Monthly Archives: October 2006

Vaccinations topic of today’s of Beefcast

Vaccinations topic of today’s of Beefcast

Today Dr. Ron Lemenager concludes his five part series on weaning. Today’s topic is “Vaccinations.” View this presentation by CLICKING HERE.

You must have the FREE Macromedia flash player installed to view this presentation. To download and install this program CLICK HERE.

BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Midsized Challenges

BeefTalk: The Future of Beef – Midsized Challenges

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

There is considerable difficulty in being in the middle because the middle seldom stays the middle. The middle (average) is where no one wants to stay. For most, our upbringing has been to move away from the middle and strive to excel, dominate and extend whatever it is that we do to further heights.

The consequence of this business approach has affected rural areas in many ways. One major effect has been the lack of neighbors. In cattle country, the lack of neighbors translates into the lack of help. This is not a new concept, but it is a concept that has been with us since people have been engaged in business.

This gradual elimination of the players or partners in the beef business is part of a cycle that (hopefully) will perhaps someday recycle and redistribute resources. For the time being, the future of the cattle business seems to be pointed to larger and more expansive operations.


Provide Good Nutrition for Weaned or Purchased Bulls

Provide Good Nutrition for Weaned or Purchased Bulls

Bull Calves

Probably the most common mistake made in purchasing young, weaning age bulls is failure to provide an adequate diet to continue their growth and development. Often bulls are delivered, turned out with the other bulls, and let to “rough it” until breeding time. Thus, bull development is delayed, sexual maturity is not achieved, and the resulting calf crop is less than it should have been.

The first step in providing adequate nutrition is determining the desired level of performance. Typically, young bulls have 160 days to grow from weaning to yearling age. Because of the growth potential of our current beef population, yearling bulls are heavier than 1,000 pounds. Therefore, young bulls need to have gains of 2.5 daily. Moderate energy diets (those with grain) are needed to attain these performance levels.


Cattle: Tetany Problems in Beef Cows

Cattle: Tetany Problems in Beef Cows

Many beef producers are utilizing cereal greenfeed and/or straw as the main forage source for their cattle. During the past couple of years an increasing number of cattle herds have exhibited tetany-like problems. It is becoming apparent that high levels of potassium & low levels of calcium may be present in many of the cereal forages used as the main roughage source for cattle. High levels of potassium and low levels of calcium in the diet can limit the absorption of magnesium, resulting in tetany problems.

Tetany and milk fever are two metabolic diseases that produce tetany-like symptoms. Symptoms include depressed appetite, reduced weight gain, nervousness, staggering, stiff gait, convulsions and paralysis usually in mature cattle. Grass tetany refers to animals that exhibit tetany-like symptoms after being turned out on lush pasture, while winter tetany refers to animals fed on winter rations that exhibit similar symptoms. Tetany is caused by hypomagnesmia, or low blood magnesium (Mg) and milk fever is caused by hypocalcemica or low blood calcium (Ca). Symptoms of both conditions are often seen in mature cows in late pregnancy (about 6 weeks before calving) or soon after calving.


Prop. 204 an attempt to regulate Arizona’s factory farms

Prop. 204 an attempt to regulate Arizona’s factory farms


Capitol Media Services

Arizona Daily Sun

PHOENIX — Jim Klinker admitted that the biggest hurdle for foes of Proposition 204 is that most Arizonans have never been on a farm — and have no real idea of where the food comes from that reaches their tables.

In fact, the executive secretary of the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation conceded, just the reverse may be true: People imagine that the animals that they know have been slaughtered to make that pork and bacon have lived out their lives frolicking in the grass and wallowing in the mud.


KSU: Cows may need high-concentrate diets this winter

KSU: Cows may need high-concentrate diets this winter

Ag Professional

MANHATTAN, Kan. — After this summer’s drought, many cattle producers have had to start feeding hay earlier and, with the recent hay shortage, have had trouble finding enough to last all winter.

Producers can, however, successfully winter their cows in drylots on high-concentrate diets and maintain desired body condition scores, said Twig Marston, Kansas State University Research and Extension cow- calf specialist.

