Daily Archives: October 9, 2006

Poll Shows NAIS Implementation Below Expectations

Poll Shows NAIS Implementation Below Expectations

Cattle Today

Kansas City, Mo. – More than 80 percent of participants at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) annual conference regarding animal identification suggested the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Animal Identification System (NAIS) implementation is behind expectations. Further, 78 percent of the more than 100 respondents said NAIS should be a mandatory program.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, who gave the key note address at the meeting, stressed the program will remain voluntary under his watch. He believes the market place will drive the implementation of NAIS through premium opportunities for producers.


Back to school on mycoplasma bovis

Back to school on mycoplasma bovis

Canadian Cattlemen

By Jeff Grognet, DVM — In the 1960s, veterinarians thought mycoplasma was an uncommon microbe with minimal consequence to the cattle herd. Today we know better. Mycoplasma infections are now blamed for several important syndromes in beef cattle. Research into this organism is ongoing, and though our success with treatment is poor, we know more on its transmission, and from that, how to prevent it.

In one reported case, 200 beef calves averaging 450 pounds were shipped directly from a ranch to a feedlot. They arrived during an early November snowstorm and were immediately processed and vaccinated. By 10 days in the lot, calves came down with respiratory disease and a few had sore legs. By 3 weeks, 25% were lame with swollen hocks and knees. Many more had fevers, coughing and had clear nasal secretions.


Prices soften drought’s impact

Prices soften drought’s impact


Jackson Hole Star-Tribune.

Thanks to higher prices, the Wyoming cattle and sheep industry enjoyed a relatively good year in 2005, after years of getting hammered by drought.

According to the newly released “Wyoming Agricultural Statistics 2006,” compiled by the Wyoming Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the year saw “record high annual average cattle and calf prices, and, at the same time, record sheep and lamb prices.”

Office director Richard Coulter said the “flip side” was fewer numbers of cattle and sheep, due to years of drought. Cattle numbers are climbing back up, he said, but are not back to 2000 figures.

Meanwhile, sheep numbers appear to have bottomed out after several decades of decline. “They’re holding pretty good now for about three years,” he said.

Wyoming’s all-commodities price index for 2005 was above the previous year, due to higher livestock prices.


Shortage of quality forage can hurt cows

Shortage of quality forage can hurt cows

Springfield News Leader

Beef producers may want to consider using concentrated feeds this winter.

The shortage of hay has prompted many calls concerning alternative ways to feed beef cows. It has also led to calls about the wide variety of hays available.

“The unique varieties of hays available include corn, soybeans, weeds of any kind and johnsongrass. You name it, and if it was green, someone has probably tried to bale it,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

With the risk of purchasing low-quality forages high this year, Cole says it is important to get a forage analysis done.

“Producers may also want to consider feeding more concentrated feeds to their cows this winter and limit forage intake to a minimum,” said Cole.


Plant small pasture now for winter

Plant small pasture now for winter

Rusty Evans

The Leaf Chronicle (TN)

Fall is the time that cattle producers decide whether calves are going to be sold or held over until next spring. Gary Bates, University of Tennessee Extension Specialist, suggests careful consideration of grazing options before making such a decision.

“While keeping calves can result in bigger calves and higher prices, this marketing alternative depends on having a good source of feed during the winter,” said Bates.

To ensure adequate grazing throughout the winter, Bates recommends implementing small grain pasture into the feeding plan.

“Small grain and ryegrass pastures provide high quality grazing during the fall, winter and spring,” said Bates. “It doesn’t matter if you plant 5 acres or 100 acres, the high nutrient content of these forages can


BVD is the Most Costly Viral Disease in Cattle

BVD is the Most Costly Viral Disease in Cattle

by: Heather Smith Thomas
Cattle Today

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is widespread in cattle, with a high number of animals testing positive to this disease. It has been estimated that 80 percent of cattle in this country have been exposed to BVD, and that 70 to 90 percent of infections go undetected, without visible symptoms. It is the most costly viral disease in cattle, inhibiting conception, causing abortion and birth defects, and hindering the immune system — making the animals more susceptible to other diseases. In the U.S. cattle industry BVD is costing producers an estimated $2 billion per year.

The first descriptions of BVD in North America (outbreaks of diarrhea in some herds, and erosive lesions in the digestive tract — sometimes with nasal discharge, drooling, diarrhea and abortion) were reported more than 60 years ago. It got its name from the profuse, watery diarrhea shown by weanling/yearling age cattle, but we later learned that this was only one of many forms of disease caused by this virus. The first attempts to isolate the cause of these various problems were not successful; medical technology was not advanced enough to detect and identify the virus. Eventually researchers found that all these symptoms were caused by one virus.


Livestock deaths may be caused by Cyanobacteria

Livestock deaths may be caused by Cyanobacteria


Drinking stagnant pond water during hot, dry weather can cause death in animals, according to Charles Stoltenow, North Dakota State University Extension Service veterinarian. “The water can contain certain species of Cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae) that typically grows in stagnant warm pond water.”


BeefTalk: A Call to Arms Because the Rooster Crowed

BeefTalk: A Call to Arms Because the Rooster Crowed

By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

Attending the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association annual meeting in Fargo was good. The meeting, as with all meetings, picked up the flavor of the region, a fact of life throughout the world.

It seems beef meetings are filled with good humor, with much of it directed at chickens. Unlike many ethnic stories, there is no offense taken to a good chicken joke among the beef folks.

In this case, egg laying Ginger was the center of attraction. Ginger starred in the movie “Chicken Run,” a funny movie by Aardman Animations involving a flock of chickens bent on not becoming chicken pie. The chickens spent the majority of the movie developing and executing a plan to escape. In the end, they succeeded, met their goals and retired in paradise.

Perhaps there is a lesson in that brief statement, but I would like to make a broader point. The chicken and cow thing has been going on for some time. For the most part, the early settlers would have insisted on both, plus a milk cow, a sow and maybe sheep.


USDA’s "28-Hour Rule" Expanded To Trucks

USDA’s “28-Hour Rule” Expanded To Trucks

Cow Calf Weekly

USDA has revised its “28-hour rule” for livestock transportation to apply to trucks as well as trains. The rule dictates livestock — poultry is exempt — can only be on a truck for 28 hours, at which point they must be off-loaded and provided with food, water and at least 5 hours of rest.

The so-called “28-hour rule,” which dates back to 1873, when cattle were predominantly shipped by rail, had only been applied to rail transport. Today, however, almost all livestock are shipped by truck, and animal-welfare groups had filed a legal petition calling on USDA to amend the regulations to include truck transport.


Politicians Learning Well From Anti-Beef Groups

Politicians Learning Well From Anti-Beef Groups

Cow Calf Weekly

At first blush, one would have thought the recent E-coli 0157:H7 outbreak in the spinach industry would have been a neutral event for cattle. Sure, we’ve had our issues with E-coli 0157:H7, but we’ve also made great strides in reducing the problem.

While no one should strive to benefit from a food-safety scare, and one has to feel for spinach growers devastated by the outbreak, one would have thought the increased concern regarding food safety of vegetables wouldn’t have been a negative for beef. Yet the beef industry was moved right into the crosshairs, as activist groups pointed at the cattle industry and grain feeding as the cause of the problem. In fact, cattle have been fingered so intensely that it’s easy to forget the problem was with spinach.