Daily Archives: November 2, 2006

November Beef Management Calendar

November Beef Management Calendar

John B. Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, Virginia Tech..

Spring Calving Herds

  • Body condition score cows and separate thin cows
  • Market calves at graded sales, telo-auction or as off-farm truckloads
  • Background calves for sale in December
  • Feed replacement heifers to gain 1.5 – 1.75 lbs per day or use the Target Weight method to calculate rate of gain
  • Cull open, old and very thin cows; check feet and legs, udders and eyes
  • Feed cull cows on stockpiled fescue until December or January to increase marketability
  • Test hay for nutrient quality
  • Move cows to stockpiled grass late this month or early December
  • Get list of bull sales coming up early this winter
  • Remember VAPAH heifer sales on Nov. 1, 4 and 24, and December 1

Fall Calving Herds

  • Finish calving
  • Check cows 2 to 4 times per day, heifers more often – assist early if needed
  • Keep calving area clean and move healthy pairs out to large pastures 3 days after calving
  • Ear tag and dehorn all calves at birth; castrate male calves in commercial herds
  • Give selenium and vitamin A & D injections to newborn calves
  • Feed cows extra energy after calving; stockpiled fescue will take care of needs. Cows calving at BCS
  • Test hay for nutrient quality
  • Look for opportunities to secure low-cost feed supplies of bulk feeds or commodity feeds
  • Keep high quality, high magnesium, high selenium minerals available
  • Move cows to stockpiled grass late this month or early December
  • Begin breeding replacement heifers late this month; try AI on heifers
  • Get breeding soundness exams done on all bulls
  • Last minute to buy bulls at November-December bull sales

Alabama star shares unique cow herd approach

Alabama star shares unique cow herd approach

By Mark Parker

Ada Evening News (OK)

PIERCE CITY, Mo. — The song Teddy Gentry is singing these days may never make it to the top of the country music charts but it was a big hit in Pierce City, Mo.

That’s where the bass player and songwriter from the legendary band Alabama spoke recently, sharing his experiences as a cattleman and doing a little crusading for grass-fed beef and the family farm.

Speaking at a customer appreciation dinner sponsored by Main Street Feeds and Joplin Regional Stockyards, Gentry provided a look at a progressive and unique cattle operation.


Maximizing Fall and Winter Grazing

Maximizing Fall and Winter Grazing

The Ohio State University

Extending the grazing season can reduce production costs (Fowler and Stout, 1990). Labor for the winter period can be reduced to 25% of conventional wintering of beef cows in Ohio (Van Keuren, 1970). Rotational grazing takes about three hours/acre/year versus hay production which requires seven hours/acre/year (Undersander et al., 1991). The cost for feeding hay or stored feed is between $0.75 to $1.00 a day per cow, compared to $0.20 to $0.25 a day per cow for winter grazing fescue. A well-planned grazing program can provide stockpiled pasture well into winter across much of the Upper South and Lower Midwest (Gerrish, 1996).


Pratt Livestock tests new cattle ID system

Pratt Livestock tests new cattle ID system

The Associated Press


PRATT, Kan. — Modern technology is invading the traditional cattle auction, as the industry tries to respond to concerns about the possibility of a widespread animal disease or a terrorist attack on the nation’s food supply.

That effort was obvious Monday at the Pratt Livestock auction ring, where 500 of the 6,000 head of cattle wore electronic identification tags in their ears. The cattle were among the first to be part of a federal animal tracking pilot project involving 15 of the state’s sale barns.


New Weapon in Food Safety War

New Weapon in Food Safety War


UNITED STATES: ARS scientists develop a chlorate-based compound that shows promising results in reducing food-safety risks in meat and poultry.

A patented compound developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists could help reduce the risk of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection from meat or poultry products.

Researchers led by microbiologist Robin Anderson at the ARS Food and Feed Safety Research Unit (FFSRU) in College Station, Texas, mixed a chlorate-based compound into livestock feed or water two days before slaughter. When fed at roughly 0.5 to 5 percent of an animal’s diet, this powder-like additive was very effective in reducing Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in the animal’s gastrointestinal tract.

