Daily Archives: September 5, 2006

Question of the Week: Do Hormones and Antibiotics Cause Health Problems in Humans?

Question of the Week: Do Hormones and Antibiotics Cause Health Problems in Humans?

Montana State University

I often receive questions about the therapeutic feeding of antibiotics to calves with pneumonia as well as the implanting of steers to improve growth rate. The following information is provided to help increase the understanding of these two issues.

Myth: The use of antibiotics and hormone growth implants in livestock production is causing hazardous residues in beef and contributing to the development of health problems in humans.


1. No residues from feeding antibiotics are found in beef, and there is no valid scientific evidence that antibiotic use in cattle causes illness resulting from the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

2. Scientific authorities agree that use of hormone implants results in the efficient production of beef that is safe.


Forage Testing — A Key Decision Aide in 2006

Forage Testing — A Key Decision Aide in 2006


Oklahoma producers find themselves out of their “comfort zone” as they go into the winter of 2006-2007. Many have marginal or inadequate forage supplies. However, others may find themselves with forage of unknown origin (because they justifiably felt the need to purchase whatever hay they could find) and therefore of unknown quality. In some cases, producers may cut and bale hay in the late summer or early fall, if fall rains permit some regrowth. September through November certainly is not the ideal time to harvest warm season pastures, but when other hay is scarce, that regrowth is hard to turn down. Some of this “late cutting” hay could be adequate in protein and energy content, (especially if fertilized bermudagrass) while other fields may yield very low quality forage and need considerable supplementation to enhance the usefulness of the hay.


Southeast Beef Marketing School to be held At Auburn

Southeast Beef Marketing School to be held At Auburn


Beef cattle producers who want to improve their cattle marketing skills and better understand the factors affecting cattle market prices should attend the Southeast Beef Cattle Marketing School. The intensive two day program will be held September 14 through 15 at the Auburn University Beef Teaching Unit.

The program, sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the USDA Risk Management Agency, will feature Extension experts from four southeastern universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Walt Prevatt, an Extension economist, says it will combine hands on learning and live animal evaluations with classroom sessions.

“This combination approach will help cattlemen understand different methods they can employ to manage price risks, add value to what they produce, and improve their profits,” said Prevatt.

“Participants will see cattle and learn how they fit into today’s cattle market. They’ll also learn about cattle cycles and seasonal price trends as well as how to predict cash feeder prices and how to use futures and option contracts.”

He adds there will be information presented on the National Animal Identification Plan and a producer panel that will discuss cattle marketing opportunities such as retained ownership, value added marketing and other marketing methods.


Scientists hope new test will avert disease disaster

Scientists hope new test will avert disease disaster

Foot-and-mouth results could come back in hours rather than days


Des Moines Register

Washington, D.C. – A simple new test for foot-and-mouth disease could make it much easier to avoid the disaster that befell British agriculture in 2001.

The test developed under the leadership of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California with funding by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can yield results in hours rather than days.

Before it goes into use, the test will have to be evaluated by a network of laboratories coordinated by the Agriculture Department – work that’s expected to take a year.

Foot-and-mouth disease, while no threat to humans, could devastate the livestock industry because of the speed with which the virus can spread. Exports would stop. Herds and flocks would be slaughtered wholesale.

It’s estimated that an outbreak would cost the U.S. economy $3 million for every hour it takes to diagnose the disease. So it should be no surprise that the virus is considered a prime candidate for terrorists who want to attack the U.S. food supply, hence Homeland Security’s interest. The disease is endemic in South America and much of the developing world.


Putting a Brand on Missouri`s Beef Could Put Dollars in Famer`s Pockets

Putting a Brand on Missouri`s Beef Could Put Dollars in Famer`s Pockets

KQTV St. Joseph, MO

Governor Matt Blunt wants to beef up cattle producers profits by branding Missouri`s beef.

Blunt`s plan would give Missouri beef its own name that would be nationally recognized in supermarkets.

Local farmers say creating a state brand could push their product to the front of the shelf.

Local livestock farmers say right now industry profits are steady…but they say putting a label on Missouri`s beef could mean better business.


Texas Farms and Ranches Done In by Mean Drought

Texas Farms and Ranches Done In by Mean Drought

With livestock unfed and livelihoods on the line, owners pray for rain. ‘It’s nothing but dried weeds out there,’ a feed-store manager says.

By Lianne Hart,

Los Angles Times Staff Writer

CANTON, Texas — The effects of a long, stubborn drought are everywhere here: in the parched, wasted fields and the bony cows nosing the dirt for nonexistent grass; in the cracks splitting stone-hard earth and the worried faces of farmers running out of savings, and options.

“It’s sad when you see what’s going on all around you,” said Windy Watkins, a feed-store manager. “This has been the lives of so many for so long, and now it’s gone. It’s heartbreaking.”

Canton, a rural cattle- and sweet-potato-producing area 60 miles east of Dallas, is hardly alone in its misery. From Florida to Arizona and north through the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin, drought has wiped out summer crops and forced ranchers to sell cattle they can no longer afford to feed.


Field Day to include tours and programs

Field Day to include tours and programs

Presentation on ethanol and forage among those planned.

Springfield News-Leader (MO)

Traditional tours focusing on beef, dairy, crops and forages and horticulture, along with a special program emphasis on ethanol, will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the University of Missouri’s Southwest Agricultural Research Center Field Day.

Information on research done during the past year at MU’s Southwest Center will be presented during the tours to an anticipated crowd of 1,500 people.

The research facility, site of the 47th annual Field Day, is located southwest of Mount Vernon. From Springfield, take Interstate 44 to Exit 44, then go two miles south on Lawrence County H. From Joplin, take Exit 38, then go four miles east on the south outer road.


Farmers voice dissent over plan to track livestock

Farmers voice dissent over plan to track livestock

Objections are rooted in what is seen as violation of several rights held dear.

Mike Penprase

Springfield News-Leader (MO)

As cattle bellowed in their pens at the Wright County Sale Barn, Stephen Goff took the auctioneer’s microphone and made a pitch to a packed arena of farmers.

He wasn’t taking bids on cattle.

Modern Bath Solutions

Instead, the veterinarian with the Missouri Department of Agriculture tried to explain how an animal identification program known as the National Animal Information System is the best way to track and fight livestock disease outbreaks.


Grass-fed labels could mislead

Grass-fed labels could mislead

Proposed government definition too broad, cattle ranchers say.

Libby Quaid

The Associated Press / Springfield News-Leader (MO)

Meat-eaters usually assume a grass-fed steak came from cattle contentedly grazing for most of their lives on lush pastures, not crowded into feedlots.

If the government has its way, the grass-fed label could be used to sell beef that didn’t roam the range and ate more than just grass.

Medical Benefits Group

The Agriculture Department has proposed a standard for grass-fed meat that doesn’t say animals need pasture and that broadly defines grass to include things like leftovers from harvested crops.


Program to preserve farmland running dry

Program to preserve farmland running dry

PACE hurt by budget cuts; landowners suffer

By Marcus Green


The Courier-Journal (IN)

BRANDENBURG, Ky. — Like the five generations before him, Homer Richardson makes his living from the sloping fields his family has farmed in Meade County for nearly 200 years.

Richardson runs beef cattle and raises corn, soybeans, hay and wheat on 1,500 acres — a working farm he wants to pass on to his children.

So three years ago, he applied to have more than 1,000 acres protected from development through a state program that purchases restrictive easements on farmland.

“It just was another tool” to keep the farm operating, said Richardson, a sturdy 53-year-old farmer who has seen some of his neighbors’ land carved into subdivisions. “That’s what survival on the farm is anymore.”