Daily Archives: September 22, 2006

Wasteage From Feeding Hay on Top of Snow Was Significant

Wasteage From Feeding Hay on Top of Snow Was Significant


In Canada and the Northern U.S., hay is commonly fed to cattle on snow-covered ground over the winter. The objective of this Alberta Agriculture project was to measure the losses that may occur when feeding dry hay, either processed or unrolled, on the ground versus hay processed into portable feed bunks. The trial was conducted at the Lacombe Research Centre in February, 2005. A total of 55 heifers were allotted to one of three different feeding treatments using meadow brome hay: 1) Hay processed into portable feed bunks; 2) Hay processed on to tarps covered with snow; or 3) Hay unrolled on to tarps covered with snow. Hay was supplied at 90% of expected intake to ensure the heifers cleaned up as much as they could. Snow, ice, wasted feed, and manure were gathered off the tarps after the feeding process, which was repeated four times. This material was dried, manure removed, and weighed for total hay loss. The wasted hay was sieved and weighed to determine the amount of fine and coarse material. There was no wasteage of hay processed into feed banks.


Cattle price trends to continue for a while

Cattle price trends to continue for a while

By Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association

North Texas E-News

Stocker and feeder cattle prices look to hold firm through the remainder of the year, despite severe drought conditions that have been forcing early weaning and movement of calves this summer.

Strong prices for heavy feeders combined with mostly stable lightweight calves and stocker prices have squeezed the price premiums on calves in recent weeks, said Derrell Peel, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service livestock marketing specialist.

“This trend should continue into the early fall and might provide a slightly better stocker buying opportunity, and somewhat earlier than usual because of drought-forced early calf marketing,” Peel said.

Industry analysts generally expect calf and feeder cattle prices to remain firm.

“Drought-forced cow culling is underway and likely will continue this fall, possibly having a significant impact on cow markets,” Peel said.

Feedlots have been on something of a rollercoaster since last fall. Feedlot inventories built up last winter and spring as a result of dry conditions.

“Stronger marketings and reduced placements in May pulled feedlot inventories down,” Peel said. “However, summer drought conditions and strong feedlot demand are once again causing increased placements of animals.”


Late Gestation Nutrition of Dams Has Lasting Effects On Their Heifer Calves

Late Gestation Nutrition of Dams Has Lasting Effects On Their Heifer Calves


Univ. of Nebraska researchers conducted a 3-yr. study to determine the effects of nutrition of dams on growth and reproductive performance of their heifer calves. During the last trimester of gestation (Dec. 1-Feb. 28), cows received either 1 lb/head/day of a 42% CP supplement fed three times/week or no protein supplement. During calving season (Mar. 1-Apr. 30), cows were managed as a single group. For one month (May 1-May 31), half the cows were fed cool-season grass hay while the other half grazed sub-irrigated meadow. On June 1, cows were recombined and managed as a single group throughout the breeding season.

Supplementing cows with protein during late gestation resulted in heifers that were heavier at weaning and breeding, had higher pregnancy rates, and earlier calving dates.

Cows grazing meadows after calving had heifers with heavier weaning wts. than those fed hay. However, there were no differences in heifer reproductive performance.


Cattle drive comes home

Cattle drive comes home

Bradenton Herald

Going on this drive is really a celebration of who we are

For three days in December, ranchers from around the state will experience what it’s like to sleep under the stars and drive cattle across Florida, just like the pioneers did.

The ‘Great Florida Cattle Drive of Ought 6’ is expected to attract hundreds of participants, among them East Manatee rancher Jim Strickland.

‘Going on this drive is really a celebration of who we are,’ he said, during a break in the Florida Cattlemen’s Association meeting Thursday in Sarasota.

The Florida Agricultural Museum is sponsoring the event.

Ranchers and other participants will saddle up their horses in Kissimmee and embark on a 40- to 50-mile trail ride to the new Silver Spurs Rodeo Arena in Kenansville.

Strickland, who especially likes the camaraderie of other ranchers, participated in a similar event in 1995.

To celebrate Florida’s 150th year of statehood, he joined 600 other ranchers who drove 1,000 head of native Cracker cattle across the state. The effort was to drive home a history lesson that Florida was home to the first cowboys in America.


Talk of cows with dialects is a moot point

Talk of cows with dialects is a moot point

Jim Stingl

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The cow says “moo.” But could it instead be “myoo” or “maoo” or “moo-moo,” depending on where the animal does its grazing?

No way, says Clark Vilter, who happens to own 65 cows on a farm in Hartland.

He was kind enough to indulge a columnist who called with perhaps the stupidest question ever. I had read a story earlier this month in this very newspaper about farmers in southern England who swear their cows are mooing with a regional accent.

“We believe our cows make a different sort of a mooing noise than the cows farther up the country,” the story quotes David Willes as saying.


U.S. court asked to dismiss cattle ranchers’ case

U.S. court asked to dismiss cattle ranchers’ case

Canadian Press


BILLINGS, Mont. — An appeal by a U.S. ranchers’ group attempting to stop some Canadian cattle from crossing the border could be dead before it even begins.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a motion in the Court of Appeals asking it to agree with a lower court’s ruling without hearing all the evidence.

