Daily Archives: September 21, 2006

Determine value of drought-damaged corn for silage

Determine value of drought-damaged corn for silage


In areas impacted by drought, harvesting corn for silage rather than grain may be a better option, says Dwight Aakre, a farm-management specialist with North Dakota State University Extension Service. But it may be difficult to determine the value of that silage.

To help, the NDSU Extension Service has a worksheet titled “What is the Value of a Standing Corn Crop for Silage?” available on the Web at http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/aginfo/farmmgmt/resources.htm.

This worksheet goes through a procedure to estimate the value of silage based on different levels of corn grain content. The value of silage is determined by estimating the quantity of corn grain and fodder dry matter per ton. The local prices of corn grain and grass hay are used to value the grain and fodder in each ton of silage.


Lined Bunkers Stop Spoilage

Lined Bunkers Stop Spoilage

by Fae Holin

Hay and Forage Grower

Plastic isn’t just the last thing Bill Rowekamp deals with when filling bunker silos. It’s also the first. That’s because he lines his empty bunkers with it.

Two rolls of plastic, each 150′ long and 60′ wide, are hung 14′ down the walls and anchored on the floor of an empty 40 × 90′ bunker. Rowekamp fills and packs the bunker, then pulls the remaining plastic over the top from both sides — effectively “bagging” his haylage or corn silage.

Although he spends at least $720 on plastic per bunker, Rowekamp, Lewiston, MN, figures he’s saving $3,400 in feed that would spoil using the traditional plastic-over-the-top method. It’s also helped increase his herd’s milk production and improved its health, he says.

“Since we have been covering this way, we have virtually no spoil-age — no molds or toxins,” he says.


Arkansas Feedout Program under way

Arkansas Feedout Program under way

The Baxter Bulletin

Beef cattle producers who want to enroll steer calves in the Arkansas Feedout Program for 2006-2007 must return nomination forms to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service by Oct. 2. The forms are available at Baxter County Extension office, and the cost is $25 per head. The consignor must nominate at least five head, however a producer may consign as many steers as desired.

Calves must weigh between 500-850 pounds when they arrive at the feedyard. Vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine (IBR-PI3-BVD-BRSV) is required. Vaccination with a killed virus is not acceptable. Please consult with a local veterinarian to make sure steers receive the correct vaccinations. Please be sure to follow the label directions concerning vaccination protocol and timings.


Age & Source Verification Still Needed For Japan

Age & Source Verification Still Needed For Japan


Early in January there was a lot of interest and momentum in age and source verification in anticipation of the re-establishment of the Japanese market. A considerable financial investment was made by the industry in developing QSAs, verifying product and meeting Japanese requirements. When the market was closed again because of prohibited material in one shipment, a portion of that investment was lost. Despite efforts to the contrary, Japan’s Health Minister Jiro Kawasaki indicated that all beef trade would halt again if any specified risk materials are found in a US shipment. Given this statement and the knowledge that few processes are 100% perfect, it is no wonder that most are approaching the market reopening much more cautiously.

Nevertheless, there is evidence that more feedlots have completed the QSA establishment process. Feedlots seem happy to get age verified cattle, but are not willing to pay extra at this point for lack of harvest premiums. For now, it seems that most of the product being prepared for shipment to Japan is coming from carcasses meeting the A40 age specification. If the Japanese consumer gets their appetite for American beef back, there could be more demand than what can be met by carcass age alone.


Scientists Hunt Down Disease

Scientists Hunt Down Disease

Written by Chris Rasmussen


Agriculture researches are trying to figure out exactly how diseases move from cattle to humans by taking a closer look at the feedlot.

Calgary, Alta., Sept. 6, 2006: Agricultural researchers are tracking the movement of bacteria from cattle feedlots in a large-scale, high-tech project that has all the plot elements of popular television detective dramas.

“You could call what we’re doing ‘CSI: Feedlot,” jokes Dr. Doug Inglis of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), who leads the multi-institutional, four-year project.

The research involves a team of investigators, DNA tracing and a destructive and elusive pest. But in this case the focus is not a criminal. Rather, it’s Campylobacter – a group of bacteria found in cattle intestines and shed in cattle feces.


He’s Banking On Beef

He’s Banking On Beef

Hartford Courant (CT)

John Morosani is owner and operator of Laurel Ridge Farm in Litchfield, where he and his wife Joan raise grass-fed Black Angus cattle on over 700 acres. The former investment banker, 53, spoke to free-lance writer Jennifer Warner Cooper.

Q1 Suddenly it seems like we’re hearing a lot about grass-fed beef. Americans generally think of “corn-fed” or “grain-fed” beef as wholesome and natural; it’s even marketed that way. What’s the story with grass-fed?


Area cattle producers remain optimistic

Area cattle producers remain optimistic

Navasota Examiner

“Cautious optimism” is the best way to describe what is happening in today’s cattle business, according to Greg Goudeau at Navasota Livestock Auction Company.

Today’s cattle producers are seeing higher production cost, but they are also seeing higher prices for their cattle. “Right now the price of hay, with any protein content at all, has about reached the limit, and other production costs have risen as well, yet the producers are not unloading their cattle.” Most of the animals we see are older and the raiser needs to get rid of them, and with prices holding up, now is a good time,” Goudeau explained.

Most of the sellers at the auction barn are concerned about drought conditions, but according to Goudeau, there is no panic. “Most of the people we see know that one rain is not going to break the drought; it didn’t happen over night and it won’t end overnight. For the most part, farmers and ranchers are tough and have been through similar situations. We are not seeing the sell-off of 1996 when raisers dumped their cattle for what they could get, which was about $250 for calves. Last week, calves were going for about $500,” Goudeau said


Rapid Test Unveiled

Rapid Test Unveiled

by Dell Rae Moellenberg

Angus Journal

Colorado State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) and National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) demonstrated in late July a new rapid diagnostic test for seven important and economically devastating animal diseases, including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).


Put Hay To Work For Feed, Shelter & Fuel Savings

Put Hay To Work For Feed, Shelter & Fuel Savings

Cow-Calf Weekly

For the past seven years, Mike Moon has had his winter-feed supply working for him three ways — as winter feed, as animal shelter and as a fuel-saving measure.

Since 1998, the manager of the John E. Rouse Beef Improvement Center near Saratoga, WY, has stacked more than 2,000 tons of large, round bales in giant “V” shapes pointed directly into the prevailing winter winds. The hay serves as winter feed for the Colorado State University (CSU) facility’s 400 commercial Angus cows and yearlings. But the stacking method also helps stabilize the cattle’s nutritional requirements by providing them with shelter from chilly winter winds. Plus, the V shape makes snowed-in haystacks a thing of the past.

Moon sets the giant, V-shaped walls of large round bales in his winter-grazing areas. He stacks the bales two deep and two high to a height of about 12 ft. The bottom rows stand vertically and the top rows lay horizontally across the top.


Ethanol-Powered Cows

Ethanol-Powered Cows

By Stephanie Veldman Associate Editor

Beef Magazine

The ethanol industry is on the fast track for expansion as fuel prices skyrocket. Its production has been expanding at breakneck speed for the past few years, and is expected to continue for several more.

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Most U.S.-based plants use corn as their main ingredient in making ethanol, and the growth of the industry has provided an abundance of co-products — such as distillers grains — that can be used as high-protein and energy supplements in animal diets. Supplements fill in the holes left by limited and low-quality forages found in many drought-stressed pastures.