Daily Archives: October 19, 2006

New Self-Assessment Tool for Beef Quality Assurance

New Self-Assessment Tool for Beef Quality Assurance


Farmers are ranchers have a new tool for assessing their Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. A checklist can be a fast and easy way to evaluate how you are doing with your BQA program. Thanks to funds contributed by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board from checkoff funds, “Quality Assurance Cattle Handling Practices, Procedures, and Facilities Evaluation: A Farm and Ranch Producer Evaluation” has been created.

This assessment tool deals with: Farm Facilities, Biosecurity, Cattle Corrals, Administration of Health Products, Stocker/Backgrounder & Feedlot Management, Cow/Calf BQA, Feedstuffs, Pesticides & Chemical Records, and Transportation.


USAHA recommends mandatory ID for cattle breeding herd

USAHA recommends mandatory ID for cattle breeding herd

by Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

The National Assembly of the U.S. Animal Health Association (USAHA) this week approved a resolution recommending national animal identification become mandatory for the U.S. cattle breeding herd. The USAHA’s Livestock Identification Committee approved a similar resolution as well. That’s according to Dr. Sam Holland, state veterinarian for South Dakota, who attended the Association’s annual meeting in Minneapolis.

“For animal health reasons, I think animal health officials at the state levels and many of those at the national level, and industry also, see it being mandatory to be effective,” Holland told Brownfield. “In fact, we passed a recommendation here out of the National Assembly that we recommend that we look very strongly and very quickly at instituting mandatory identification, and start with the segment, just one segment, of the breeding herd,” he added. “That also passed out of the ID Committee also, a resolution to that effect.”

Holland says USAHA is less concerned about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) relative to animal ID and animal health, and much more worried about contagious cattle diseases like bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and foot-and-mouth disease. “We really need to protect out industry that we see as growing in vulnerability to recurrence of some of the traditional diseases,” Holland said.


Smithfield and ContiGroup to Build New Beef Processing Plant

Smithfield and ContiGroup to Build New Beef Processing Plant

Ag Professional

Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. and ContiGroup Companies, Inc. today announced an agreement in principle to form a 50/50 joint venture to build a new, state-of-the-art beef processing plant in Texas County, Oklahoma, that will create 2,500 to 3,000 jobs.

Construction of the plant, which will be the first of its size in more than 20 years in the United States, is expected to begin in January 2007, with completion scheduled for mid-2008. The parties plan to equip the new 650,000- square-foot facility with the most efficient and state-of-the-art operational and food-safety processes in the industry. Cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $200 million.

The Texas County plant is expected to process 5,000 head per day at full capacity. The new facility will likely draw employees from nearby communities.

“We reviewed more than 30 potential locations in five states, met with local economic development and agricultural leaders, and visited a short list of ten potential sites before deciding that Texas County is ideally suited for our new facility,” said Richard V. Vesta, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Beef Group.


Deadline for Livestock Assistance Grant Program nears

Deadline for Livestock Assistance Grant Program nears

by Peter Shinn

Brownfield Network

The deadline to sign-up for the Livestock Assistance Grant Program (LAGP) is October 25th, and cattle groups and state officials are urging producers to apply. USDA provided $50 million in emergency Section 32 funds, divided between drought-affected states, to create the LAGP in late August.

Nebraska Cattlemen Executive Vice President Mike Kelsey told Brownfield that because of the way the program works, the more producers sign-up, the less each gets, because benefits will be paid from a fixed pool of money from the Section 32 funds provided by USDA. But Kelsey said all livestock producers hard-hit by drought should still apply. He said if they don’t, Congress will get the wrong message as it contemplates providing drought aid when it returns for a lame-duck session after the November elections.

“If we don’t have a producers that apply, and so we have a low turnout, then the next time we go and say, ‘We need some help,’ they’re going to go back and look at previous records and say, ‘Well, look, you said it was this bad at this point and time; you didn’t have any producers apply, so it must not have been too bad,'” said Kelsey. “‘It’s going to be real difficult for us to justify getting you some money.'”


Cattle futures take ballistic ride

Cattle futures take ballistic ride

Akron Farm Report

It was like the arc of a skyrocket. The futures contract for live cattle delivery last week soared toward $95 a hundredweight. Then it floated downward, trading at $84.45 by midday.

Like few other signals in the post-BSE marketplace, the brief rise signaled the volatility that persists since what’s commonly called mad cow disease was confirmed in Canada, then in the United States, in 2003.

Futures traders did their big adjustments, apparently concluding that while this price rally is on solid ground, the future isn’t so clear.