The motion says that judges at the Appeals Court have already rejected the attempt by the Montana-based lobby group Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) to keep America’s borders firmly closed to Canadian cattle based on the country’s cases of mad cow disease.

“All of the issues … have already been considered and rejected by this Court,” it reads.

“The rule at issue is unchanged, as are the relevant facts and law.”

R-CALF has spent several years fighting a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to open the border to Canadian cattle under the age of 30 months.


Agricultural hall of fame adds new faces

Agricultural hall of fame adds new faces

M.K. ‘Curly’ Cook (left) and Ray Jensen inducted into ag hall of fame.

Two men who helped turn University of Georgia programs into powerhouses were inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame at the 52nd annual UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association Awards Banquet Sept. 15 in Athens, Ga.


Funds hoping demand will drive prices higher

Funds hoping demand will drive prices higher

By Brian Hoops, Columnist

The Prairie Star

Funds are holding over 120,000 net long positions in a precarious position of hoping demand will be strong enough to drive prices higher.

Early September has produced a small rally as new month index fund buying lifted prices. History tells us the USDA will increase the production estimate this fall, leaving the market to push lower as the harvest progresses. Harvest should begin earlier this year and harvest lows should also occur earlier.


Is stopping E. coli O157 contamination as easy as changing cattle diet?

Is stopping E. coli O157 contamination as easy as changing cattle diet?


That’s certainly the claim in a new New York Times editorial (via The Frontal Cortex). The author, Nina Planck (author of Real Foods: What to Eat and Why), claims that it’s as easy as just feeding cattle grass, and poof!–E. coli O157 will vanish.

More on this and why organic farming won’t necessarily stop such outbreaks after the jump.

Planck writes:

Where does this particularly virulent strain come from? It’s not found in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new — that is, recent in the history of animal diets — biological niche: the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the typical ration on most industrial farms. It’s the infected manure from these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.


New Studies on Growth Hormones

New Studies on Growth Hormones


Growth hormone is a protein hormone of about 190 amino acids that is synthesized and secreted by cells called somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary.

Growth hormone is a protein hormone of about 190 amino acids that is synthesized and secreted by cells called somatotrophs in the anterior pituitary. It is a major participant in control of several complex physiologic processes, including growth and metabolism. Growth hormone is also of considerable interest as a drug used in both humans and animals.


EPA Issues Final Rule on Coarse Particulate Matter (PM) Regulation

EPA Issues Final Rule on Coarse Particulate Matter (PM) Regulation

From: NCBA eUpdate

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final rule amending the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), taking the toughest stand on regulating particulate matter in the history of the Agency. In this just released rule, EPA has abandoned the agricultural exclusion that was contained in its proposed rule and has, despite the clear lack of scientific evidence, opted to regulate based on a PM10 standard of 150 micrograms per cubic meter.

As you know, NCBA and many of our affiliates and individual producers have fought this outcome from the beginning. As opposed to some of our simpler issues, this is a very complex issue and an even more convoluted rule. The final document issued to day is nearly 300 pages long. So, it will take us some time to actually digest the entire rule that was just released. However, as soon as we have, we’ll pass along our summary of today’s very adverse outcome as well as information about what it means to you and your fellow livestock producers.

In the meantime, the final rule and all of EPA’s supporting documents can be found at http://www.epa.gov/air/particles/actions.html.

If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to contact Jenni Beck at jbeck@beef.org or (202) 347-0228.

Reps. Blunt and Pomeroy Introduce Interstate Meat Shipment Legislation

Reps. Blunt and Pomeroy Introduce Interstate Meat Shipment Legislation

From: NCBA eUpdate September 21, 2006

Today, Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and 12 of their colleagues in the House introduced H.R. 6130, the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2006. According to Rep. Blunt, under H.R. 6130, beef, pork, poultry and lamb approved by state inspection agencies in the 28 states who currently have their own meat and poultry inspection programs could be sold in every state in the U.S. It will allow the facilities inspected by such state programs to take advantage of opportunities in other states.

This legislation is potentially a great opportunity for cattle producers and small local businesses to create and market branded beef products and specialty products. NCBA will be actively supporting this bill and working for its passage.

While the text of this bill and co-sponsor list has not yet been made available, it will be available in the near future at: http://thomas.loc.gov if you search for bill number H.R. 6130.

We’ll keep you posted on the progress of this bills and ways you can help in the near future. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to contact Jenni Beck at jbeck@beef.org or (202) 347-0228.

Agroterrorism Symposium To Bring US Food Segments Together

Agroterrorism Symposium To Bring US Food Segments Together


KANSAS CITY (Dow Jones)–Organizers of next week’s International Symposium on Agroterrorism in Kansas City say their main goal is to bring various segments of the U.S. food chain together so participants will be aware of inherent challenges to food safety and be better prepared to address those issues.

Kevin Murphy, director of market development for Food 360, a division of Vance Publishing Co., said organizers hoped participants would be able to increase prevention of agroterrorism and, failing that, to raise their ability to detect it quickly.

There is a tendency within the U.S. food industry for those within each segment to remain isolated, with little appreciation for the processes or the challenges faced by the segments on either side of them in the chain of production, Murphy said.