Daily Archives: October 20, 2006

Don’t Forget about Bulls when Preparing for Breeding

Don’t Forget about Bulls when Preparing for Breeding

by: Bethany Lovaas

University of Minnesota Beef Team


As the breeding season approaches, generally everyone is thinking about getting cows and heifers in shape for the breeding season. A nice, tight breeding season results in a nice tight calving season, which generally is the most economical for producers. However, the cow is only half of the equation. Don’t forget about the bulls! Here are some things to consider:

• A breeding soundness exam. One of the most Important, and often under utilized tools available to beef producers is the bull breeding soundness exam (BSE). A BSE will allow the technician/veterinarian to assess the fertility of a bull based on scrotal circumference, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.


Manage Forage in Segments to make it to Spring

Manage Forage in Segments to make it to Spring

by: James Rogers

Noble Foundation


Forage producers with grazing livestock have just come through two of the worst growing seasons most folks can remember. Spring grass flush is another six to seven months away. Let’s break that down into manageable segments: September to frost, frost to March and March to May. There are management strategies for each segment that can help stretch forage and keep managers in control instead of just reacting to a limited forage situation.


An Opportunity To Learn

An Opportunity To Learn

Story & photos by Miranda Reiman

Angus Journal

Matt Loewe has no qualms about sharing production secrets. In fact, his goal is to help neighbors become more competitive, encourage young people in agriculture and give back to the industry.

Loewe manages the Opportunities Farm, a cattle-feeding and grain operation near Lennox, S.D. A project of the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Foundation, the farm was donated in the spring of 2001.

“Whatever we do here, we hope to be able to share that information — good, bad or otherwise — so that students or Extension personnel can share it with the public,” Loewe says. “That’s part of our whole mission — to share everything.”


Clostridium difficile PCR Ribotypes in Calves, Canada

Clostridium difficile PCR Ribotypes in Calves, Canada

Centers for Disease Control

We investigated Clostridium difficile in calves and the similarity between bovine and human C. difficile PCR ribotypes by conducting a case-control study of calves from 102 dairy farms in Canada. Fecal samples from 144 calves with diarrhea and 134 control calves were cultured for C. difficile and tested with an ELISA for C. difficile toxins A and B. C. difficile was isolated from 31 of 278 calves: 11 (7.6%) of 144 with diarrhea and 20 (14.9%) of 134 controls (p = 0.009). Toxins were detected in calf feces from 58 (56.8%) of 102 farms, 57 (39.6%) of 144 calves with diarrhea, and 28 (20.9%) of 134 controls (p = 0.0002). PCR ribotyping of 31 isolates showed 8 distinct patterns; 7 have been identified in humans, 2 of which have been associated with outbreaks of severe disease (PCR types 017 and 027). C. difficile may be associated with calf diarrhea, and cattle may be reservoirs of C. difficile for humans.


2007 National Beef Ambassador Announced

2007 National Beef Ambassador Announced


Florida youth wins title to represent beef industry in coming year

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN (Oct. 9, 2006) – Mathew Peebles, Silver Springs, Fla., won the title of 2007 National Beef Ambassador at the annual competition, held Oct. 5-7 in Minneapolis, Minn. The competition was established on behalf of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef councils by the American National CattleWomen, Inc. (ANCW). The ANCW serves as one of the Beef Board’s contractors for checkoff-funded programs.

Twenty contestants from throughout the country vied for the national title and $5,000 in cash prizes sponsored exclusively by Tyson Foods, Inc. Additionally three educational scholarships totaling $2,250 were given by the American National CattleWomen Foundation, Inc. Peebles received $2,500 cash and a $1,000 college scholarship. Second place went to Amanda Rankin, Caliente, Calif., who received $1,200 and a $750 scholarship. Third-place winner JoAnna Strom, Beresford, SD, received $800 and a $500 scholarship. Christie Molinaro, Pennsylvania, and Londa Johnson, Minnesota, received $250 each as honorable-mention awards.


New Plant Could be Bad for Industry

New Plant Could be Bad for Industry


UNITED STATES: A financial analyst says the state-of-the-art beef processing plant Smithfield Beef Group and ContiGroup Companies plan to build in Oklahoma could be bad news for the beef industry.

Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Beef Group, Inc. and New York, N.Y.-based ContiGroup Companies, Inc. announced plans yesterday to build a new, state-of-the-art beef processing plant in Texas County, Oklahoma.

The 650,000-square-foot plant will be the first of its size built in more than 20 years in the United States, and will create between 2,500 and 3,000 jobs.

The Texas County plant is expected to process 5,000 head per day at full capacity.