In studies with cattle, levels fell from 100,000 E. coli cells per gram of fecal material to 100 cells per gram. Anderson’s team obtained similar results in reducing the amount of E. coli and Salmonella bacteria in tests with 100 swine and 100 sheep.

To test the chlorate compound in poultry, FFSRU microbiologist Allen Byrd gave it to more than 200 market-age turkeys and 2,000 broiler chickens 48 hours before they went to processing. The incidence of Salmonella dropped from 35 percent to zero in turkeys, and from 37 percent to 2 percent in broilers.


A few ideas for winter feeding of beef cows

A few ideas for winter feeding of beef cows

By Dr. Jim White


Evaluating feeding programs and making changes is an appropriate method to improve profitability of a cow herd. Underfeeding animals is not a sound strategy—it is too difficult to make up for an extended period of underfeeding. This is similar to a college freshman who thinks, “I’ll play this first semester, then buckle down and work hard.” At Christmas break, they are the proud owners of one D and four Fs. Then they desperately calculate that to graduate on the Dean’s list they need to get straight As for the next seven semesters. It’s a possible feat, but not probable. Such a student can certainly count on getting letters—rather unpleasant letters—from the Dean’s office. Obviously, the prognosis for success is usually better when we stay ahead of the curve. So consider these approaches to carry your cows through winter.


Calves Passive immunity affects Lifetime Performance

Calves Passive immunity affects Lifetime Performance

by: Glenn Selk

OSU Extension Cattle, Reproduction Specialist

Cattle Today


A successful cow/calf operation requires that a large percentage of cows wean a live calf every year. A live calf at weaning time requires survival of the offspring from birth to weaning. Cattle that are healthy as calves, healthy weaned stockers, and remain healthy throughout finishing, are more productive and much more cost efficient. In addition, healthy cattle that are not repeatedly treated with antibiotics or other therapeutic products will have a higher likelihood of producing a wholesome, high quality carcass with fewer injection site blemishes and no antibiotic or drug residue. As the percentage of cattle needing antibiotics for disease control or prevention dwindles, consumer confidence in the wholesomeness of beef should increase. In a time when vertically integrated alliances are becoming more popular, healthy calves that have strong, natural or acquired disease immunity will become in greater demand.


Hitting the Right Target Weight is Critical to Replacement Heifers

Hitting the Right Target Weight is Critical to Replacement Heifers

Dr. John B. Hall, Va. Tech

Replacement heifers need to be of sufficient weight and age to breed successfully. To insure heifers are developed properly from a nutrition and weight aspect, we have used the “Target Weight” concept. The Target Weight is the desired weight of all heifers by the start of the breeding season, and it is expressed as a percentage of mature weight. Recently, considerable discussion occurred on the optimum target weight. Is it 55%, 60% or 65% of mature weight?

Recently, many producers may have read articles discussing the success some western ranchers and researchers had with developing heifers to a lighter target weight to reduce development costs. But is what works in the Sandhills of Nebraska right for Virginia? Let’s review some facts.


Grazing Behavior: More Than a Matter of Taste

Grazing Behavior: More Than a Matter of Taste

Story & photos by Troy Smith

Angus Beef Bulletin

Have you ever pondered the reasons why grazing animals behave as they do? Are there reasons why cattle prefer some forages to others? The reasons why livestock select certain species of plants is important to management of grazing lands. Unfortunately, while striving to make a better living, beef producers often ignore the subtleties of how animals make their living.


Blach shares current market trends

Blach shares current market trends

From the Texas Cattle Feeders Association

Beef Magazine

If you were to focus on the 6% increase in beef production in 2006, you might think the cattle market is poised for a major correction. However, according to Randy Blach, executive vice president of Cattle-Fax, the market has held its own this year.

“We’ve seen fed slaughter increase 800,000 to 900,000 head this year over last year and production is up 6%. Yet fed-cattle prices are only going to end up $1.50 to $2 lower than they were a year ago. So we’ve gotten along very well,” Blach told members of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) at their joint meeting in mid-October.