Monthly Archives: September 2006

Politicians Address Horse Slaughtering

Politicians Address Horse Slaughtering


Whether you own a horse or not, you may have a strong opinion on what`s done with them after they`re past their prime. Now, the U.S. Government is taking a stand on the issue of slaughtering horses.

The two sides on the issue of horse slaughtering are clear.

“To a lot of people, horses are their pets. They`re members of the family so to speak. And so that side of the argument is understandable. What the end of slaughter though will do is it ends one definite options for the removal of unwanted horses in the United States. And that`s going to leave options such as going to the vet and having that animal put down. And after you do that, we have the issues of what to do with those unwanted bodies,” said Dr. Lance Baker with the WTAMU Equine Industry Program.


Check-off program tracks when beef is sold

Check-off program tracks when beef is sold

Bill Jackson, (Bio)

Greeley Tribune

The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The check-off assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national check-off program, subject to USDA approval.


Food safety in an industrial age

Food safety in an industrial age

Christian Science Monitor

When it comes to food, Americans live in an industrial age. The stuff of most meals is mass produced and processed. The recent mass removal of tainted and suspect spinach from the market is a reminder of this – and of the need for US agriculture to adopt more appropriate safety measures.

The E. coli problem with fresh spinach highlights enormous differences in the oversight and regulation of produce compared with meat. More US residents are harmed by contaminated produce than by faulty beef, poultry, or seafood, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The problems with produce contamination are growing, while those with meat are declining. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees produce, has far fewer resources and less regulatory authority than the US Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat.


Japan imported 105 tons of U.S. beef in August, first month after ban lifted

Japan imported 105 tons of U.S. beef in August, first month after ban lifted

TOKYO – Japan’s U.S. beef imports in the first month after the lifting of a ban stood at a fraction of what they used to be, according to government trade figures released Thursday.

Japan imported just 105 tons, worth 80 million yen ($678,000), of U.S. beef in August – the first month after the lifting of a two-year ban on American beef. That’s about 5 percent of the monthly average in 2003 before the ban, according to Finance Ministry statistics official Toru Tanaka.

Japan imported a total of 200,000 tons worth $1.4 billion in 2003.


Beef Quality Audit Shows Gains

Beef Quality Audit Shows Gains

UNITED STATES: 2005 Beef Quality Audit released, showing progress and setting a benchmark for quality goals and targets by the year 2015.

Final results from the 2005 Beef Quality Audit have been released. The research was partially funded by the beef checkoff and establishes a new benchmark for quality goals and targets by the year 2015.

Based on the audit, the checkoff-funded BQA program will target five specific education efforts to improve quality: the effects of animal health product use; quality assurance in care, handling and transportation; marketing opportunities; herd management actions that affect quality; and record-keeping practices.


Japan in no rush to change beef trade rules

Japan in no rush to change beef trade rules

Brownfield Network

by Peter Shinn

Dow Jones reports that Japan found its 29th case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) this week in a six-year old cow born before Japan imposed a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban in 2001.

The U.S. currently accepts Japanese Watanabe beef without restrictions. Japan limits U.S. beef to boneless product from cattle under 21-months of age.

Meanwhile, Japan has a new prime minister, a new government and a new ag minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka. But the new Japanese ag minister told Reuters Wednesday he’s in no hurry to change the current rule limiting U.S. beef imports to those from cattle under 21-months old. Mr. Toshikatsu said the U.S. must prove it can comply with the current beef deal before Tokyo will consider changing it.


Resource specialist advises how to keep the green grass growing

Resource specialist advises how to keep the green grass growing

Tri State Neighbor

The recent moisture is good news for South Dakota grasslands, which are greening up at last.

“While the green looks nice, the plants have been severely stressed and it may take years to recover productivity,” said Stan Boltz, state rangeland management specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Huron, S.D.


Aldermere offers program for homeschoolers

Aldermere offers program for homeschoolers

ROCKPORT (Sep 29): Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., Aldermere Farm will hold a six-week Farm Hands program for local youth who are homeschooled.

The program is for youth ages 11-18 who want to learn what it is like to work on a beef cattle farm. Participants will halter calves, learn about proper care and nutrition for the cattle, receive some showmanship skill training and do some afternoon chores, such as feeding. Farm Hands is a fun and educational program that has become very popular with youth in the local schools through the Community That Care STAR program, Youthlinks and the farm itself.


Indiana Increasing Inspections Of Large Livestock Farms

Indiana Increasing Inspections Of Large Livestock Farms

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP)–The state environmental agency will increase the number of times inspectors visit new large livestock farms during their first year of operation, the Palladium-Item of Richmond, Ind., reported.

Under new regulations announced Wednesday by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, inspectors will check new facilities within six months of their construction and return during the following six months.


Beating The Weather With Baleage

Beating The Weather With Baleage

Hay and Forage

Larry Matlack, Burrton, KS, worked hard to produce a consistent, high-quality, green, soft dairy hay despite the weather. Yet after calculating that he was losing more than $40,000 on one 235-acre irrigated circle, he changed from mostly dry dairy hay to baleage.

“I wanted to be a price setter, not a price taker,” he states. “Year in and year out, about 60% of our alfalfa hay was getting damaged and couldn’t be sold as dairy hay after being rained on or harvested too late because of weather. I made a management choice to bale the hay before it rains and wrap the bales.”


Ohio Beef Newsletter available

The September 27, issue # 506, of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter is now posted to the web at:

Are you interested in selling cattle into the Japanese market . . . more importantly, are you ready and are your cattle eligible? Review Kris Ringwall’s checklist on the subject this week.

Articles this week include:
* Do You Have Your SRMs Managed by the Correct PVP or QSA?
* Forage Focus: Fall Weed Management in Grass Hay and Pasture
* Weekly Roberts Agricultural Commodity Market Report

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

voice: 740.653.5419 ext. 24
fax: 740.687.7010
Fairfield Co. OSU Extension –
OSU Beef Team –

Mad Cow: A Dead Horse?

Mad Cow: A Dead Horse?

For the most part, Mad Cow disease is a dead horse.

The health dangers may well be real and important. But since the initial December 2003 discovery of BSE in Washington State, speculation about its impact on markets hasn’t changed much.

Yet last week I finally came across a related story. On September 17, the monolithic Japanese noodle restaurant chain Yoshinoya offered guydon noodles with American beef for the first time since their government banned imports from the U.S. almost three years ago. Big hairy deal right?

Well, it was for the Japanese. Mobs gathered outside Yoshinoya locations throughout Japan. Lines formed before dawn and by opening time were wrapped around whole city blocks in Tokyo. Young men were interviewed who said the Mad Cow ban only made them more hungry for American beef.

Still, my amusement was short lived. Within a few paragraphs, each story about the affair turned its focus toward its anecdotal connection to supply and demand.


U.S. Beef Group Spends on Ads, Barbecues to Woo Japan Consumers

U.S. Beef Group Spends on Ads, Barbecues to Woo Japan Consumers

By Kanoko Matsuyama

The U.S. Meat Export Federation is running full page ads in Japanese newspapers that cost as much as 79 million yen ($681,000) each to convince consumers American beef is safe to eat. The biggest supermarket chains don’t buy it.

Repairing the image of U.S. beef after it was banned in Japan because of mad cow disease has fallen to Philip Seng, the chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export group, which has Tyson Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc. among its members. He said in an interview the U.S. industry may have lost $5 billion since Japan first imposed the ban in December 2003.


Prussic acid in forage sorghums has potential to poison livestock

Prussic acid in forage sorghums has potential to poison livestock

Tri State Neighbor

BROOKINGS, S.D. – With parts of South Dakota experiencing the first cold weather of fall, producers should be aware that forage sorghum, sorghum-sudan hybrids and sudangrass all have the potential to produce prussic acid poisoning in livestock when stressed by factors such as frost.

If the frost is light and only kills the upper few leaves, the plant may attempt to regrow by putting out a new shoot from the base of the plant. These new shoots are very palatable and will be grazed selectively.

These fields should not be grazed until a hard frost kills the new shoots or prussic acid poisoning would likely occur.