Construction is expected to begin in January 2007, with completion scheduled for mid- 2008. It’s expected to cost about $200 million.


Exports dominated an eventful year, TCFA chairman tells cattlemen

Exports dominated an eventful year, TCFA chairman tells cattlemen


If there is an issue, in a year dominated by major issues, that captured the attention of cattlemen, it is exports.

“The single most critical issue facing our industry since December 2003 has been the reopening of our major export destinations for beef,” said John Gillcrist, chairman of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA). “Beef exports represented 10% of annual production when the U.S. experienced its first BSE case in late December 2003. In the heartbeat of one positive BSE cow, science not withstanding, we lost 10% of our market for U.S. beef.”

And a 10% loss in market share is significant, he told members of TCFA and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) during a joint session in Amarillo of Texas’ two major cattle organizations. The meeting brought cattle feeders to town for the TCFA Annual Convention and TSCRA members gathered for their annual Fall committee and board meetings.

By the summer of 2006, the U.S. had regained about 48% of its lost export markets. While that will increase as Japan and South Korea come back, the export challenge remains, he said.

“The challenge that lies before us, and it’s a major challenge, is to regain our lost market share and then grow our export volumes beyond 2003 levels,” he said. “To be successful, all arbitrary and non science-based restrictions and regulations imposed by foreign governments on U.S. beef must be lifted.”


Corn Use For Ethanol Could Mean Higher Cattle Prices

Corn Use For Ethanol Could Mean Higher Cattle Prices

By Jim Cote



CHICAGO (Dow Jones)–If corn demand for ethanol production boosts corn

values, livestock prices will also increase because of higher feeding costs.

That is the conclusion that was drawn by John Lawrence of Iowa State

University and Steve Meyer of Paragon Economics at a discussion on the

implications of ethanol production for livestock producers at the Chicago

Mercantile Exchange Wednesday afternoon.

Both speakers predicted future corn price volatility, with a corn price range

between $2 and $5 a bushel.

But the ethanol byproduct can be used in animal feeds, with cattle able to

make the best use of that feed, called distillers grain and solubles, or DGS.

Cattle can eat the DGS without having the feed dried first, thus giving

cattle feedlots closest to ethanol plants a big feed cost benefit. The impact

on the grading of cattle, whether they would be less likely to yield choice

meat, for instance, is being studied.


You can thank industrial agriculture for E. coli

You can thank industrial agriculture for E. coli


The Providence Journal

WASHINGTON — The recent E. coli bacteria scare has had grocery stores nationwide pulling spinach off their shelves and throwing it away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the State of California have determined that the spinach implicated in the outbreak grew in California counties. The first illness associated with this outbreak occurred on Aug. 2, although most illnesses reported to date cluster from Aug. 26 to Sept. 12.

At least 183 cases of illness due to E. coli have been reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention _ including 29 of a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) _ as well as 95 hospitalizations and one death.

E. coli is usually a harmless bacterium that is abundant in the digestive systems of healthy cattle and humans, and if your spinach salad happened to be carrying the average E. coli, the acid in your gut is usually enough to kill it.


U.S. Beef Industry Can Build on Export Success, Even with Competition

U.S. Beef Industry Can Build on Export Success, Even with Competition


According to former Ag Secretary and U.S. Trade Representative Clayton Yeutter – the international competitive picture looks good for U.S. cattle producers. He says he’s optimistic traditional export markets will come back soon – and that the industry can build on that.

For one thing – if the Doha Round of World Trade Organization talks is ever completed – Yeutter says export subsidies of all kinds will disappear. He says that will be good for the U.S. beef industry – as the biggest user of ag export subsidies is the European Union. With those subsidies out of the picture – Yeutter says it will be more difficult for the EU to move product into the world market in competition with the U.S.


Texas Cattlemen Hear New Definition of the American Consumer

Texas Cattlemen Hear New Definition of the American Consumer


Cattlemen need to be aware of the emerging American consumer. That’s according to John Zogby – CEO of the Zogby International polling firm. In fact – Zogby says four major consumer groups have emerged from his extensive research of Americans.

According to Zogby – 46 to 48-percent of Americans fall into the American Spiritualist category. He says they don’t dream in material terms – but in spiritual terms. Therefore – with this group – material acquisition means less and less.

Zogby says the majority of Americans – 52 to 54-percent – have some form of stock market investment. He says this new investor class thinks in terms of getting out of debt – putting their kids through school – and living comfortably in retirement. The rest of American consumers fall into the frequent Wal-Mart shopper and working-for-less American groups.