Daily Archives: September 7, 2006

Arkansas Cow Has Fourth Set of Triplets

Arkansas Cow Has Fourth Set of Triplets


For the fourth time, an Arkansas cow has given birth to triplets – and it’s the ninth time she has given birth to more than one calf at a time. The Charolais-mix cow named Faith has given birth to 22 calves in nine pregnancies – each of them multiples.

“Our vet says she belongs in the Guinness Book of World Records,” owner Jenny Williams said. “She’s amazing.” Veterinarian Dr. G.C. Blair confirmed the 10-year-old’s amazing fertility.

According to researchers at Oklahoma State University, beef cattle have triplets in 1 out of about 105,000 pregnancies, and have twins in 1 out of about 250.


Virginia, the Beef-Cow State?

Virginia, the Beef-Cow State?

by Harvey Hall, styleweekly.com

Forget tobacco. Virginia’s becoming a go-to state for beef cattle. The state is now ranked 15th in the United States for its beef cattle production, beating out such cow-strong states as Colorado and New Mexico, according to the latest U.S. Cattle Inventory report. The recent surge in beef cattle has something to do with the industry’s growth in traditional tobacco-growing regions of the state, says Bill McKinnon, executive secretary of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.“The decrease in tobacco growing has released some other resources,” McKinnon says, explaining that farming operations have slowly been shifting people, money and their land to other agricultural businesses — particularly beef cattle.


Good Pasture Plan Key to Successful Grazing

Good Pasture Plan Key to Successful Grazing

Midwest Messenger

Ron Johnson, Dairy Editor

Going to grazing? You’ll do better if you possess a plan.

Having a plan in place – a good one – can save time, prevent frustration and keep you from wasting money.

“You only have so much money to lose in farming. You don’t want to blame the grazing specialist,” quipped Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Grazing Lands Specialist Rick Zirk. He spoke at the recent Wisconsin Grazing School at Rice Lake.


Zirk advised using the resources you already have, whenever possible. That means using your farm’s perimeter fences if they’re in good shape, and using – at least for the time being – the grasses and legumes that are naturally occurring on your land. Existing pastures can be renovated later, if there’s the need.

However, if your perimeter fences are not up to snuff, by all means invest money in them, Zirk advised. Besides keeping your livestock in, they will help keep predators out.


American beef bowl is back!

American beef bowl is back!

With mad-cow fears subsiding, fast-food firm resurrects a hit


Mailtribune.com / The Associated Press

TOKYO — The Japanese fast-food chain that made its fame on a rice dish topped with American beef said Wednesday the “beef bowl” will return Sept. 18 after a two-year hiatus caused by a mad-cow scare.

But Yoshinoya D&C Co. will have just 1 million servings, which are likely to sell out before the day is over, said the company’s president, Shuji Abe.

The chain, which operates about 1,000 restaurants nationwide, won’t be able to regularly offer its famous “gyudon,” as it can’t procure a sufficient supply of American beef because of Tokyo’s decision to only allow cattle aged 20 months or younger in lifting its ban on U.S. beef.


House to Vote on Ban of Horse Slaughter

House to Vote on Ban of Horse Slaughter

CBS News

WASHINGTON, Sep. 7, 2006(AP) The House is once again confronting the slaughter of horses for meat, a practice lawmakers thought they had ended last year.

Congress voted in 2005 to stop horse slaughter. But they didn’t ban it outright _ lawmakers yanked the salaries and expenses of federal inspectors. In response, the Bush administration simply started charging slaughter plants for inspections.

A vote was planned Thursday on whether to put an end to horse slaughter. Critics call the industry un-American.

“Everyone knows who Mr. Ed, Secretariat and Silver are. I dare anyone to name a list of famous cattle or chickens,” Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., said in recent testimony to a House subcommittee.

“They are American icons that deserve to be treated as such. Would we ever think of slaughtering and serving a bald eagle in this country? The same should be true of the horse,” Sweeney said.

American horse meat is sold mostly for human consumption in Europe and Asia, although some goes to U.S. zoos.

The industry’s defenders say that slaughter plants offer a low-cost, humane way to ending a horse’s life when it is no longer useful.


Seoul to unveil panel decision on U.S. beef imports Friday

Seoul to unveil panel decision on U.S. beef imports Friday

Yonhap News

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Thursday that it will announce Friday a food safety panel’s decision on whether to lift a ban on U.S. beef imports that was imposed about three years ago following the discovery of a case of mad cow disease in America.

The panel, made up of government officials, veterinary experts and representatives of cattle-related interest groups, met Thursday afternoon to discuss the findings by the latest mission to seven meat-processing facilities in the U.S.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said earlier in the week that all seven facilities met safety requirements set by Seoul, hinting that the first shipments of imports could be hitting supermarket shelves in mid-October.

The same facilities failed to meet these standards during an inspection visit in late May.


USDA sees enough corn to double ethanol output

USDA sees enough corn to double ethanol output


WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – U.S. ethanol output could double to 10 billion gallons annually by 2010 without igniting a food-vs.-fuel fight over whether to use corn as livestock rations or making the alternative fuel, a government economist said on Wednesday.

At a Senate Environment Committee hearing, the Agriculture Department’s chief economist said the surging ethanol industry could incite record corn (maize) prices in the next five or six years to bring more land into corn production.

“There will be some costs, but it will be manageable,” said chief economist Keith Collins. He said steadily rising yields and larger plantings would assure adequate supplies. Co-products of ethanol are useful feed ingredients, too.


Grass-fed beef: Mr. Favor and Rowdy would have been proud-y

Grass-fed beef: Mr. Favor and Rowdy would have been proud-y

South Bend Tribune

How do you like your beef?

These days, the answer is likely to go beyond rare, medium or well-done.

More and more people are answering “grass-fed.”

Nationwide, there’s a growing demand for grass-fed beef after experts have declared it healthier than grain-fed beef, especially because grass-fed cattle typically are not given hormones or antibiotics.

Plus, if cattle are raised in the spirit of grass-feeding, the animals get plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise.

If grass-fed beef is trendy, it’s hardly new. Grass is what cattle eat naturally. (Those dreamy “Rawhide” cow punchers weren’t driving their doggies to a cornfield.)


Interstate Movement Of Meats Gets A Chance

Interstate Movement Of Meats Gets A Chance

WFRV blog

Senators Herb Kohl and Orin Hatch have already introduced legislation in the Senate to allow for interstate shipments of state-inspected beef and poultry. But there is currently no companion legislation in the House. That will change this fall when Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri introduces legislation, co-sponsored by North Dakota Representative Earl Pomeroy, to allow the shipment of state-inspected meat.


Producers look to corn stalks to fill forage gap

Producers look to corn stalks to fill forage gap

The Daily Times (OK)

By Mark Parker

The scramble to find forage for cattle in drought-stricken areas has producers taking a hard look at corn stalks.

Like his counterparts in other parched portions of the territory, Labette County, Kansas, Extension ag agent Keith Martin has been covered up with questions about utilizing corn stalks as forage.

“Corn stalks represent a real opportunity for cattlemen who are in need of forage,” he said, “but we need to keep several considerations in mind. If you’re baling stalks you have to be able to cover your baling costs as well as the value of the nutrients you’re removing from the field.

“If you’re buying baled stalks you have to assess their value compared to that of hay,” Martin said. “And if you’re feeding stalks – either baled or standing – I’d advise you to get a forage test so you know the nutritional value of what you’re feeding as well as a nitrate test to determine the potential for toxicity problems.”