Feeding a limited, but high-concentrate diet will require greater monitoring to help avoid problems such as rumen acidosis — a decrease in rumen pH causing diarrhea and decreased feed intake; bloat — a swelling of the rumen that occurs when feed fermentation creates a foamy layer at the top of the rumen, which traps gasses; and founde — an increase in rumen acid production and a decrease in pH, he said.

The amount of forage a cow should consume daily ranges from .5 percent to .75 percent of her body weight. This will equal about 5 percent to 7.5 pounds of dry hay, or 30 to 45 pounds of silage daily.


Korean ban on U.S. beef ends

Korean ban on U.S. beef ends

Montgomery Advertiser

SEOUL, South Korea — The first shipment of U.S. beef in nearly three years arrived in South Korea today after the country lifted an import ban triggered by fears of mad cow disease, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The meat will undergo thorough quarantine inspections and go on sale after about 15 days, Lee said.

South Korea shut its doors to U.S. beef imports in December 2003 after the first reported U.S. case of mad cow disease. The country was the third-largest foreign market for American beef before the ban.


High Prices Spark Cattle Rustling

High Prices Spark Cattle Rustling

By UPI / Post Chronicle (TX)

FORT WORTH, Texas – Oct. 30, 2006 (UPI) — Rising beef prices are being blamed for a resurgence of cattle rustling in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, based in Fort Worth, Texas, says livestock thefts increased more than 50 percent from 2004 to 2005, USA Today reported.


Cattle industry adjusts to higher feed costs: Who are the losers?

Cattle industry adjusts to higher feed costs: Who are the losers?

The era of cheap feed is probably over for years to come

Chris Hurt

Purdue University Extension economist

Successful Farming

Over the past eight crop years from 1998 to 2005, U.S. corn prices averaged just $2.05 per bushel. Historically, the cattle industry has been the animal segment that makes the biggest adjustments to high priced feed and that will likely be the case this time as well.

The recent decline in calf prices represents a potential for $1.9 billion in lower annual returns for cow-calf operations. Excess capacity in feedlots will be costly as well. However, learning to feed distillers grains at much higher inclusion rates remains the opportunity.

In addition, there are lots of cattle in feedlots. The October 1, 2006 inventory is the largest since the current records began in 1996. Feedlot managers placed large numbers of calves this summer and early fall, and paid high prices for the privilege of ownership. Now, feed prices have moved much higher, raising costs of production and breakeven levels.


FMD Fears Quashed

FMD Fears Quashed

UNITED KINGDOM: Tests for feared foot and mouth disease outbreak prove negative.

Meat Processing

Fears that an outbreak of foot and mouth disease had been discovered in beef in the UK have proved unfounded.

Tests on animals at a slaughterhouse in Essex have come back negative.

“A suspect disease was reported to the State Veterinary Service in pigs at a slaughterhouse in Essex. Samples were taken and submitted to the Institute for Animal Health for testing. Initial laboratory results this morning are negative for both foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease,” said Chief Veterinary Officer Debby Reynolds.

“In accordance with Defra’s contingency plan, restrictions were placed on the slaughterhouse and farm where the pigs originated from. An 8km radius temporary zone preventing the movement of pigs, cattle and other ruminants was also put in place surrounding the slaughterhouse.”

However, the Chief Veterinary Officer added: “Further negative laboratory test results for foot and mouth disease and swine vesicular disease mean that restrictions have been lifted on the slaughterhouse in Essex, and the farm the pigs originated from. The 8km radius zone surrounding the slaughterhouse has also been removed.


Preconditioning topic of today’s of Beefcast

Preconditioning topic of today’s of Beefcast

Today Dr. Ron Lemenager continues his five part series on weaning. Today’s topic is “Preconditioning.” View this presentation by CLICKING HERE.

You must have the FREE Macromedia flash player installed to view this presentation. To download and install this program CLICK HERE.

Tomorrow, Ron concludes this series with a presentation on vaccinations.