Abingdon teen on state judging team

Abingdon teen on state judging team

Attending college on livestock judging scholarship


The Register-Mail

GALESBURG – Ryan Malone spends three nights a week and his weekends looking at livestock.

It’s no wonder he is one of the best young livestock judges in Illinois.

Malone, an Abingdon teen, is one of five members of the 2006 Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team.


Food From Cloned Animals Could Hit Supermarket Shelves

Food From Cloned Animals Could Hit Supermarket Shelves

Some Consumer Groups Are Outraged

ABC News

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it was moving closer to approving meat and milk from cloned animals, and some consumer groups are outraged.

Although it sounds like science fiction, in the very near future, milk and meat from cloned animals could be as close as the corner store.

Since Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned from an adult cell, sheep, cows and pigs have been cloned for research and breeding.

“We are not convinced that this is safe food,” said Jaydee Hanson, program director for the Center for Food Safety. “We haven’t seen the facts that would convince us.”


U.S. Beef Exports to Japan Slow

U.S. Beef Exports to Japan Slow

Ag Professional

Despite strong demand for U.S. beef in Japan, beef exports to Japan have been slowed by regulations and hesitant packers. The president of the Cattleman’s Beef Association said, “Our perspective is that the demand in Japan for U.S. product is higher than the supply right now.” As part of an agreement to restart the trade, Japan restricted imports from the U.S. and Canada to cattle under 21 months old.


Research Continues Worldwide on Rare BSE Strain

Research Continues Worldwide on Rare BSE Strain

High Plains Journal

OMAHA (DTN) — Scientists know how to detect atypical BSE, but admit they have limited knowledge about the rare strain of bovine spongiform encephalopathy that has been found in the two U.S.-born cases of the disease.

A USDA scientist who conducts research on atypical BSE also declined to answer whether USDA’s new testing regime would continue to find cattle infected with the atypical strain.

First discovered in France and Italy, atypical BSE has become a growing topic at scientific meetings on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Several research papers on the issue were presented last month at a meeting in Italy. The struggle is interpreting what atypical BSE can mean, particularly given the rarity of the disease globally.


Fugate Family Farm and the Yellow School Bus

Fugate Family Farm and the Yellow School Bus


More than several years ago (but not so long ago, really), we ventured to Claiborne County for a story on Hoop Creek. There just after the Civil War former slaves found the area ideal to settle. Evidently it was a fine place to enjoy their newfound freedom because many of their descendents still lived there.

In the course of doing what turned out to be a series of three episodes highlighting the Hoop Creek story, we met a man by the name of John Fugate. Mr. Fugate, though white, knew a lot about Hoop Creek. His family had settled in Little Sycamore Valley, just across the ridge from Hoop Creek, in the 1700’s. The Fugate family had deep roots in that little valley.


Forage Focus: Evaluate Hay Storage and Feeding Procedures

Forage Focus: Evaluate Hay Storage and Feeding Procedures


The methods of storing and feeding hay can have a great impact on the winter feed bill and the profitability of cow-calf operations. Now, in the midst of winter feeding, would be a good time to evaluate the hay storage procedure used last spring and summer and the feeding practices carried out this winter. (see following article) Both impact the volume of hay available as well as the cost of winter feeding.

Hay is the primary winter feed for Tennessee cowcalf operations. Approximately 91 percent of the hay fed to beef herds is harvested and stored in large round bales.

Eighty two percent of Tennessee’s cow-calf producers store these large bales outside, uncovered, on the ground. Exposure to weather and moisture from the ground result in a large amount wasted or rotted hay that is not suitable to meet the cattle’s nutrient needs.

Research conducted at the University of Tennessee showed that large round bales stored outside, uncovered, on the ground had dry matter losses of 28 percent. Similar research at other experiment stations reported losses up to 35 percent. This is a lot of hay lost.


Perennial Forages Look Promising on the Plains

Perennial Forages Look Promising on the Plains

Texas A&M

Writer: Tim W. McAlavy, 806.746.6101,t-mcalavy@tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Calvin Trostle, 806.746-6101,ctrostle@ag.tamu.edu

LOCKNEY – More and more South Plains producers are taking a look at how perennial forages may fit in their future production plans. A recent turnrow meeting on the Eddie Teeter farm near here provided an opportunity to see how several perennial grasses are initially faring on the Plains.

Teeter is one of about 20 South Plains producers who volunteer their management expertise and some of their land to test production systems currently under review by the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation.