpretation enters into the scene. For example, according to a Humane Society of the United States release, animals could not be “confined so restrictively that they are unable to turn around and extend their limbs.” You can expect that to mean no gestation or farrowing crates.

Other guidelines focus on programs that starve (restrict feeding) or force-feed animals. Injured animals could not be left to “languish without treatment or humane euthanasia.” Again, very agreeable standards on the surface, but interpretation is the key. The HUSU’s interpretation of “humane euthanasia” is different than industry-approved standards, often involving injections, which is not practical.


Willie Nelson Fights Horse Slaughter

Willie Nelson Fights Horse Slaughter


The Associated Press


WASHINGTON — Texan Willie Nelson is raising his voice in defense of a symbol of the West — wild horses. Country singer Nelson is the latest to join an effort to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for consumption of their meat abroad. The U.S. House is scheduled to vote Sept. 7 on a bill aimed at ending horse slaughter.

“If you’ve ever been around horses a lot, especially wild horses, you know they are part of the American heritage. I don’t think its right that we kill them and eat them,” Nelson said in a telephone interview Tuesday.