The impact of B.S.E. to linger for years

The impact of B.S.E. to linger for years


by Keith Nunes

MANHATTAN, KAS. — The U.S. beef industry lost approximately $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion during 2004, after Japan and South Korea banned imports of U.S. beef following the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (B.S.E.) in the U.S. Economic projections indicate that even when all imports are restored, it will take a few more years for the beef industry to return to pre-2004 market levels.

“It looks right now like it will linger on,” said Sean Fox, a Kansas State University agricultural economics associate professor who researched the situation at the request of the Food Safety Consortium. “Even if we hadn’t had this latest episode with Japan, we were probably looking at regaining one-third, maximum, of that market compared to what we had there in 2003. To get back to where we were in 2003, we’re probably looking at two to four years.”

Mr. Fox’s study found that prior to the embargo, Japan had accounted for 35% of the beef export market’s value and South Korea had contributed to 21% of the value. The loss of the export markets led to increased domestic supplies and reduced prices.


A study recommends expansion to a beef-processing plant in Maryland.

A study recommends expansion to a beef-processing plant in Maryland.


Upgrading the George G. Ruppersberger and Sons Inc. beef-processing plant in Baltimore, Md., will enable premium beef producers to add value to their animals, a study revealed.

“We have a need for additional processing capacity in Maryland to allow small to moderate-sized beef production farms to expand their marketing opportunities. It will be a benefit to a lot of people,” said Scott Barao, executive director of the Maryland Cattlemen’s Association and the Maryland Beef Industry Council.

Barao said the study was prompted by a shortage of meatpackers serving Maryland’s approximately 4,000 beef producers, growing interest in direct beef marketing, and expectations for increased beef production on former tobacco farms in southern Maryland.

One of the beef processors interested in the results of the study is Roseda, one of Maryland’s largest beef producers. Roseda manages 1,500 head of purebred Angus cattle raised mostly by others under contract, and sells the beef to consumers and upscale supermarkets under its Roseda Beef label, according to the company’s Internet site. The business model is similar to that of Salisbury, Md.-headquartered Perdue Farms Inc., one of the largest poultry producers in the United States.


Black Ink-Close but no Premium

Black Ink-Close but no Premium

by: Steve Suther


The blink of an eye separates winners from losers. A couple of feet and a thousandth of a second may send one driver around for a victory lap, while others cruise into their pits to analyze why they fell short.

Little things make a big difference. Thomas Dewey and Al Gore would have been presidents of the United States if a few more of their supporters had voted in a few precincts. As Ben Franklin wrote some 250 years ago, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse was lost; for want of a horse, the rider was lost.” And on it goes, building greater significance to that missing nail.

What details are you overlooking right now?

The “slight edge” philosophy has often been quoted in marketing seminars. You can turn your life around by taking baby steps, improving something just a little bit every day. The underlying truth is constant change. Things will either get a little better or a little worse over time, and it takes action to sway that in your favor.

Some things slowly accumulate to a critical point, like rust on baling wire, until one more bump by one more calf after one more micron of rust.


Know the Cull Cow Grades Before You Sell

Know the Cull Cow Grades Before You Sell


Some culling of beef cows occurs in most herds every year. The Beef Audits have generally shown that cull cows, bulls, and cull dairy cows make up about 20% of the beef available for consumption in the United States. About half of this group (or 10% of the beef supply) comes from cull beef cows.

In a drought-plagued year, the percentage of some herds that are being culled goes even higher than the survey estimates of 20% of each cow herd. Whether we are culling because of drought or to improve the productivity of the herd, it is important to understand the values placed on cull cows intended for slaughter.

The USDA market news service reports on four classes of cull cows. The four classes are divided primarily on fatness. The highest conditioned cull cows are reported as “Breakers”. They usually are quite fleshy and generally have excellent dressing percentages. Body condition score 7 and above are required to be “Breakers”.

The next class is a more moderate conditioned group of cows called “Boners” or “Boning Utility”. These cows usually would fall in the body condition score grades of 5 to 7. Many well-nourished commercial beef cows would be graded “Boners”.