Process Verification Program Implemented At ABS Global

Process Verification Program Implemented At ABS Global

DEFOREST, WISCONSIN – October 27, 2006 – ABS Global is pleased to announce that it has received USDA approval of its Process Verification Program (PVP) for age and source verification.

“ABS is the largest supplier of quality beef genetics in the U.S. and around the globe. Our customers generally have top-notch cattle that meet the quality demands of many beef programs-foreign and domestic. A growing number of these programs require that cattle be officially verified for age and source. By combining quality genetics with a USDA-approved Process Verification Program, we aim to help premium cattle feeders find the cattle they need while helping our cow-calf customers gain access to premium markets,” stated Dr. Darrell Wilkes, U.S. Beef Supply Manager for ABS Global.


Avoid Nitrate Toxicity in the First Snow/Ice Storm

Avoid Nitrate Toxicity in the First Snow/Ice Storm

Almost as predictable as the coming of the winter season, will be the quickly spread horror story of the death of several cows from a herd that was fed “the good hay” for the first time after snow storm. Ranchers that have harvested and stored potentially high nitrate forages such as forage sorghums, millets, sudangrass hybrids, and/or Johnsongrass, need to be aware of the increased possibility of nitrate toxicity. Nitrate toxicity is most likely if the cows are fed this hay for the first time after a severe winter storm. Cattle can adapt (to a limited amount) to nitrate intake over time. However, cattlemen often wait and feed the higher quality forage sorghum type hays during a stressful cold wet winter storm. Cows may be especially hungry, because they have not gone out in the pasture grazing during the storm. When fed the hay, the cows eat a larger than normal meal. They may be stressed and slightly weakened by the cold, wet conditions. This combination of events make them even more vulnerable to nitrate toxicity.


Selenium is Important in Animal and Human Diets

Selenium is Important in Animal and Human Diets

by: Stephen B. Blezinger, Ph.D, PAS

In the past we have discussed a number of nutrients and how they contribute to the cow’s dietary needs. This article will deviate from this format somewhat because it will not only address a nutritional issue related to the bovine but also to humans as well. Sometimes, as cattlemen we forget that we are actually in the food business. Ultimately the product we are producing is destined for the food market whether it is in the local grocery store, in a high dollar steakhouse or in a fast-food restaurant. As beef producers we have discussed at length our ability to deliver a product that is desirable and in demand. As a nutrient source for the consumer, beef is an excellent source of protein, B-Vitamins and minerals such as Zinc and Iron. Research that is currently emerging is also showing beef to be an excellent source of the trace mineral Selenium. We talked about selenium before and how important it is in the animal’s diet and the effects it can have on health and reproduction. This research is showing us how important it is in our diets from these same perspectives. The data on health effects is truly staggering in its implications. If you have ever read one of these articles before I strongly recommend to take the time to read this one carefully. It will get a little technical and involved but it has information that could change all of our lives.


Nebraska’s cows kept identified

Nebraska‘s cows kept identified

BY ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star

Ask Dennis Hughes why Nebraska needs to give its livestock operations identification numbers, and he immediately mounts his soapbox.

Nebraska’s state veterinarian points to 2001 and to an outbreak of swine pseudorabies. A highly contagious calamity struck the pork industry four years after the state thought it had the disease under control.

“There was a major outbreak in northeast Nebraska that took us 10 months to clean up,” said Hughes, who was a field veterinarian for the state Department of Agriculture at the time.

Had the state had a system commonly described as premise ID in place, it would have been much easier to monitor livestock movements, and to track down and contain the problem.


Eating acorns can hurt cattle

Eating acorns can hurt cattle

Springfield News-Leader (MO)

Leaves also can lead to livestock suffering from oak poisoning.

Despite a dry year, it has been a good season for acorn production.

“An abundant acorn crop is good for wildlife but it can cause health problems for cattle who consume large amounts,” said Eldon Cole, University of Missouri extension livestock specialist.

Oak poisoning is not solely related to the cattle eating the acorns. Poisoning also occurs when cattle eat large amounts of leaves.

