Daily Archives: January 2, 2007

Scientists Announce Mad Cow Breakthrough

Scientists Announce Mad Cow Breakthrough

Genetic Engineering Creates Cattle without Protein That Causes Disease

By Rick Weiss

Washington Post

Scientists said yesterday that they have used genetic engineering techniques to produce the first cattle that may be biologically incapable of getting mad cow disease.

The animals, which lack a gene that is crucial to the disease’s progression, were not designed for use as food. They were created so that human pharmaceuticals can be made in their blood without the danger that those products might get contaminated with the infectious agent that causes mad cow.


Palpate, cull non-pregnant replacement heifers early

Palpate, cull non-pregnant replacement heifers early

BY Leland McDaniel

OSU Ag Agent

Many Oklahoma ranchers choose to breed the replacement heifers about a month ahead of the mature cows in the herd. In addition, they like to use a shortened 45- to 60-day breeding season for the replacement heifers. The next logical step is to determine which of these heifers failed to conceive in their first breeding season.

This would be an ideal time to call and make arrangements with your local veterinarian to have those heifers evaluated for pregnancy. By two months after the breeding season ends, experienced palpaters should have no difficulty identifying which heifers are pregnant and which heifers are “open.” Those heifers that are determined to be “open” after this breeding season should be strong candidates for culling. Culling these heifers immediately after pregnancy checking serves three very useful purposes, according to Dr. Glen Selk, animal reproduction specialist at Oklahoma State University:


Bull Basics: The Fundamentals of Buying Bulls

Bull Basics: The Fundamentals of Buying Bulls

By Annie Clement

The Cattleman

There are many tools today that can give bull buyers a fairly accurate perception of a bull which will help them make genetic progress in their herd.

In the past, ranchers relied on their eyesight and other people’s knowledge about a bull’s bloodlines to judge the quality of a bull. The widespread availability of performance data and expected progeny differences (EPDs) allow a rancher to narrow his or her scope of bulls and use visual appraisal as the final deciding factor.

Bulls have the strongest influence on your calf crop. One cow produces one calf a year. Bulls will produce 20 to 25 calves per breeding season. With artificial insemination, this number is even higher.


Six dry years: Drought shows lasting influence

Six dry years: Drought shows lasting influence

By Steve Miller

Rapid City Journal (SD)

Whatever snow falls today will be welcomed by area ranchers such as Joe Falkenberg, but it won’t put much of a dent in a drought that has some areas running more than 20 inches behind normal precipitation since 2000.

Falkenberg, who ranches south of Edgemont near the Nebraska border, has trimmed back his cow herd. He is probably typical of many ranchers in the region who have been forced to sell off cows because of a shortage of grass or water or both over the past six years. He also knows of a few ranchers in his area who have sold all of their cattle.


Home, home on the range, where the deer and Scottish Highland cattle play?

Home, home on the range, where the deer and Scottish Highland cattle play?


That is the question several Athol residents contacted police about Thursday when neighbors spotted two buffalo-type creatures wandering near Templeton Road, about a mile east of Athol High School.

After reviewing several past reports, officials said the creatures were most likely not buffalo, but out-of-place Scottish Highland cattle. The large, long-haired brown animals do not look much like buffalo, but they do not resemble most cattle in the area either.


When is the best time of year to market cull cows?

When is the best time of year to market cull cows?

Mississippi State University

Cull cows prices have a very consistent seasonal pattern. Prices are typically lowest in the fall, particularly October, November, and December. Prices are highest in the spring (February-April). This seasonal price pattern is driven by supply and demand. The majority of cows are pregnancy-tested in the fall and dumped on the market if they are open. Most producers would benefit by carrying thin Body Condition Score (2-3) cull cows over the winter on hay and grazing on ryegrass in the spring.


THE VOCAL POINT: Seven Deadly Watchwords To Mark The New Year

THE VOCAL POINT: Seven Deadly Watchwords To Mark The New Year

Dan Murphy


The coming year might end in 007, but it doesn’t take a secret agent to identify the battlefields on which the meat and poultry industries will contend next year.

Here are seven key areas where members of the industry will likely find plenty to occupy their down time in 2007.

That was a joke.

The issues on the horizon, unfortunately, are not.

But it’s not all bad. With change comes opportunity, and there’s nothing like a crisis to concentrate the mind on alternative solutions and technologies. In that spirit, let’s begin.