Talking turkey about beef production – Master course designed to educate, help area’s producers
By Gregg Powers
Johnson City Press (TN)
Beginning this year, any producer who has completed the Master Beef Producer Course will be eligible for an increased cost-share percentage of 50 percent instead of the standard 33 percent in the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.
The program helps cattle producers purchase bulls and cattle-handling facilities and is designed to help improve profitability and competitiveness by enhancing production and reducing costs.
Last year, 43 cattle producers participated in the course held in Elizabethton and Jonesborough and all of them said they would recommend the course to others. More than 75 percent of the participants reported that the knowledge they gained in the course would have an economic impact on their farm of more than $1,000.
Check Heifers To Be Certain They Will Be Heavy Enough At Breeding
The period between weaning and breeding is a very critical time in the life of a beef female. At weaning she is between 7 and 10 months old and weighs, in general, 350 to 650 pounds. Some six months later, she is exposed to the bull or to artificial insemination. Hopefully, most of these heifers are bred in the first 21 days and 80 percent or more are pregnant after a 45 day breeding season. Growing programs for weaned replacement heifers must be adequate to allow enough gain from weaning to 13 months of age to allow a high percentage of heifers to being cycling. Since most beef breed replacements will need to gain 240 pounds between weaning and breeding, the heifers must gain at least 1.33 pounds per day.
Cattle Health: An Introduction To Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)
Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is a viral infection of cattle. Today it is believed to primarily cause reproductive problems. However, it can also be devastating to overall cattle health if introduced to a herd that has little immune protection. BVD is currently one of the most costly diseases of cattle. Cost estimates in herds with BVD range from $24 to $200 per cow per year. Clinical signs and cost estimates vary depending on the level of herd immunity, the virulence of the infecting virus strain, and the pregnancy status of cows at the time of initial infection.
The Fruit of Our Sirloins
By William Saletan
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? People have puzzled over that question for at least 2,000 years. In the eternal cycle of natural reproduction, they saw no answer. But it turns out that the cycle is not eternal. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration tentatively approved the use of cloned animals to make food. Natural reproduction is giving way to artificial reproduction. And with the new era comes a new question: Which came first, the steer or the steak?
Case in point: Elvis. He’s a 19-month-old Angus calf. You can view him on the Web site of ViaGen, a cloning company. In a recent slide presentation from the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the caption below his photo reads, “Elvis was cloned from a side of Prime Yield Grade 1 beef.”
Hand-Tented and Needle-Tented Subcutaneous Injection
Damage to eatable tissue from injectable animal health products, especially in the more expensive cuts of beef, surfaced as a significant problem in the 1991 National Beef Quality Audit conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and funded by the Beef Checkoff.
To address the finding, the NCBA Beef Safety and Quality Task Force developed guidelines for injectable health product use, and the NCBA began a national educational program to change the injection technique used for routine animal health injectable products. In an effort to remove injections from eatable tissue, the NCBA injectable animal health product-use guidelines encourage the selection and use of injectable products that can be given subcutaneously (subQ) and encourage the selection of the neck region for administration of all injectables in cattle.
Keys to Successful Pasture Establishment
Hay and Forage
A livestock producer needs the right keys to unlock the secrets of establishing quality pastures, says Keith Johnson, Purdue Uni-versity extension forage specialist.
He lists six keys to successful pasture establishment: “The choice of a site is important, as is the soil on that site and the forage a producer chooses to plant,” he says. “They also need to think about the seeding process, weed control and the first use of that for-age.”
Johnson will address each point during the Heart of America Grazing Conference, Jan. 24-25 in Mount Vernon, IL.
When selecting a site, consider its proximity to your homestead, water and electricity, and whether the site is prone to flooding, Johnson advises. Soil composition and the types of forage it can grow also should factor into the decision.
BeefTalk: The Future Starts with Common Sense
The future is much more than we, as individual producers or groups of producers, can fathom at times.
By Kris Ringwall, Beef Specialist NDSU Extension Service
There is a future – and it is bright.
During the past few weeks, several BeefTalk columns were based on an article titled “The Future of Animal Agriculture in North America” found in the electronic “Choices” magazine (http://www.choicesmagazine.org, Volume 21, No. 3, 2006). “Choices” is published by the American Agricultural Economics Association.
The series of articles identified issues that ultimately will shape our industry and included issues such as markets, structure and competition; value of integrated markets and consumer demand; global competitiveness; environmental concerns and regulations; community concerns and labor; food safety and animal health; and the welfare and care of animals.