E. coli vaccine attacks infection at its source

E. coli vaccine attacks infection at its source

By: Zach Pluhacek, Daily Nebraskan

There may soon be an effective vaccine for E. coli, thanks to a team of University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers – and all they had to do was dig through hundreds of samples of cow manure.

Faculty members and graduate students at UNL are testing the vaccine, intended to be administered to cattle. Attacking the E. coli infection at its source would eliminate the need for human vaccine injections.

“What it does is reduce the possibility for the bacteria to colonize the animals,” said David Smith, an associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences. He also is one of four faculty members directly involved in the research.


Living up to potential starts early for cow/calf operations

Living up to potential starts early for cow/calf operations

By Miranda Reiman, Certified Angus Beef LLC

Tri State Neighbor

Getting cattle to hit the higher quality grades takes effort at every link in the production chain. From the cow/calf producer to the feedlot, all must be quality conscious for cattle to gain premiums on a value-based grid.

In a research review, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) vice president Larry Corah and supply development director Mark McCully looked at early management factors that affect marbling, the intramuscular flavor fat.

“People used to think marbling was something that only happened in the feedlot,” said McCully. “But research shows targeting a high-quality beef market should begin long before that.”


Oklahoma Ranchers React To Federal Drought Aid

Oklahoma Ranchers React To Federal Drought Aid


Help is on the way for eastern Oklahoma cattlemen, but is it enough? Over the next few months, the US Department of Agriculture will distribute $6.5-million in drought relief aid to Oklahoma ranchers.

News on 6 reporter Chris Wright sees what cattlemen think of the federal aid.

$6.5-million for all the ranchers in the third largest cattle producing state in the country might not be a lot, but they say any help is appreciated. It’s been a rough year for everybody in the Oklahoma cattle industry. Rancher Clark Victory: “in all my years this has been the worst year in terms of rainfall.”

A record drought has caused all sorts of headaches for cattlemen. “It’s caused a lot of people to sell cattle early, change their business, it’s changed a lot of things.”

To help ease the pain, the US Department of Agriculture is offering drought relief aid. $50-million for cattlemen nationwide, $6.5-million for those in Oklahoma.


Wal-Mart threatens farmers, report says

Wal-Mart threatens farmers, report says

Retailer’s growth in organics a worry in state


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Plans by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to increase its offerings of organic foods could create a competitive threat to smaller organic farms and food producers, according to a briefing paper released Wednesday by a Wisconsin-based group.


Wal-Mart already is buying milk and other organic products from large-scale dairies and other large, conventional food producers that have little experience with organic production, creating what the Cornucopia Institute calls “corporate organics.” The non-profit group is an advocate for what it calls “family-scale farms.”

“This competitive challenge has the potential to destroy healthy markets for other retailers, distributors, manufacturers/processors, and family-scale domestic farmers,” the paper says.


TDA sets guidelines for drought assistance

TDA sets guidelines for drought assistance

Claredon Enterprise (TX)

AUSTIN – Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs announced this week that the Texas Department of Agriculture will accept applications September 29 to November 13 from eligible livestock producers impacted by drought who qualify for payments under the federally-funded Livestock Assistance Grant Program.

On September 29, applications will be available on TDA’s Web site at; at all TDA offices; and at Texas Cooperative Extension and U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency county offices in the 216 eligible Texas counties, including Donley.


Drought could increase the presence of dangerous mycotoxins in animal feed

Drought could increase the presence of dangerous mycotoxins in animal feed

Tri State Neighbor

As the worst drought in 17 years continues to put stress on livestock, wither plants and leave grazing land barren in the Midwest, many producers will now have to consider another economic setback – mycotoxins.

According to James Pierce, coordinator of monogastric nutrition at Alltech, drought can bring more mycotoxins to the farm as plants become stressed and more susceptible to disease and infection.

“Historically the worst mycotoxin years are also drought years,” Pierce said.

The 2001 research paper “Current concepts in feed-borne mycotoxins and the potential for dietary prevention of mycotoxicoses” from the proceedings of Alltech’s 17th Annual Symposium states that moisture content during the growing and harvesting periods is one key factor in minimizing fungal infestation in crops and mycotoxin accumulation in feedstuffs.