Daily Archives: December 11, 2006

Feedlot size can affect cattle grades

Feedlot size can affect cattle grades

By Miranda Reiman, CAB information specialist

Farm & Ranch Guide

Feedlot sizes have been steadily increasing, while quality grades of cattle continue to drop.

“We think that’s more than a coincidence,” says Larry Corah, Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) vice president. “Larger feedlots face a number of challenges that contribute to this decrease in quality grades.”

More than 50 percent of today’s cattle are fed at yards with more than 32,000-head capacity. Data from CAB’s Feedlot Licensing Program shows yards larger than 20,000 head have a 41 percent lower Certified Angus Beef brand acceptance rate than the average of their counterparts. They also drop 17 to 20 points in the number of cattle grading Choice or higher.

“We recognize that some of the difference could be due to feedlot location, as most of the larger yards have access to Southern-type cattle,” says Mark McCully, director of supply development for CAB. “But cattle that find their way into our dataset tend to be of similar quality.”


Check for Salt Water, Fall Diseases in Cattle, Warns LSU AgCenter Vet

Check for Salt Water, Fall Diseases in Cattle, Warns LSU AgCenter Vet

By: Linda Foster Benedict, St. Tammany.com

LSU AgCenter veterinarian Dr. Christine Navarre is getting calls from around the state that anaplasmosis outbreaks are occurring in cattle herds.

“It’s not uncommon to get these calls this time of year,” Navarre said. “But it’s still a red flag that producers need to be watching for this disease and take steps to prevent further outbreaks.”

Anaplasmosis is a disease spread by insects, usually flies, that can lead to death, especially in adult cattle. It can be prevented three ways – through vaccination, feed that contains an antibiotic and minerals, and fly control.

“If producers see signs of the disease, the first step they should take is to call their veterinarian to make sure their cattle are getting the appropriate treatment,” Navarre said.

Symptoms include depression and fever and, in milking herds, a rapid drop in production. The infected animal becomes weak, separates from the herd, and may be frightened easily. The moist surfaces around the eyes and muzzle become yellow. Animals that survive gradually recover but remain carriers, Navarre said.


Ethanol plants help complete cattle’s diet

Ethanol plants help complete cattle’s diet

By Rob Osman, KHAS-TV

With so many ethanol plants in the state and many more under construction, the demand for corn will soon be at an all–time high. Cattle producers are also in market for corn, but have found a way to work with ethanol plants.

Adam, since Nebraska is the number two producer of beef in the country, the demand for feed is high. With ethanol plants taking the lion’s share of corn in the future, cattle producers have found a couple of ways to make sure their cows are well fed.

For cattle to grow they demand to eat, for them corn is fuel. For some cattle producers, like Dose Land and Cattle in Hampton, making sure there is enough corn for their cattle is no problem. They grow their own. But they also rely on ethanol plants to complete their cattle’s diet.

While some could view ethanol plants as competition for corn, the fact is the by–product of ethanol is good food for cattle.


Money grows on grass

Money grows on grass

By Cindy McKay

Interlake Spectator

Dr. Anibal Pordomingo shares his knowledge with a MAFRI member about raising grass-finished beef.


Money really does grow on grass … if it’s managed properly. This according to 2006 Manitoba Grazing School speakers who spoke at the annual event in Brandon Nov. 29-30.

About 390 producers participated in the event which included a variety of guest speakers and topics related to the improvement of pastures and increased gains on cattle.


Want Age With That?

Want Age With That?

By Wes Ishmael Contributing Editor, Beef Magazine

It seems so simple. A buyer wants you to verify the age and source of the calves you’re selling, even says they’re worth more money if you do. They’re all wearing your brand and you’ve got calving records going back to Noah’s foundation stock; no problem.

Primedia Business – Beef Magazine, Click Here!

But the buyer shakes his head and asks which Quality System Assessment (QSA) or Process Verified Program (PVP) your calves are enrolled in. Huh?

Welcome to the complicated limbo of documenting and qualifying cattle characteristics in a way that can withstand the scrutiny of domestic and international beef customers.


Cattle Update: Cow Costs Are Up

Cattle Update: Cow Costs Are Up


According to its annual survey, Cattle-Fax® reported that the average annual cash cost to carry a beef cow increased by $36/head, from $315 in 2004 to $351 in 2005. Cash costs do not include depreciation, opportunity costs, or returns to management. Cow costs were moderately higher in all regions. The Northwest region had the highest average cost of $397, followed by the Southwest region at $358, the Midwest region at $349, the Southern Plains at $328, and the Southeast region at $324. Total feed costs accounted for the largest percentage of the total cash costs at about 60%. They ranged from an average of $190/head in the Southeast region to $234/head in the Midwest region.


Night Time Versus Day Time Feeding Influences Time Of Calving

Night Time Versus Day Time Feeding Influences Time Of Calving


It is generally accepted that adequate supervision at calving has a significant impact on reducing calf mortality. Adequate supervision has been of increasing importance with the use of larger beef breeds and cattle with larger birth weights. On most ranching operations, supervision of the first calf heifers will be best accomplished in daylight hours and the poorest observation takes place in the middle of the night.

The easiest and most practical method of inhibiting nighttime calving at present is by feeding cows at night. The physiological mechanism is unknown, but some hormonal effect may be involved. Rumen motility studies indicate the frequency of rumen contractions falls a few hours before parturition. Intraruminal pressure begins to fall in the last 2 weeks of gestation, with a more rapid decline during calving. It has been suggested that night feeding causes intraruminal pressures to rise at night and decline in the daytime.