Daily Archives: September 19, 2006

North Dakota State Extension Beef Newsletter available

The North Dakota Extension Beef Newsletter “The Ranch Hand” is now available by clicking HERE.

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Cull Cow Checklist

Cull Cow Checklist

by Kindra Gordon

Angus Journal

With increased incidence of drought across much of cow-calf country during the past few years, culling cows to lighten the load on forage resources has been top of mind for many ranchers. And even if you’re not being pressured by drought to downsize the herd, chances are you still have a few head that need to “go to town.”


Demand For Age & Source-Verified Calves Creates Opportunity For Producers

Demand For Age & Source-Verified Calves Creates Opportunity For Producers


Public concern over food safety has spawned a new niche market for cattle producers: age- and source-verified cattle. Florida cattle producers can earn substantial premiums by age- and source-verifying their calves, which qualifies beef from their animals for sale to Japan and other export markets.

One company helping ranchers take advantage of this opportunity is Okeechobee Livestock Market. Florida’s largest livestock market is selling truckload lots of age- and source-verified cattle over the Internet through Producers Cattle Auction LLC, an online cattle auction company based in Mobile, Alabama.

“Retailers are paying premiums for age- and source-verified cattle, and there’s no need for the feedlots and the packers to be the only ones in the production chain that are getting them,” said Todd Clemons, president of Okeechobee Livestock Market. “Our aim is to help ranchers take care of age and source verification on their end so they can keep more of the money in their own pockets. The cow/calf producer is the only person who can verify the age and source of feeder calves.”


Take Care of Bull Battery during Drought Conditions

Take Care of Bull Battery during Drought Conditions

by: Dr. Glenn Selk

Oklahoma State University, Reproductive Specialist


The drought continues to cause concern about which cows to sell and which to keep. Of course feed and water supplies for the cowherd are huge concerns. However, we must still keep in mind that half of the herd’s genetics and half of the fertility is penned up in the bull pasture. Therefore, it is important to remember to take good care of the bull battery during the drought.

After the breeding season, bulls become a necessary evil or unwelcome visitor. Many producers might like to forget about them for the balance of the year and some almost do. While it is true that bulls during the post breeding season don’t require much management, adequate planning and care can help ensure that bull costs will be kept within reason and that bulls will be ready to go again the next time they are needed.

In most spring calving herds, the breeding season will commence in the spring or early summer and extend for two to three months. If a 60 day prebreeding conditioning period is allowed, this leaves a post breeding season of about seven months, usually coming in the fall and winter. Goals for this period are basically as follows: Keep feed costs at a practical minimum, BUT keep the bulls in moderate condition and allow growth of young bulls.


BeefTalk: Source and Age Verification Are Two Different Concepts

BeefTalk: Source and Age Verification Are Two Different Concepts

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

Source and age verification are becoming a product of the marketing environment. The entrance into the marketplace is an indication of recognition by those buying cattle that a need exists for source- and age-verified calves. This is good.

The premise of a free market suggests supply and demand drive the marketplace and determine the value of the product. In this case, the demand side is starting to perk up as indicated by marketing organizations soliciting and labeling calves as source and age verified. The supply side is stepping up to the challenge. Source- and age-verified calves are starting to sell. What does that claim mean?


2007 Beef Industry Scholarship Program

2007 Beef Industry Scholarship Program

Monday, September 18, 2006, 3:39 PM
by Dave Russell, Brownfield Network

Young people pursuing careers in the beef industry are being encouraged to apply for one of twenty scholarships being awarded by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in the 2007 Beef Industry Scholarship Program. Graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two-year or four-year college are eligible for the $1,500 scholarships. The application deadline is October 10, 2006.

Related Links:
For a full description of the scholarship program

Branding still seen as first line of defense for cattlemen

Branding still seen as first line of defense for cattlemen

Special to The Monett Times (MO)


Why brand?

That was one of the topics at the 44th annual Field Day, recently hosted by the University of Missouri Southwest Center near Mt. Vernon.

According to Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with the University of Missouri Extension in Mt. Vernon, noted with recent reports of cattle thefts in the area, this particular method of identifying cattle may well see an increase in popularity.

Cole noted that there are two types of branding methods used, freeze branding, or the Old West-style hot branding.

While either method is adequate, Cole suggested that the materials needed for freeze branding may be difficult to obtain and maintain during the lengthy process.

In Missouri, as well as many other states, brands must be registered, at a cost of about $35, and must be renewed every five years. Brands must have two or more characters, and be at least three inches in height. Desired branding locations are primarily on the hip or shoulder area of the animal.


Livestock Assistance Grant Applications Available

Livestock Assistance Grant Applications Available

Darryal Ray

AL Farm Bureau

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Farmers and producers in south Alabama’s drought-stricken counties can begin submitting applications for the USDA’s Livestock Assistance Grant Program on Oct. 2, says Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Producers in 31 Alabama counties are eligible to share in the $50 million for the Livestock Assistance Grant Program recently announced as part of an emergency drought relief package by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. Anyone who owned mature livestock in the counties specified as having “extreme” or “exceptional” drought conditions this year between March 7and Aug. 31 are encouraged to apply.

Those counties are: Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Chambers, Choctaw, Clarke, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Dallas, Elmore, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Russell, Tallapoosa, Washington and Wilcox.

Qualified applicants will receive funding based on the highest number of livestock located on their farm between those dates. Mature livestock is defined as cattle, sheep, and goats that have borne offspring. An animal unit conversion will be applied for sheep and goats.


Ranchers Decry Grass-Fed Beef Rule Plan

Ranchers Decry Grass-Fed Beef Rule Plan


WASHINGTON, Sep. 3, 2006(AP) 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.

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.

Critics say the proposal is so loose that it would let more conventional ranchers slap a grass-fed label on their beef, too.


Horse slaughter: Just say whoa

Horse slaughter: Just say whoa


GUEST COLUMNIST, Seattlepi.com

WASHINGTON — With midterm elections looming and voters in a sour mood, House members were desperate to find something to shake the “Do-Nothing Congress” image.

What do Americans like? Animals.

Who do Americans hate? The French.

On flimsier foundations have laws been built.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act passed the House with bipartisan support Sept. 7. It prohibits slaughtering horses for human consumption. Proponents say the law will break horses’ grisly journey “from stable to table in four days.”

Sounds like a no-brainer. We don’t eat horse meat, so there’s no market for Trigger and Buttercup in this country.


Japanese line up for U.S. beef’s return

Japanese line up for U.S. beef’s return

By the Associated Press /.Independent Record (MT)

TOKYO (AP) – The U.S. ambassador was among customers thronging a major Japanese fast-food chain Monday to savor the return of a popular rice dish topped with American beef that was off the menu for more than two years due to mad cow disease fears.

”It was great. It was well worth the wait,” U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer said after eating Yoshinoya D&C Co.’s ”beef bowl” with chopsticks.

Japan and nearby South Korea banned American beef in December 2003 because of fears about mad cow disease. Japan eased the ban in July, and South Korea earlier this month.

But in both nations, the reception to American beef has been mixed, with the comeback being welcomed only by serious meat-lovers, like those who lined up before Yoshinoya restaurants for hours before they opened.