“The toxic component in the oak (tannins) can be found in all parts of the plant,” Cole said.

Cole said cattle almost seem to become addicted to eating acorns. However, eating acorns does not necessarily mean they will suffer toxic symptoms.

“A lot depends on the amount of other feeds that are available. Since pastures are short this fall, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on animals for symptoms,” Cole said.

The classic symptoms are constipation, then scouring, weight loss and ultimately death. Animals that survive may have permanent kidney damage and will be subject to chronic problems. Other notable symptoms include dark, tarry manure, blood-tinged urine and straining when defecating.


Grant program to help livestock producers overcome drought

Grant program to help livestock producers overcome drought

Texarkana Gazette

Livestock producers in Miller, Little River and Sevier counties have been included in the 39 counties eligible to receive drought assistance in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department is receiving $2 million as a block grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help partially offset forage losses sustained by livestock producers as a result of the drought, said Little River County Agent Joe Paul Stuart.

The deadline to file for the financial assistance is Nov. 15.

Hay fields in Arkansas during the last two years average 25 percent below previous years.

“Hay is Arkansas’ fourth leading crop with an annual crop value in 2004 of $170 million,” said Stuart. “Pasture conditions also have suffered. In spite of recent rains, the USDA rates nearly half of the Arkansas pastures to be in poor or very poor condition.”


Atlantic Blue Group Embarks on New Branding Program

Atlantic Blue Group Embarks on New Branding Program

Company Adopts New Name, Logo; Web Site to Follow

Google Business Wire

LAKE WALES, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Atlantic Blue Group Inc., a multi-faceted company engaged in land management, cattle and citrus industries, has changed its name and adopted a new logo as part of an overall corporate branding program.

The company, formerly known as Atlantic Blue Trust Inc., is seeking to elevate its profile among its core audiences and build a solid corporate reputation, according to Atlantic Blue president J.D. Alexander. Hence, management has created a comprehensive marketing communications program to brand the company that includes a brand identity package, new Web site, issues management, community relations, industry outreach and media relations initiatives.

“One of our first orders of business in our marketing efforts for Atlantic Blue was to change the company name to broaden its scope. We found the word Trust did not adequately describe the depth and breadth of our core business holdings,” said Alexander.

The new name also needed a new look to accurately reflect the company’s personality, operations and future direction. “We wanted a way to represent our company that would capture its heritage, pioneer spirit, stewardship, integrity and sound fiscal management,” said Alexander. He unveiled a new logo to the company’s board of directors at their annual meeting on Oct. 20 and will incorporate the approved logo into the company’s collateral materials, signage and other visual components over the next few months.


Farmers can’t raise enough wagyu cattle to meet demand

Farmers can’t raise enough wagyu cattle to meet demand

Monique Curet


Vic Luneborg is one of only a handful of Ohio farmers raising Japanese beef cattle called wagyu.


Vic Luneborg looks over his herd of wagyu cows on his Hillsboro farm. The cattle produce Kobe-style beef.

The cows in Vic Luneborg’s southwestern Ohio fields have a foreign-sounding name, but their role in the beef market is based on a basic tenet of American capitalism: Find a niche and make the most of it.

Luneborg, of Hillsboro, is one of only a handful of Ohio farmers raising Japanese beef cattle called wagyu, the source of the product commonly known as Kobe beef. Demand for the American version of the beef has increased so much that farmers such as Luneborg, who raise the cows for breeding purposes, say they can’t keep up.


S. Korea to resume US beef imports this week

S. Korea to resume US beef imports this week


SEOUL (AFX) – South Korea will resume imports of US beef this week, ending a ban imposed nearly three years ago over mad cow disease, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting government officials.

Nine tons of beef from a Kansas-based slaughterhouse will arrive at Incheon International Airport tomorrow and will go on sale after detailed quarantine inspections,

South Korea in January agreed partially to lift the ban imposed in December 2003, but the resumption stalled after the discovery of a new US mad cow case in March.